A Refugee Travel Document is issued to refugees in Canada with protected person status, including Convention refugees and persons in need of protection. A Certificate of Identity is a travel document issued to persons legally landed in Canada for less than three years, who are stateless or are unable to obtain a national passport or travel document for a valid reason but who are not considered to have protected person status. If you are unsure as to whether you qualify for a refugee travel document in Canada or a certificate of identity contact us to speak to one of our travel document professionals. If you need a refugee travel document or certificate of identity you need to contact us as soon as possible if you intend to travel outside of Canada.
Using the Government Directly
To apply for a Refugee Travel Document, you need to submit your application to Passport Canada.
Our goal is to make the application process for a travel document in Canada or a certificate of identity as easy as possible and help you solve any issues an application for a travel document in Canada. Follow the steps below to complete your refugee travel document application or your application for a certificate of identity.
What we do for you if you purchase our service:
- We review every part of your application to ensure it is complete, accurate and mistake-free; not offered by the government.
- We complete the application for you if you require it; not offered by the government.
- We advise you of any additional steps you need to take and of any additional documentation you must provide; the government offers only general guidelines and not specific advice.
- We advise you of any problems you may encounter from filing the application; not offered by the government.
- We verify all supporting documentation prior to submission; not offered by the government.
- We give you unlimited business-hours phone support from 8am-6pm EST.
- We respond to most questions within 1 business day.
- We track the status of your application for you.
- We notify you when the service is complete.
|Step 1||Fill out the travel document application form|
|Step 2||Fax your completed Canadian Travel Document application or Certificate of Identity application to us. One of our agents will contact you within 24 hours after reviewing your application.|
|Step 3||Once your application has been reviewed, please mail your application to us with all your supplementary documentation.|
|Step 4||We will file your application on your behalf at the nearest Passport Canada office.|
Not sure whether you need a travel document?
If you are unsure about whether you need a refugee travel document we offer a 20 minute consultation to assess your needs.
You can use Visa or MasterCard to make a payment over the phone if you prefer: 1-866-760-2623. Once you have paid this retainer one of our agents will contact you within one business day.
Immigroup Service Fee: $282.50 including HST but not including the Passport Canada fee.
Please be advised that urgent processing is not normally available. However, proof of urgency can cause an application to be expedited on humanitarian grounds in special circumstances. If you require and qualify for urgent processing, an additional fee of $56.50 will apply.
Immigroup Service Fee: $450.00 including HST but not including the Passport Canada fee.
You must provide proof of urgency. Immigroup cannot guarantee that the application will be expedited.
Canadian Travel Document Processing Time
The average processing time is 3 months. It is not affected by whether the application is submitted in person or by mail. As of March 2012, there is no formal process in place to expedite applications. If proof of urgency is provided along with the application there is a chance that Passport Canada will expedite on humanitarian grounds. However, the applicant must make a case for expediting the application and there is no guarantee that Passport Canada will process the application urgently.
If you don’t see your Travel Documents in Canada question in the FAQs, ask us! We will respond to any question within one business day.
What is a Travel Document?
There are two types of travel documents issued by Canadian authorities. The first is provided to Canadian permanent residents who are outside of Canada without their PR Card. It is provided to the holder for one entry into Canada so that they can then apply for their PR Card from within Canada.
The second kind of travel document is an identity document issued by Passport Canada in place of a Canadian passport to those in Canada who are here as protected persons and cannot apply for a passport in Canada or in their home country. It allows the holder to travel outside of Canada, but the holder cannot use it to return to their home country.
Who Needs a Travel Document?
You only need a refugee travel document if you cannot obtain a passport from your home country and are not yet eligible for a PR Card in Canada but you want to travel. You must be a refugee to be eligible. If you are not a refugee, but are still considered stateless (you cannot get a passport from your home country) and are legally living in Canada, then you must apply for a Certificate of Identity instead. A stateless person living in Canada needs either a Travel Document or a Certificate of Identity to travel outside of Canada.
What is the difference between a Travel Document and a Certificate of Identity?
A Travel Document is a document issued by Passport Canada to those with protected status, such as Convention Refugees and other protected persons. A Certificate of Identity is for those stateless persons who are in Canada legally, but who are not refugees or other protected persons; for example, Canadian Permanent Residents who are stateless. Both documents come with the restriction that the holder cannot enter their home country.
There is another important difference between the two: a Travel Document allows the holder to travel anywhere else in the world a Canadian can travel, excluding their home country. On the other hand, a Certificate of Identity may not be accepted as the equivalent of a passport in all countries and the holder should contact the embassy or consulate of the country they are traveling to before leaving Canada.
How much does it cost to apply for a Travel Document?
A Travel Document costs the same amount as a Canadian passport: CAD$87. For children, the cost depends on the age of the child. If the child is under 3 years of age, the cost is: $22 per document. If the child is between three and 15, the cost is: $37 per document. All children 16 and over are considered adults in terms of cost. If you need an application form for a Child’s travel document, please contact us.
Certificates of Identity cost slightly more: $127 CDN.
How do I apply for a Travel Document?
First, you must complete an Application Form. Then you must gather all the required supplementary documentation including:
- Proof of your immigration status, such as
- Your Permanent Resident card
- Your Protected Person Status Document
- YourTemporary Resident Permit
- If you are 16 or over, you must submit a valid photo ID such as:
- Your Provincial or Territorial Driver’s License
- YourProvincial or Territorial Health Card (except Alberta or Manitoba health cards, which are not acceptable)
- Your Provincial or Territorial Photo ID Card
- Your Certificat de selection (Quebec only)
- Your Old Age Security Card
- Your Federal, Provincial, Territorial or Municipal Employee Identity Card
- Two passport photos, one of which must be signed by your guarantor
- Your IMM 5401 (the official receipt of fees paid)or your refusal letter (if applicable)
- Any valid Canadian travel document (if applicable)
You must submit your application in one of three ways:
|Certificate of Identity Section
Foreign Affairs Canada
|Certificate of Identity Section
Place du Centre, Commercial Level 2
200 Promenade du Portage
|Certificate of Identity Section
Place du Centre, Commercial Level 2
200 Promenade du Portage
The application should be process within 3 months.
