This page tells you about the travel documents you may apply for if we recognise you as a refugee or give you humanitarian protection (see Human rights applications for an explanation of humanitarian protection).
If we have recognised you as a refugee and given you asylum in the United Kingdom, you and the members of your family can apply for travel documents to allow you to travel outside the United Kingdom. You will not be allowed to travel to your country of origin.
These documents will be what we call 'convention travel documents', because they are provided in a way that is set out in part of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. We will give you these travel documents unless we believe there are extremely good reasons to refuse, such as to protect national security.
If we have given you humanitarian protection in the United Kingdom, you can apply to us for travel documents if you are unable to obtain a national passport or other identity documents from another country to enable you to travel. You will not be allowed to travel to the country you came from.
If you can obtain a passport or identity documents from another country but have not done so, we will give you travel documents if you can show that:
- you have made reasonable attempts to obtain a national passport or other identity documents; and
- there are serious humanitarian reasons why you need to travel; and
- there are no reasons why we believe we should not do so, such as to safeguard national security.
If we gave you discretionary leave to stay in the United Kingdom (see Leave to remain for an explanation of this), we will normally expect you to keep your own national passport valid. This is because we will usually have given you that leave for reasons other than protection.
However, you can apply to us for a certificate of travel. You will normally have to prove that you have been formally and unreasonably refused a passport by the country you came from, unless you can show us that you have a well-founded fear of the authorities in that country.
See Travel documents for information about the different types of Home Office travel document and how to apply for them.
Documents issued to refugees from Kosovo
Please note that documents issued under the terms of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to nationals of Kosovo who have been recognised as refugees in the UK will be closed for travel to Kosovo. Documents previously issued did not contain this restriction because after the breakdown of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was under the international control of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo rather than being an independent country in its own right.
As Kosovo is now fully independent and has fully functioning embassies, the special arrangements previously made are no longer necessary and have been changed accordingly.
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