My friend wants to travel with me on a trip to Detroit. The problem is he only has a 1951 convention travel document as he is an Iranian refugee and has been living in the UK for four years.

Also does he need any kind of visa before going?

  • You should specify which convention, there is one about travel documents for stateless people that US did not ratify. I take it that you mean a 1951 convention travel document?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:25
  • Not actually an answer but this seems relevant
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:33
  • Yes the 1951 convention travel document. :)
    – user16684
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:44
  • 2
    That's the one the US ratified so that's a good thing (the other one is the 1954 convention). I would tend to think a visa is required (he definitely does not qualify for the visa waiver program, which is based on citizenship and require a machine readable passport) but I am unable to find authoritative information on that. You should probably contact the local US consulate as soon as possible. Try to get some information in writing as well as it's possible the airline would not be familiar with his situation and would be tempted to deny boarding even if he has the right to visit the US.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


He will need to get a U.S. visa, like any other foreigner without a passport from a visa-free or visa-waiver country. What type of visa depends on what he is going to the U.S. for; e.g. for tourism probably B2 or B1/B2.

  • 2
    A relevant reference would be helpful.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 2:55

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