Certificate of Travel
If you have not been given refugee status in the UK and have not been recognised as a stateless person, you may be able to apply for a certificate of travel, which will give you permission to travel abroad and return to the UK. You must first prove that you have been formally and unreasonably refused a passport by the authorities of the country of which you are a national.
You cannot apply for a certificate of travel if you have been recognised as a refugee in the UK.
Except in exceptional circumstances, you cannot use a Home Office certificate of travel to travel to your country of origin, or to the country from which you sought asylum.
Some countries do not accept certificates of travel as valid travel documents, so you should check with the authorities of the country you wish to visit before you apply. At present, countries that do not accept it include:
Austria | Belgium | Denmark | France | Germany | Greece | Iceland | Italy | Luxembourg | the Netherlands | Portugal | South Africa | Spain | Switzerland
You must have permission to stay in the UK for at least 6 months from the date when you make your application. This is because other countries may not accept your certificate if your permission to return to the UK will expire in less than 6 months. If your current permission will expire in less than 6 months, you must apply to extend your stay before you can apply for a travel document.
A certificate of travel issued to an adult will usually be valid for up to 5 years if you have permission to stay in the UK permanently (known as 'indefinite leave to remain'). If you have temporary permission to stay in the UK (known as 'limited leave to remain'), your certificate of travel will usually be valid for the same period as your permission to stay in the UK.
Children cannot be named on the travel document of their parent or guardian. A certificate of travel issued to a child will usually be valid for up to 5 years if the child has permission to stay in the UK permanently. If the child has temporary permission to stay in the UK, the certificate of travel will usually be valid for the same period as their permission to stay in the UK.
Certificates of identity
Until 17 March 2008, the certificate of travel was called the 'certificate of identity' and was coloured brown. However, the validity and criteria for issuing the document were the same. If you currently hold a brown certificate of identity, you can use it until it expires.
Need legal advice?
UK immigration law is extremely complex and constantly changes. The UKVI has strict criteria relating to different types of visa. Therefore, it is essential you get the right legal advice from an expert UK immigration lawyer to make sure your application is successful, first time. We will guide you through every step of the process, putting you in the best place possible to get a good result.
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