What is a Travel Document?
If you have been recognised as a refugee, have humanitarian protection status, discretionary leave to remain or are settled (indefinite leave to remain), you may apply for a Travel Document to travel outside the UK. You may normally travel to any country except for the country from which asylum or other form of protection was sought.
Types of Travel Document
There are 4 different types you can apply for, depending on your status:
- Convention refugee travel document: if you have been recognised as a refugee or if you are the family member of a refugee and have come to join them under the family reunion rules
- Certificate of travel: if you hold ILR status in the UK, Discretionary Leave to Remain or Humanitarian Protection and you can demonstrate that you have been refused a passport by your own national authorities.
- Stateless person’s document: if you have been recognised as a stateless person
- One-way travel document: if you want to leave and not return
How you can apply
An application for a Travel Document can be made online or by post. To make a valid application, you will need to have a Biometric Residence Permit (a card confirming your visa status and personal details). If you do not have this already, then this needs to be applied for before you go ahead with your travel document application. It is also important to note that you will need to have valid leave to remain in the UK for a period of more than 6 months to make your travel document application.
The processing times for Travel Documents are on average about 4 to 8 weeks, however if the Home Office needs to do extra checks into the circumstances surrounding your application, then this may take longer. Once you have successfully applied for a travel document, the validity of this will most often be in line with your visa or 10 years if you hold indefinite leave to remain status.
Applying for your children
Your family members may apply with you at the same time. If you wish to apply for your child to travel with you, a separate travel document will need to be applied for.