Can’t I apply in person at any Passport Canada office?
No, you can only apply for a Travel Document or Certificate of Identity in person at the Passport Canada office in Gatineau, QC. If you live outside of the Ottawa-Hull metropolitan area, you should apply by mail or courier. Unlike a Canadian Passport, applying in person will not speed up your application.
What is considered proof of immigration status?
If you are applying for a Travel Document, you must use either your Protected Person Status Document or if you do not have that your Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). If you do not have either, you will need to replace your Protected Person Status Document or get a Temporary Resident Permit before getting your travel document.
If you are applying for a Certificate of Identity you will need your PR Card or if you are not a permanent resident you will need your TRP. If you do not have a TRP you will need to apply for one.
Photocopies are not acceptable.
Please Note: Your landing paper (IMM 1000) is not considered proof of immigration status by Passport Canada.
What is considered valid photo ID for the Travel Document application form in Canada?
The ID you must submit must be in the same name (so if you have changed your name since you got the ID you must change your ID before you get the Travel Document), it must include your signature, it must be issued by the Federal or a Provincial / Territorial or a Municipal government in Canada and it must not have expired. It is best if you can submit an ID that meets these requirements but which also has your picture. Passport Canada accepts all Canadian Driver’s Licenses and Provincial / Territorial Photo ID Cards. They accept Health Cards from all provinces except Alberta and Manitoba. If you live in Quebec, Passport Canada accepts your Certificat de selection. If you are collecting Old Age Security (OAS), Passport Canada accepts your OAS card. If you have somehow managed to become an employee of the Federal government, or any Provincial / Territorial or Municipal government in Canada, Passport Canada also accepts these ID cards.
What photos should I use?
Here are the photo specifications. Immigroup also provides the photo specifications as part of our applications. [Link to refugee travel document application
Why do I need to submit my citizenship application fees / letter of refusal from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)?
Many refugees come to Canada with the goal of becoming a Canadian citizen. If you have already begun the process, providing Passport Canada with evidence of this can help you get approved for the Travel Document. If you are due to become a Canadian citizen soon, this will affect how long your Travel Document is good for. If you have been refused citizenship, your Travel Document will likely be valid for a longer period of time.
What kinds of Travel Documents do I have to submit with my application?
If you already have a Canadian Travel Document (TD) or Certificate of Identity (COI), and it is still valid, you must submit this with your application. If you do not, your application may not be approved. If you don’t have a TD or COI, of if it has already expired, you do not need to submit anything extra.
How long does it take to get a Travel Document?
How long is my Travel Document valid for?
A Travel Document is not the same as a passport and is not always as valid for as long. Passport Canada determines how long it is valid on a case-by-case basis.
The validity of a child’s travel document is normally based on the age of the child. For children under 3 years of age, the validity is 3 years. For children between the ages of 3 and 15, the validity is 5 years.
Where can I travel with my Travel Document?
As long as you do not attempt to enter your home country (the country that you fled from) you can travel anywhere in the world a Canadian or Canadian permanent resident can travel.
If you have a Certificate of Identity, your options are more limited. Some countries do not recognize the Certificate of Identity. Please check with the country’s embassy or consulate before traveling.
If you do attempt to enter your home country with the Travel Document you risk exposure to the problems you faced which forced you to become a refugee and you also will likely lose your Travel Document. This would put your Protected Person Status in jeopardy if you did not lose it outright.
Why can’t I return to my home country if I have a Canadian Travel Document or Certificate of Identity?
The Travel Document or Certificate of Identity is provided by the Canadian government to stateless persons including refugees. In order to be stateless, you must have essentially lost the right to enter the country of your birth / nationality. There are then two reasons why you can’t return. For one, why return to the place that you fled? But the second is that the government puts the limit on this document in order to ensure that the holder is a refugee and / or stateless. If you can go home with it, then the Canadian government would doubt your status.
Do I still need a visa if I have a Travel Document?
A Travel Document (TD) is only a proof of identity for the purposes of travel. It does not bring with it extra benefits. If you needed a visa to enter a country before you acquired the TD you still need a visa to enter that country. For example, if you are a national of a country where a visa is required to enter the US, you still need a visa to enter, even if you have a TD or a PR Card with a Certificate of Identity. The only way you can change this is by becoming a Canadian citizen, or the citizen of another country which gets visas waived for its citizens.
What is the difference between a stateless person and a refugee?
A stateless person is someone who has lost their nationality by having it taken from them. Exiles are often stateless and anyone else who has been forced to emigrate from the country of their birth / nationality is often stateless. Sometimes governments take away people’s citizenship and this can make them stateless if they are not dual citizens.
Refugees on the other hand are people who have fled a country but haven’t necessarily had their citizenship taken away from them. They might still be considered nationals of the country they fled.
Refugees can be stateless persons and stateless persons can be refugees.
What is Protected Person Status?
Protected Person status is granted by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
It is usually given to:
- Persons who the IRB determines need protection including members of the Humanitarian
- Protected Persons Abroad class
- Convention Refugees
- Those that received a positive Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (with some exceptions
Note: it is usually up to the IRB to determine who has this status. A person is only eligible for a Protected Person Status document after they have been granted this status by the IRB.