I would like to ask if anyone who has a valid resident permit, along with a passport that is deemed unrecognized in the UK, face travel issues? Especially when coming back into the country (UK)?
I've moved to the UK recently on a settlement visa and as a Technology Advisor I've to travel outside of UK for work (particularly to African countries). But as a Somali passport holder, I've what they call a UFF (the vignette/paper where the entry clearance visa is stamped) which is a 'de facto' travel document for us - as the UK does not recognize the Somali passport.
Now the issue is this: Although I've a valid BRP, but because I've an unrecognized passport, I must always keep the UFF/visa paper with me at all times - EVEN though it has expired and was valid for one-time travel.
The reason being is that the UK Borders actually assign you their own version of a Passport Number on the visa stamp which is different that your own passport number. This can be clearly seen because the two numbers are not identical at all, and boarding agents at the airports always use those two items for clearance (BRP + Old visa paper) to enter you into the system for boarding.
And for this sole reason, I've to have 1) my passport 2)BRP 3) an old expired visa paper which acts as a travel document at all times of travel.
Now The Issues:
Many of the airlines/airports check-in staff don't know or understand this, especially in the regions where I've to go for work.
Although, a few well-known travel hubs do know and understand the situation (e.g. Dubai) and let me board, I've been having extremely unpleasant issues with some cities where I'm not allowed to board - even though they clearly see that I've a valid BRP. They ask for a valid UFF/paper with visa on it - which I cannot get because my BRP has already been issued.
So has anyone here faced issues like this? If yes, how have you overcome it? I have been advised to apply for the Certificate of Travel (COT), but going through the requirements, I obviously don't meet them:
Appreciate it and thanks everyone!To be eligible for a COT, applicants must have been formally and unreasonably refused a passport by their own authorities and have either been:
- granted indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, or
- refused asylum, but granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave to remain in the UK