Passport and travel documents
Passport and travel document information for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.
Before applying for travel documents, you must discuss your plan to travel with your social worker/personal advisor for example why and where you plan to travel to. All requests to travel by LAC and Care Leavers would be considered on a case by case basis. There may be good reasons why the Council is unable or unwilling to agree to travel plans. It may be the difficulties around eligibility or an age dispute.
As Corporate Parents, the council has a responsibility to make sure that it is safe for you to travel abroad, and to check that the people you are planning to visit can provide social services with relevant information such as where they live and how they are related to you.
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children/young people who have no passports and who want to travel abroad will have to apply for travel documents.
What are travel documents?
The United Kingdom Border Agency reviewed the application process and have issued a new application form. Eligibility to apply for a travel document is quite complex and subject to change. For UASC it is advisable that you seek independent advice (preferably legal), as social care staff are not experts in this subject, regarding.
- whether you are allowed/permitted to apply
- how your asylum claim may be affected
- whether the country you wish to travel to will accept the document
To qualify for a Home Office travel document, apart from a one-way travel document you must be lawfully resident in the UK and:
- have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK or
- limited leave to remain with more than six months outstanding when you apply for a travel document
The type of travel document you can apply for depends on the qualifying group you are in. There are five qualifying groups:-
a) a refugee who has been granted asylum (Convention Travel Document - blue)
b) a stateless person (Stateless Person's document - red)
c) a person granted humanitarian protection for a limited period following a refused
asylum claim (Certificate of Travel - black)
d) a person granted indefinite leave to remain (Certificate of Travel - black)
e) a person granted exceptional or discretionary leave to enter for a limited
period but not as a refugee following a refused asylum claim. ( Certificate of Travel - black)
Categories c, d, and e also require other documentary evidence.
Note: not all countries accept travel documents. Before applying for a Home Office travel document, you should check with the embassy of the country you wish to travel to that they will accept the document.
Children have to apply for a separate travel document.
- under 16 may apply for a child's document
- 16 or over must apply for an adult document
Current cost for travel documents are:-
- Conventional travel document - £77.50 adult; £49 child
- Certificate of Travel - £ 238 adult; £149 child
The council policy is that we do not pay or contribute towards the cost.
How do I apply for a travel document?
- Go to the UK Border Agency website download the application form and guidance to help you fill in the form.
- Fill in the sections you can complete.
- Complete consent section.
- 17 or under - application must be signed by someone with parental responsibility. If there is no one with parental responsibility an explanation must be given for this.
- UASC who is also a Looked After Child - would need a letter of consent, provided at Director level, for all Looked After Children travelling outside the UK whether with a foster carer or not.
- 16 or over - can sign for yourself
- Declaration by Professional Person - Must be completed by a non relative and someone as defined in the following list:-
- Bank Manager
- minister of religion
- police officer
- prison officer
- probation officer
- *social worker
- Immigration Officer regulated by the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner at level one or above
- adviser accredited under the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme at probationer level or above
*This must be a Qualified Social Worker, and not any other social care staff. If you do not have a social worker, your Independent Reviewing Officer can sign the declaration.
3. Once you have completed and signed the form, send it off with the required
documents and photographs.
Only UASC with Refugee/Humanitarian status or have been Naturalised are able to apply for a British Passport. 18 and over can apply to become naturalised in their own right. You have to be aged 18 (most positive asylum claims will not be decided until 18). Read more about naturalisation on the UK Border Agency website »
Application for naturalisation requires two referees.
- The cost for naturalisation is £836.
- The cost a standard passport is £77.50.
The council's policy is that we do not pay for or contribute to these costs. Pathway plans for UASC will include planning savings for the naturalisation costs if relevant to the care leaver.
Application forms and photographs need to be countersigned by someone who has known you for two years, holds a current British or Irish passport and willing to write their passport number on the form. View the list of people who can be counter signatories.
Last updated: Mon 12 Dec 2011 at 11:07