Not planning to return, 17, Polish, no ID, no passport.

Need to at least enter the Schengen zone (because it has no checks. - True?)

Where most likely can I leave with maybe just driving license or invalid passport etc?

Will things improve if I prove that I bought a ticket?

What about that I want to attend school in Poland and have not attended any since?

@CMaster Yes, I have. The best answer I got from them was to wait until next month (about.. :/) or write an appeal (don't know exact translation) to be considered earlier (I don't know how much, writing it now). Looking to be in Poland at latest Saturday

@Him Thank You, which airports? How to be let through? I found Polish high school certificate (it has my PESEL (National Identification)) number, I've: banking card, facebook profile with pictures, I can make calls, someone can meet me at airport.

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    Have you contacted the polish embassy regarding emergency travel documents?
    – CMaster
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 23:57
  • 2
    Do you have an expired Polish passport? Or no proof of Polish nationality at all?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 0:07
  • 1
    What's wrong with prompting an Administrative Removal? It seems you want to go through a lot of machinations when an AR will serve the same purpose in a less complicated way. Or alternatively, are you seeking an exit port where you can evade control altogether? Both of those options are feasible, but it's not clear to me which one you are really after.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:20
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    So you have absolutely no document to prove your identity? Leaving the UK might be less of a problem than entering the Schengen area.
    – o.m.
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 6:40
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    How did you get in the UK in the first place?
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 10:08

2 Answers 2


The proper way to leave a country where you are stuck without travel document is to get an emergency travel document from your country's embassy/consulate. Having to wait a month to get one when there is apparently no doubt regarding your identity and citizenship is unheard of for me, the Polish diplomatic service seems completely dysfunctional. I am not a Polish citizen but when I needed one from my own country it took one business day (and a week-end of anxiety because while I could contact the embassy on Saturday, they needed to contact people back home during business hours to verify my data before doing anything).

That said, even if your consulate is unhelpful or disorganised, you depend on them when you are abroad so stay calm and polite, never get aggressive and try to work with them even if they make you jump through hoops. Explain your difficulties, keep asking what you could do, if there are alternatives, etc. If they want you to write an appeal/request, do that. Even if you don't have enough time and money to produce a legally sound document, a sincere and heartfelt letter might give them the cover they need to make an exception for you.

If you positively cannot get anything from the Polish embassy, traveling to Poland on your own would seem very difficult.

  • Leaving the UK is not a big problem per se. Historically, passports were invented specifically to prevent people from leaving their country but today it's regarded as a basic human right, you don't need to fulfill many requirements like you do when entering a country. Consequently, exit checks are not usually designed to stop people from leaving but only to record overstayers and/or catch people who are sought by the justice system. The border guards will however want to establish your ID to be able to check whether there is an arrest warrant or some sort of warning about you.

  • In your situation, one additional issue is that you are a minor. Border guards might be concerned that you have run away or are otherwise in danger. Anything you can get from your parents/legal guardian (ideally an official document if there is such a thing in Poland or a notarised/translated letter but if nothing else have your parents fax over a handwritten note or something).

  • If anything, it should be easier to enter your own country rather than another Schengen country. If you manage to show up at a Polish airport, border guards might keep you a few hours to make verifications but they will eventually let you in (plus you speak the language so communication should be easier). In some cases, a recently expired passport is officially accepted so if you have one it might be enough to board a plane and enter Poland without issues.

  • The problem is that if you are leaving by air, the airline will want to establish your identity for security reasons and to make sure you are entitled to enter your destination (because they are liable for a fine if they did not check properly). Without some sort of travel document (even an expired one would be better than none), it will be nearly impossible to board an international flight out of the UK.

  • I don't think the lack of control on internal borders in the Schengen area helps you much. It's true that if you make it to France or the Netherlands, it should be easy to go to Poland. Even in the current context, I would not expect any ID check on this itinerary. But you first need to enter the Schengen area itself.

    As EU citizen, there are special rules that might work to your advantage but in principle you still need an official ID card or passport (also to prove you are an EU citizen in the first place!) If you want to try it anyway (ideally at a train station rather than by air, to minimize cost/damage and avoid the middle man), try to take as many documents as possible (expired passport/ID, anything with your name and photo on it, copy of your birth act to establish your citizenship…) but it's a long shot.

  • Alternatively, you might try to leave by ferry or by train (e.g. Eurostar). In that case, French and British border controls are co-located so you might be able to talk to a French border guard instead of dealing with an airline employee. But you still have no way to prove you are entitled to enter the Schengen area.

  • Finally, one easy way to leave the UK is through the Republic of Ireland. There are no border checks there but once you are in Ireland, you have the same problem with airlines and the Schengen area all over again. One small difference is that there are ferries to France and I am not sure whether there are exit checks so you might be able to make it to the French territory. But you still have to deal with the Schengen entry check there. You could also give the Polish embassy in Dublin a shot, maybe they are more helpful than in London.

  • 1
    Ferries are included in the same Statutory Instrument. As are trains and buses.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 14:31
  • @GayotFow It's a very long time since I last took a ferry, I wasn't sure anymore, thanks! Do you happen to know about Ireland by any chance? Are there exit checks there?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:28
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    I don't know what the trains are like now, but in the early 00's I took the Amsterdam-to-Berlin train a few times, and the frequency of document checks between the last Dutch and first German stations was high (like every time). Especially in the current climate, the risk of running into a document check is significant. This would bring with it the risk of being fined, at least in the Netherlands, and, I suspect, also in Germany.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 4:16
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    You never need a passport to re-enter your own country, though the officials may well delay you just because of the inconvenience. And your suggestion about the invention of passports is -idiosyncratic. But this is still a very good answer. Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 18:27
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    @TimLymington It might be little known but it's not idiosyncratic, I am not making this stuff up! IIRC I got it from this book chs.revues.org/745
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 21:34

I am not sure how much of this is possible now, but:

  1. You should file a police report for your lost passport (even if its expired).
  2. Take the police report to the Polish embassy and ask for an emergency travel document. Don't ask for a replacement passport (which may take longer). You should also provide some proof of your Polish nationality; but start off with who you are - since it seems you have no proof of identification right now. Anything with your name and picture that was issued in Poland - you should bring with you to the Polish embassy.

The main issue is that you need to convince the border authorities that you are entitled entry into the Schengen zone (or whatever other country you are trying to get to).

As you have no government-issued identification, this should be your primary focus.

Even if you were able to exit the UK without any documentation, as the UK is not party to the Schengen agreement - you would be subject to immigration controls and not having a way to prove who you are will lead to major problems.

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    An airline is not the only way to leave the UK, he could take the train, for example. Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 8:46
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    The UK has imposed exit checks on all commercial air, sea and rail transport by now, so s/he is likely to have problems leaving the UK as well as getting into Schengen. But apart from your last sentence, your practical advice for what s/he should do sounds exactly right.
    – djr
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:12
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    Sure: bbc.com/news/uk-32205970 It's nothing to do with the current security situation, it's to do with the government wanting to be stricter on immigration issues.
    – djr
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:32
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    I've left the UK several times by air since April. If there are exit checks (where I left from), they are being done by airlines passing passenger details on. My identity documents were not inspected by border officals (or frequently anyone at all) before I left the country,
    – CMaster
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 13:43
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    Yes, the exit checks are done by the airlines passing on passenger information: gov.uk/government/publications/… It seems to be standard that at the boarding gate the airline staff check that the name on your boarding pass matches the one on your passport, and the picture in your passport matches your face.
    – djr
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 23:09

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