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Visa-Free Countries for UK Travel Document Holders

A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

Navigating international travel as a refugee or stateless person can be challenging without a national passport. Fortunately, the United Kingdom issues specific travel documents that facilitate travel by allowing visa-free entry to numerous countries. This guide provides an overview of such countries, alongside essential details regarding each travel document type available to those legally residing in the UK under international protection.

Refugee Travel Documents

Overview
Under the 1951 UN Convention, the UK issues Refugee Travel Documents to individuals who have been granted asylum. This document, resembling a blue passport, is crucial for refugees needing to travel abroad for reasons like family, business, or education.

How to Apply
Applications for the Refugee Travel Document can be made through the UK government’s official website, where step-by-step guidance is provided.

Document Validity

  • Adults: Valid for up to 10 years
  • Children: Valid for up to 5 years
  • Adjustments in validity may occur based on the individual’s leave status in the UK.

Visa-Free Countries Visa-free access varies, but holders of UK Refugee Travel Documents generally enjoy entry without a visa to several countries, including but not limited to:

Countries that allow visa-free travel on Refugee Travel document

AlbaniaCroatiaGeorgiaLithuaniaNetherlandsSlovenia
AndorraDenmarkGreeceLuxembourgNorwaySwitzerland
BelgiumFinlandIcelandMaltaPolandTrinidad & Tobago
Bosnia and HerzegoniaFranceKosovoMoldovaPortugal
BulgariaGermanyLiechtensteinMonacoRomania

Stateless Persons Travel Document

Overview
The Stateless Person’s Travel Document is issued under the 1954 United Nations Convention relating to Stateless Persons. It provides travel rights similar to those of the Refugee Travel Document.

How to Apply
Stateless individuals can apply via a detailed process outlined on the UK government’s website.

Document Validity
Like the Refugee Travel Document, it is generally valid for up to 10 years for adults and 5 years for children, aligning with the period of granted leave.

Certificate of Travel

Overview
The Certificate of Travel is issued to individuals who:

  • Cannot obtain a passport from their country of origin
  • Have been granted Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave following an unsuccessful asylum application

Document Validity and Acceptance
Valid up to 5 years, aligning with the length of the individual’s leave. Notably, while this document facilitates travel, its acceptance is not universal, and checking with the intended destination country is recommended.


Key References

  • Travel Restrictions: None of these documents permit travel back to the country from which asylum was sought or the traveler’s country of origin.
  • Residency Requirements: Staying outside the UK for more than 2 years may cause leave to remain to lapse, unless the individual returns within that period.

Conclusion

The UK provides substantial support for refugees and stateless persons seeking to travel internationally through its issuance of specific travel documents. By understanding the various documents and the rights each confers, holders can plan their travel with greater confidence and legality.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. For more detailed and personalized advice, please contact one of our immigration adviser or refer to the UK government’s official resources.