Travelling abroad for refugees

Can I travel outside Germany?

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Do you wish to pack your bags and go away for a while? Whether you want to travel for work- or family-related reasons or would like to have a holiday abroad, it is not always clear which countries you are permitted to go to as a refugee. Here we try to clarify which countries you are allowed to travel to with your residence status and travel document as a refugee.

In principle, Foreign citizens in Germany are required to have a valid passport or a substitute passport. The issuing and renewal of foreign citizens' passports is usually the responsibility of the embassy or consulate of their country of origin. This general rule, however, does not apply to individuals entitled to asylum and the refugees recognised under the Geneva Refugee Convention- Same is the case for stateless individuals, persons entitled to subsidiary protection or those with a national ban on deportation who have no chance of obtaining a passport from their home country. The mentioned groups are often issued a passport replacement document ("Passersatzpapier") in Germany, which exists in three forms:

  • The travel document for refugees (Known as "Blauer Pass" or "Blue Passport")
  • The travel document for stateless persons
  • The travel document for foreigners

In principle, you will be handed the travel document for refugees together with your residence permit at the Immigration Office. Learn more about the travel document for refugees in our chapter "Blue Passport". As a stateless person or someone who is residing in Germany under subsidiary protection or due to a national ban on deportation, you must apply for the travel document for foreigners and stateless persons ("Grey Passport" or "Grauer Pass") at the relevant Immigration Office. You will need to prove to the authorities that it is not likely or feasible for you to obtain a passport from your home country.

Can I travel abroad?

I have a travel document for refugees ("Blue Passport")

I have a travel document for foreigners or stateless persons ("Grauer Pass")

I have a passport from my country of origin

I have a temporary residence permit ("Aufenthaltsgestattung") or a tolerated stay ("Duldung")

Important

If you reside in Germany as an asylum-seeker, recognised refugee, or an individual entitled to subsidiary protection or a national ban on deportation, you should not travel to your home country. If the Immigration Office or the BAMF learn about you visiting your country, they can initiate a revocation procedure as a result of which you could lose your right of residence in Germany.