How to obtain a Travel Document?

Are you a non-UK national residing in the United Kingdom and in need of a travel document to explore the world?

The Home Office travel document might be the solution you've been looking for. Let us walk you through the process of obtaining a Home Office travel document, whether you're a refugee, in need of a certificate of travel, or seeking a one-way travel document.

Who is Eligible?

You can apply for a Home Office travel document if:

- You are not a British citizen.

- You cannot use or obtain a passport from your home country's national authorities.

- Your home country's national authorities cannot provide you with a new passport.

In addition, you must be living in the UK due to one of the following circumstances:

- You have refugee status.

- You have humanitarian protection and it has been officially recognized that you fear your home country's national authorities.

- You are not recognized as a citizen of any country (a 'stateless person') and have permission to stay or are settled in the UK.

- You have permission to stay or are settled in the UK, but you cannot obtain a passport or travel document from your home country's national authorities.

Now, let's explore the different types of Home Office travel documents available to you.

Refugee Travel Document

Who can apply?

You can apply for a refugee travel document if you have refugee status in the UK or if you originally came to the UK on a family reunion visa to join someone who has refugee status.

Validity

- If you're settled in the UK (known as having 'indefinite leave to remain'), the document is usually valid for up to 10 years.

- If you have permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain'), it is usually valid for up to 5 years.

- Children aged 15 or under receive a document usually valid for up to 5 years.

Travel Restrictions

You can usually travel to all countries except your home country and any country where you sought asylum.

Fees

- £82 for adults (free if born before 1 September 1929).

- £53 for children aged 15 or under.

Certificate of Travel

Who can apply

You can apply for a certificate of travel if:

- You have permission to stay or are settled in the UK and have been refused a passport or travel document by your home country's national authorities.

- You are in the UK with humanitarian protection, and it's officially accepted that you fear your home country's national authorities as part of your asylum application.

- You are in the UK on a family reunion visa because you've joined someone with humanitarian protection.

- You were born in the UK as the child of someone with refugee status and have permission to stay but do not have refugee status yourself.

- You have an important reason to travel, and your home country's national authorities are unable to issue you a passport or emergency travel document quickly.

Proving an Important Reason to Travel

You must provide evidence of why you need to travel urgently, along with evidence that your passport or emergency travel document application was refused. Valid reasons include essential employment, business, educational trips, compelling or compassionate reasons (e.g., a family member's serious illness or death), and religious reasons.

Proving 'Unreasonable Refusal'

You may need to prove that your application for a passport from your home country's national authorities was 'unreasonably refused,' depending on your circumstances.

Validity

A certificate of travel is usually valid for up to 5 years if you're settled in the UK (known as having 'indefinite leave to remain') or until the end of your permission to stay in the UK (known as having 'leave to remain'). It may be shorter for exceptional reasons.

Travel Restrictions

You can usually travel to most countries with a certificate of travel. However, if you have been given humanitarian protection due to a fear of your home country's national authorities, you cannot travel to that country.

Fees

- £280 for adults.

- £141 for children aged 15 and under.

One-Way Travel Document

Who can apply

You can apply for a one-way travel document if you meet the following criteria:

- You are not a British citizen.

- You do not have a valid passport or travel document from your home country.

- You are not in the process of being deported from the UK.

- You want to leave the UK permanently.

- You do not have outstanding criminal proceedings in the UK.

Validity

The document is valid for 12 months from the date of issue, and it's for a single journey out of the UK. You cannot use it to return.

Travel Restrictions

Check with the authorities of the country you plan to visit to see if they accept one-way travel documents and if you need a visa to enter.

Before You Travel

Ensure that you check travel restrictions related to COVID-19, which may affect your journey.

Fees

- £75 for adults.

- £49 for children aged 15 and under.

Now that you have a better understanding of the Home Office travel documents, you can take the next step towards your travel aspirations.

To apply for a travel document, you need to:


If you need assistance with the application process or have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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Alexandra Mokrova

Alexandra Mokrova

Co-founder of Emigral, Immigration Lawyer