TRAVEL DOCUMENT UPDATE:
Applications for the new version of Irish Travel Document are now being accepted. Details of how to apply are detailed below.
What is a travel document?
A travel document is a document which assists qualifying non Irish nationals who are resident in the State to travel. The type of Travel Document issued will depend on the specific personal circumstances of the applicant.
An Irish Travel Document is not a substitute or a replacement for a national passport.
Only persons who can establish an entitlement to an Irish Travel Document may be issued with same. They are issued by the Travel Document Section, Ministerial Decisions Unit, Repatriation Division, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13/14, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
Who is entitled to an Irish travel document?
The State (Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service) is obliged to issue travel documents to persons granted protection in accordance with:
- The 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Article 28) and The Refugee Act, 1996 (Article 4)
- The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (Article 28)
There is also provision to grant travel documents to persons/dependents of those granted protection who do not possess or are unable to procure a national passport in accordance with :
- Section 18 (6) of the Refugee Act, 1996
- Regulation 24 of the European Union (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013
- Programme refugees who are on the Department of Foreign Affairs list of persons who qualify for such a document can apply for travel documents in accordance with Section 24 of the Refugee Act, 1996.
How to apply for a travel document?
Persons wishing to apply for a travel document must complete an application form, have it endorsed by a member of the Garda Siochana and then send that completed form by Registered Post to this office. Applicants should note that applications take approximately 6-8 weeks to process and they should not make any travel arrangements until they have received their travel document. The form must be accompanied by the following:
- Administration fee: €80 payable by postal order/bank draft only. The postal order/bank draft should be made payable to the Secretary General, Department of Justice & Equality. The fee is payable for all applications
- Four passport size photographs, two of which are endorsed on the back by a member of An Garda Síochána and two of which are blank. Your face should take up 70-80% of the frame. Full details of passport photograph requirements, including requirements for children, can be found on this page.
- Copy of letter from the Department of Justice granting you permission to remain in the State.
- Copy of current Garda National Immigration Bureau(GNIB) registration card. The name on your GNIB card must match the name on your permission to remain letter.
- Return of existing travel document in the event that their existing one is full or expired if applicable.
Additional supporting documentation required to facilitate the issuing of a travel document can be ascertained from the checklist found on the application form.
Can I include my children on my travel document?
No, it is no longer possible to have the names of any children under 16 years, whose names were included in the letter granting refugee status or any other permission, and who are residing with the refugee or legally resident non-EEA national in the State included on a parent’s travel document. Children must make applications in their own right through their parent(s) for their own travel document.
All applications for children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by their original birth certificate and evidence that the child is residing in Ireland.
If the child is over 5 years of age, an up to date letter (not more than one week old) from their school confirming their school attendance is required. If the child is under 5 years of age, an up to date letter (not more than one week old) from their doctor (GP) confirming the child is registered with their practice is required.
Four passport sized photographs one of which must be signed at the back by the school or doctor (GP). The Department may seek details as to the nature and length of the proposed trip.
Do I need a visa to re-enter the State?
Holders of Irish travel documents issued under the 1951 Geneva Convention do not require an Irish re- entry visa to re-enter the State. A "Visa" may however be required to enter some other countries. The onus is on the travel document holder to contact the Embassy/High Commission of the country he/she intends to visit to find out if an entry visa is required.
Alternative travel document holders may require re-entry visas to re-enter the State. Further details can be obtained from the Visa Section of the INIS website and/or from "firstname.lastname@example.org".
What is the validity of a travel document?
- 1951 UN Convention Travel Document – valid up to 10 Years
- 1954 Convention Travel Document – valid up to 10 years
- For the issue of a Travel Document to children under 5 years of age, valid up to 5 years
- For the issue of a Travel Document to children aged 5 to 17 years of age, valid up to 10 years
Alternative Travel Document
- Validity of all Travel Documents in this category will be restricted to generally coincide with the expiry date of your Certificate of Registration (GNIB Card)
Further information regarding travel documents
Only persons granted a declaration pursuant to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Article 28) and the Refugee Act, 1996 (Article 4) are entitled to a 1951 UN Convention Travel Document recognising them as such a person.
Only persons granted a declaration pursuant to The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (Article 28) are entitled to a 1954 UN Convention Travel Document recognising them as such a person.
Only persons and/or their family dependants granted a declaration pursuant to Regulation 24 of the European Union (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013 who do not possess or are unable to procure a national passport may be issued with an Irish Travel Document recognising them as such a person.
An alternative travel document may issue in some very exceptional cases to a person who has been granted leave to remain in the State and does not have a passport depending on the reason. In such cases the person concerned has to show that they have made reasonable and formal efforts to obtain a national passport and that it has been formally and unreasonably refused. This alternative travel document however would only issue in exceptional circumstances usually for the purpose of seeking urgent medical treatment, humanitarian reasons, procuring a national passport, etc. The condition under which a national passport is issued or renewed is essentially a matter between the citizen and their national government.
Travel Document Unit