Mon-Fri 9am-6pm
    020 7237 3388
    (UK Local Number, 1p per min)
    ICS Legal, Suite 11, City Business Centre,
    Lower Road, London SE16 2XB

Travel Documents | ICS Legal

Travel Documents | Home Office Travel Documents

A travel document is a document used for travel if you are not able to obtain a document from your country of nationality. Do not apply for a Home Office travel document if you have changed your personal details as your application will be refused. You can only apply to the Home Office for a travel document in certain special circumstances. There are 4 types of travel documents, depending on your circumstances and your status in the UK.

Call ICS Legal today on 0207 237 3388 and we can explain which type of travel document you would be required to apply for. If you wish to get some initial legal advice, click here to complete this. 

We charge for our services, and our consultation charge is £60 on the telephone. If you would like us to make a formal submission as a one-off, our fee would be £120. Further costs may apply. 

For most of these travel documents, you must be legally resident in the UK and have permission to stay here for at least 6 months after the date when you make your application.

The Home Office has issued biometric travel documents since 17 March 2008, but existing travel documents can continue to be used until they expire. The biometric travel document has a new design and security features including a tamper-proof biometric chip. The chip contains the holder's personal details (name, nationality, sex, place and date of birth, and signature) as shown on page 31 of the document. No other personal information is included on the chip. The applicant's scanned photograph is the 'biometric' element of the document.

Biometric residence permits

From 29 February 2012 anyone applying for a Home Office travel document must also apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if they do not already hold one. 

How do you qualify for a home office travel document?

To qualify for a Home Office travel document other than a one-way travel document, you must be lawfully resident and present in the UK in one of the eligible groups.

Who qualifies for a home office travel document?

There are five groups. The first two are listed immediately below.

  1. A refugee who has been granted asylum. 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 Convention Travel Document (blue).

  2. A stateless person. If you have been recognised as a stateless person under the terms of the 1954 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, you may apply for a Stateless Person’s Document (red).

  3. The other three groups are at c., d. and e. Please note that if you are in any of these particular groups, you must provide either: documentary evidence that you have applied to your national authorities for a passport or travel document, and that your application has been formally and unreasonably refused.

  4. Or, an acceptable written explanation with any relevant documentary evidence as to why you cannot or should not have to provide such evidence.

The groups subject to these requirements are:

  1. A person is granted humanitarian protection for a limited period following a refused asylum claim. You may apply for a Certificate of Travel (black).

  2. A person is granted indefinite leave to remain. You may apply for a Certificate of Travel (black).

  3. A person is granted discretionary leave for a limited period following a refused asylum claim. You may apply for a Certificate of Travel (black).

One-way travel document

If you are in the UK and are not British, you may apply for a one-way document. Your immigration status is not relevant for such an application but you must provide evidence of your identity. You do not need to apply for a BRP if applying for a one-way document.

Which type of document should you apply for?

You should apply for the appropriate document for the group to which you belong among. The table below sets out the Home Office status letters and documents most frequently-issued to persons who may qualify for a Home Office travel document.

Which countries can you travel to with a Home Office travel document?

Convention Travel Documents (blue) will normally be valid for travel to all countries except those from which asylum was sought and/or your country of origin. Stateless Person’s Documents (red) will normally be valid for travel to all countries. Certificate of Travel (black) will normally be valid for all countries except those from which asylum was sought and/or your country of origin.

However, countries that are party to the Schengen agreement, along with the Republic of South Africa, will not usually accept a Home Office Certificate of Travel as a valid travel document. Before applying for a Home Office travel document, you should check with the embassy of the country to which you wish to travel that they will accept the document.


It is not possible for children to be included in the travel document of their parent or guardian. Children who wish to hold a travel document should apply on a separate application form. If they are aged under 16, they may apply for a child’s document. If they are aged 16 or over, they must apply for an adult document.

Children should normally travel on a British passport if they were born in the United Kingdom:

  • to a parent who was settled in this country on the date of the child’s birth, or

  • to a parent who was a British citizen on the date of the child’s birth.

Lost or stolen travel documents

If you are applying to replace a lost or stolen travel document, you must provide a police report and crime reference number, together with full details of the circumstances of the loss or theft. Home Office may need to make enquiries before we can issue a replacement and these may sometimes take a while to resolve. The checks made before issuing a travel document are necessary to prevent the misuse of identities.

Call us today on 0207 237 3388 for some initial legal advice or if you need help on the travel document application. 

Most Visited

ICS Legal : UK Immigration Advice | UK Visas | Partners & Marriage Visas | Tier 1 Start-up, Tier 1 Innovator & Tier 1 Investor Visas | British Citizenship. ICS Legal is part of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. The content and the source codes contained in this page and subsequent pages of www.icslegal.com are the property of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. Company Reg Company No. 08703375. Company Registered in England & Wales. By logging into the site, you have accepted our terms and conditions and must abide accordingly. Unauthorised reproduction and copying is strictly prohibited. Selective contents of the website have been re-produced in accordance to Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd holds PSI Licence and licence number is C2009002244. Parliamentary Licence number is P2009000241. 

The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date. We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will always be available or be uninterrupted. Access to our site is permitted on a temporary basis. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of our site without notice. We will not be liable to you if for any reason our site is unavailable at any time or for any period. You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our site. You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access our site through your Internet connection are aware of these terms, and that they comply with them.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to receive our latest immigration alerts