Travel Document for Canadian Refugees

Refugees in Canada may receive travel documents. However, you must meet the requirements. Also, Canada may issue a certificate of identity for particular permanent residents in Canada.

Who qualifies for a refugee travel document?

To qualify for a refugee travel document, you must be a protected person. Unfortunately, refugee claimants do not qualify. Also, you may apply for a certificate of identity if,

  • You are a permanent resident of Canada, but not a protected person, and
  • You cannot obtain a passport from another country.

What does a travel document look like?


A travel document is similar to a Canadian passport. However, the cover looks different. Also, your nationality will not be Canadian. Therefore, you may need visas to travel to those countries that Canadians are visa-exempt. Moreover, you may not travel to the country that you sought protection. For example, if you are from Afghanistan, you may not use a refugee travel document to visit that country.

How to apply for a travel document?

If you are a protected person and live inside Canada, you must follow these steps. Unfortunately, you cannot apply if you are outside Canada.

  1. Complete the application form. Of course, the form is different for adults and children.
  2. Gather all the documents according to
  3. You may need to provide extra documents if any of the following applies to you:
    • replacing a stolen, damaged, or lost document
    • changing your name
    • reflecting sex change in your travel document
  4. You need a guarantor and two references to include in your application package.
  5. Pay the necessary fees and include the receipt in your package.
  6. Mail the package to the appropriate address.

Of course, include any documents that could assist officers in processing your application.

Where to mail the application package

When you have a complete application package, mail it to one of the following addresses. However, these addresses are subject to change. Make sure to double-check them.

Courier address
Centralized Network – Certificate of Identity Section
Place du Centre, Commercial Level 2
200 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, QC J8X 4B7
Mailing address (non-courier)
PO Box 8783 STN T CSC
Ottawa, ON K1G 5G8

Let us help!

We can help you with your refugee travel document application. Please fill out the following form to contact us. Alternatively, please book a consultation session with me. Of course, you may also fill out our refugee form if you are inside Canada and intend to file for asylum.

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    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.