The holders of the Refugee Travel Document issued by the United Kingdom under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees can travel visa free to many countries all over the world. However, many counties have their own restrictions and require the Refugee Travel Document holders to obtain visas even for short-term tourist visits.
As the entry rules change frequently, the travellers should always check visa requirements of the country of their destination prior to the trip.
Also, a valid UK residence permit confirming your refugee status in the UK must be taken for the overseas trips together with the Refugee Travel Document. Some countries also require confirmation of the reservation of the return tickets and proof of the purpose of the trip to allow a visa free entry.
The following countries require visas for the visitors with the Refugee Travel Document (blue) issued under the 1951 UN Convention:
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Jamaica (depending on the country of origin of the traveller)
- Korea (Republic of Korea)
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
The following countries DO NOT require visas for the visitors with the Refugee Travel Document (blue) issued under the 1951 UN Convention:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Thailand (except for nationals of certain countries)
- Trinidad and Tobago (only for nationals of countries entitled to visa free entry) *
List of Countries that DO NOT ALLOW ENTRANCE for the visitors with the Refugee Travel Document (blue) issued under the 1951 UN Convention:
- UAE – Dubai
- Qatar – Doha
This list is subject to changes so we recommend to double check information on the current visa requirements before your travel arrangements.
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Validity of the Refugee Travel Document
1951 UN Convention Refugee Travel Document (blue) is issued by the United Kingdom to:
- A refugee who has been granted asylum in the UK. If you have been recognised as a refugee under the terms of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, you may apply for a 1951 UN Convention refugee travel document (blue).
- A person who has come to the UK on a Family Reunion visa to join a refugee who is present in the UK.
The Refugee Travel Document Normally is normally issued for up to 10 years for adults and for up to 5 years for children, or in line with limited leave. It also may be issued with a shorter validity if considered
All travellers should note that many countries require that the Refugee Travel Document is valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into the country. If validity of the travel document is less than six months, a refugee should apply for renewal. It is also important to apply for apply for extension of the UK residence permit prior to its expiry date.
Some countries, e.g. Denmark, require that the travel document (passport) should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay only and you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
Requirements for Refugees to Become Settled in the UK (video)
Legal Assistance in the UK
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