I am traveling to Yerevan-Armenia from London with my daughter with a Refugee Travel Document issued by the UK. We have a few hours stay in Boryspil airport in Kyiv.

Do we need an airport transit visa?

  • 4
    What country issued the travel document, and what sort of travel document is it?
    – phoog
    Oct 11, 2021 at 21:20
  • 3
    united kingdom has issued it. It is like a passport and called Travel Document (Convention of July 28 1951)
    – Hadi
    Oct 11, 2021 at 22:51
  • 1
    I tried checking this via Timatic timaticweb2.com/integration/… but can’t get an answer without knowing the OP’s nationality
    – Traveller
    Oct 12, 2021 at 6:46
  • 2
    @Traveler at the bottom of the list is "staatenlos," meaning "stateless," which is the correct choice in this case since whatever the traveler's nationality, she lacks the documents to prove it. But it must be noted that if she is a refugee from Armenia then traveling to Armenia puts her refugee status in jeopardy, as noted in the Home Office document Asylum policy instruction: Revocation of refugee status (PDF).
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2021 at 7:11
  • 1
    @Traveller unfortunately lessons learned in one context do not always apply to others. I scanned the entire list to see whether there was also an entry representing refugee status, since that is legally distinct from statelessness, but I didn't see one. I suppose "staatenlos" is therefore the best remaining option.
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2021 at 8:26

2 Answers 2


Kyiv Boryspil airport has an international transfer area, so there's no need to go through passport and customs control between your flights. See "International to International Connections" on airport website

  • Are you sure people with a travel document that is not a passport can transit without a visa? If so, can you quote the relevant information? It being a transit area is no proof in itself.
    – Willeke
    Jan 27, 2022 at 16:29
  • there's nobody in the airport validating the travel documents except for airline workers at the gate. I was assuming that this travel document is acceptable by the airline, otherwise the issue would be raised when checking in in London
    – proggeo
    Jan 27, 2022 at 18:15
  • If you do not have a transit visa but do require it you will not be allowed onto the flight to that airport. And sometimes there are extra checks when you leave the plane before you are let go into the airport. Do not tell people they can travel unless you are sure they can. Being stopped in London is not their travel plan.
    – Willeke
    Jan 27, 2022 at 21:46
  • While your statement is factually correct, your reasoning is faulty. For example, Schengen countries have a concept of airport (or airside) transit visas (category A), which are required from some nationalities for them to be allowed to pass through international transit areas of airports. These visas are checked at check-in by airlines. Having said that, Ukraine does not have the concept of an airside transit visa.
    – ach
    Jan 28, 2022 at 9:58

Persons who have a Refugee Travel Document (Convention of July 28 1951) often (but not always) require a visa based on their nationality stated in the document. Some countrys require some form of endorsement in the document that the person may return to the issuing country.

2021-06-15: Entry regime to Ukraine for foreign citizens | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
If you are the holder of a refugee document (according to the Geneva Convention) or a stateless person, you always need a visa to enter

The linked 'visa to enter' page implies that a visa requirement is also needed for a transit visa, but since the OP has not stated their nationality/citizenship this cannot be checked with the visa checker that is offered on that page.

Stateless persons have a Certificate of identity (alien's passport): 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Some countrys require some form of endorsement in the document that the person may return to the issuing country.

The 1954 Convention was adopted to cover those stateless persons who are not refugees and who are not, therefore, covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention.

  • A person with a 1951 document could be stateless. I would say "not necessarily stateless." More significantly, no country that I'm aware of grants visa exemptions based on the nationality stated in a document issued by a third country.
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2021 at 9:25
  • @phoog From this (unofficial) site: Refugee Travel Document Visa Free Countries in 2021: see UK refugee travel document: The Netherlands seems to make a distinction as apposed to some other Schengen countries that don't require a visa for a UK refugee travel document holder. Oct 12, 2021 at 9:57
  • That's Article 1(C)(2), but you omit the rest of the sentence, "...he has voluntarily reacquired it." You also overlook the second part of Article 1(A)(2), which applies the convention to those (among others) who "not having a nationality and being outside the country of [their] former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2021 at 10:16
  • It is true that some countries do not require visas of refugee travel document holders, often basing this exemption on the country that issued the refugee travel document, but they do not distinguish based on the nationality of the refugee.
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2021 at 10:19
  • @phoog The 1954 convention states explicitly that it only covers stateless persons that are not already covered by the 1951 convention. I have removed that portion and added a remark under the 1954 text. Oct 12, 2021 at 11:29

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