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Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

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n8net
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Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by n8net » Sat May 01, 2021 10:06 am

Hi,

any1 know if UK issued Refugee passport holders (as per 1952 convention and a.k.a Blue passport) are normally eligible for the US's Visa Waiver Program ? i.e Do not require visa, just ESTA as British passport holders?

has this changed because of Covid presidential proclamations?

thanks for any advice/info in advance

secret.simon
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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by secret.simon » Sat May 01, 2021 11:09 am

Unlikely.

The US Embassy in the UK's website specifically excludes even British non-citizen nationals (BOTCs, BOCs, BNOs, British subjects and BPPs) with British passports from applying for ESTA. So a Refugee Travel Document issued by the UK will also likely not count.

As an aside, the document issued to refugees for the purpose of international travel are not passports, but travel documents. A passport is a form of travel document, but not all travel documents are passports (i.e. passports are a subset of travel documents). Other forms of travel documents that are not passports are UN issued laissez-passers, for instance.

The US ESTA seems to specifically require passports and I am not sure whether that includes other travel documents or not.

Even after one becomes a British citizen and acquire a British passport, their past travel history and your citizenships may also be relevant. Since 2016, those who have previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011, or who are dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan or Syria, are not eligible to travel under the VWP.
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n8net
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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by n8net » Sat May 01, 2021 12:26 pm

thanks Simon, I would have thought so too.

Even British passports look like only those that have electronic chip are eligible.

But, the Blue Passport .i.e Travel document also has a chip so and given it is issued by UK thought may have the same treatment from VWP.

To be sure I think one needs to contact the US Embassy directly?

secret.simon
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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by secret.simon » Sat May 01, 2021 12:34 pm

In the link above, click on the section at the bottom for "U.K. passport holders", for more information.

Not even all biometric British passports are eligible for ESTA/VWP. Fully biometric British Passports issued to British non-citizen nationals (BOCs, BOTCs, etc) are not eligible for ESTA/VWP.

If a biometric British passport issued to a British Overseas Citizen (or any other British non-citizen national) is not valid for an ESTA/VWP, I doubt that a British issued Refugee Travel Document would be valid for that purpose.

That link above even explicitly states that passports with a Right of Abode endorsement in it (which also generally, but not always, denotes British citizenship) does not count for the purpose of ESTA/VWP.

Simply put, the only British issued travel documents valid for ESTA/VWP are biometric British passports issued to British citizens.
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CULLINAN
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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by CULLINAN » Fri May 07, 2021 4:01 am

You need to apply for a US visa on a HOTD. Note, usually US/Canada refuses visa on a HOTD.
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n8net
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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by n8net » Fri May 07, 2021 3:55 pm

yes, even on the ETSA website when you apply there is no option to select Travel document..

@ccullian what is HOTD pls?

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Re: Travelling to US on Refugee(Blue) Passport

Post by CR001 » Fri May 07, 2021 4:01 pm

Home Office Travel Document
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