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REFUGEE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISA FREE TRAVEL

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

REFUGEE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISA FREE TRAVEL

Individuals who are granted refugee status in the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for a Refugee Travel Document, which is issued in accordance with the 1951 United Nations Convention in relation to the Status of Refugees (Article 28).

The right to apply for Refugee Travel Document after being granted refugee status also extends to the refugees’ family members who are granted leave in line with the refugee under the family reunion provisions of the Immigration Rules.

Currently, the holders of Refugee Travel Documents are allowed to travel visa free to many of the countries but not all within the Schengen Zone (you can find a table of countries with visa requirements for Refugee Travel Documents below). The traveller should always travel with their Travel Document and a valid UK residence permit confirming their leave as a refugee in the UK.

Recently, some Schengen countries revised their internal policy regarding the visa requirements for Refugee Travel Document holders, requesting that they apply for a Schengen visa prior to their planned travel. Italy announced in March 2017 that Schengen visas will be required for Refugee Travel Document holders upon entering.

Refugees should be made aware that some countries may not allow them to enter if their Travel Document has less than six months validity remaining. Therefore, should the refugee’s Travel Document expire in less than six months, he/she should consider applying for a new Travel Document if they wish to travel. Further, refugees should always ensure they apply for an extension of their leave to remain in the UK as a refugee prior to the expiry of their UK residence permit.

Other countries, such as Turkey also require holders of Refugee Travel Documents to apply for a visa to the Turkish Consulate before travelling and that they must have at least one year validity remaining on their Travel Document.

It should be noted that holding a valid Schengen visa does not guarantee entry into the Schengen Zone, as travellers are still subject to immigration control at the relevant Custom and Borders.

Please note that regulations are subject to regular updates and Refugee Travel Document holders should check the latest changes to policies before making travel plans. Please contact us for further information and assistance.

 

Country

Visa required for visitor with 1951 UN Convention Travel Document

  1.  

Greece

No

  1.  

Iceland

No

  1.  

Liechtenstein

No

  1.  

Sweden

No

  1.  

Lithuania

No

  1.  

Malta

No

  1.  

Vatican City

No

  1.  

Albania

No

  1.  

Bosnia and Herzegovina

No

  1.  

Bulgaria

No

  1.  

Croatia

No

  1.  

Cyprus

No

  1.  

Denmark

No

  1.  

Finland

No

  1.  

France

No

  1.  

Georgia

No

  1.  

Germany

No

  1.  

Monaco

No

  1.  

Montenegro

No

  1.  

Netherlands

No

  1.  

Norway

No

  1.  

Portugal

No

  1.  

Romania

No

  1.  

San Marino

No

  1.  

Slovakia

No

  1.  

Slovenia

No

  1.  

Spain

No

  1.  

Switzerland

No

  1.  

Dubai

Not allowed

  1.  

Dominican Republic

No

  1.  

Azerbaijan

Yes

  1.  

Hungary

No

  1.  

Belarus

Yes

  1.  

Belgium

No

  1.  

Kazakhstan

Yes

  1.  

Luxembourg

No

  1.  

Estonia

No

  1.  

Italy

Yes

  1.  

Czech Republic

Yes

  1.  

Poland

Yes

  1.  

Serbia

Yes

  1.  

Moldova

No

  1.  

Turkey

Yes

  1.  

Armenia

Yes

  1.  

Ireland

Yes

  1.  

Macedonia

Yes

  1.  

Ukraine

No

  1.  

Austria

Yes

  1.  

Andorra

No

 

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

© Gherson 2017

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