I have an employer in Canada sponsor a visa for me so that I can go and work there as a skilled immigrant.

In Iran, under certain circumstances which currently apply to me, you either have to give a security deposit of about 11K USD or spend a two-year term in the military to be allowed to apply for a passport and be able to leave the country.

It should be noted that Iran and Canada have cut diplomatic relations recently and there is no active Canadian embassy in Iran.

I would like to know:

  1. If I cross the border without a passport to a neighboring country (e.g. Iraq or Turkey), will I still be able to get a visa from the Canadian embassy over there and then buy a ticket and get on board of a flight to Canada?

  2. I could leave Iran under a special passport to visit Iraq for a religious visit. Does that kind of passport do me any good here?

  • 3
    One way to travel internationally without a passport from your country of citizenship is to become a refugee, whereupon you will get a passport-like document from your country of refuge, but from your question it sounds like you would not qualify as a refugee.
    – phoog
    Jul 17, 2018 at 17:19
  • 11
    It seems surprising to me that you got a visa without a passport. There are many scams preying upon individuals desperate for work and looking to leave there countries. You may want to double check that everything is legitimate before providing information or money to anyone.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 17, 2018 at 17:40
  • 3
    @StrongBad, it's not clear that the OP actually has a visa. I cannot imagine Canadian immigration issuing a visa to an application w/o a passport. Jul 17, 2018 at 20:29
  • 4
    The OP does not claim to have a visa, just a sponsor. Jul 17, 2018 at 21:39
  • 2
    Edited and tried to clarify that I don't have a visa yet, but to get one I have to first quit the country
    – azerafati
    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:18

3 Answers 3


I'm sorry, but this is not a good plan. At a minimum you'll be stopped at these three issues:

  • The purpose of the passport/travel document is to identify the individual; a visa is another country's permission for that individual to enter the country that issued the visa. Even if you met the other requirements to obtain a visa from Canada (which are substantial: start at this Canada government page), Canada won't issue a visa to a non-Canadian who doesn't have a passport or travel document.

  • Unless you have a visa, and either a passport or travel document, you won't be allowed to board a flight to Canada.

  • If you were allowed to board, Canadian immigration would refuse to allow you to enter the country.

  • 2
    It would be nice if you offered advice on what he could do to resolve his problem :)
    – Cloud
    Jul 18, 2018 at 13:38
  • @Cloud. Well the obvious thing to do would be to get travel documents sorted out.
    – ouflak
    Jul 19, 2018 at 13:16

All immigration details aside, the Government of Canada imposes heavy fines on airlines that deliver people without appropriate documentation. This means that no airline in the world will let you board a flight to Canada without taking responsibility to ensure that you have at least prima facie (on the surface) eligibility to enter Canada.

That is, there is almost always a final passport check at the gate, before you are allowed to board the plane. If you can't convince the person at the gate that you're good to go, you won't board.

  • 2
    In many cases you can't even get a boarding pass without convincing the airline that you have the proper documents, although with the increasing popularity of online checkin, this is perhaps changing somewhat.
    – phoog
    Jul 18, 2018 at 18:28

I am not that informed on the policies around passports and visas, but I think the solution you might be looking for is already in your own description:

If the employer is already willing to sponsor the visa, then perhaps you could ask them to sponsor for the 11k USD deposit as well? Just make sure you explain the situation to them clearly! If they were already that willing to invest in you, then there is a good chance they'll pay for this as well. Of course this depends for how long you would work for them.

  • 1
    Good point, thanks for reminding me that option. Though it's a lot of money and I would definitely prefer not to be in debt for it to the employer. Plus Iran got no banking relations with the outside world, getting that amount inside is another big problem for me.
    – azerafati
    Jul 19, 2018 at 3:43

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