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I am a holder of the UN 1951 Convention travel document issued by Malta - an EU country. I have been travelling within the Schengen area for many years. In one week I'm going to Denmark for a week and in August I'm travelling to Spain for one week as well, however my Convention travel document will expire at the end of October.

I've done some research online and I know that as an EU citizen, it is OK to travel to another Schengen country as long as one's passport is still valid until the last day (no 3/6-months rule applied). However I don't know if this also applies for a Convention travel document issued by an EU country.

Is there any expert out there who can give me a definitive answer please?

  • 1
    Do you mean your 1951 travel document expires, or that you hold a passport that expires? – Calchas Jul 5 '16 at 12:31
  • For a refugee, a 1951 Convention Travel Document = Passport. It usually expires after a couple of years then I renew it. This time it expires end of October 2016. – eu_traveller Jul 5 '16 at 12:34
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    It is a mistake to conflate those two terms. A UN travel document is not a passport, even if you use it like one. There is a technical difference. – Calchas Jul 5 '16 at 12:34
  • OK sure. That's not my question however. – eu_traveller Jul 5 '16 at 12:36
  • We know exactly what the convention travel documents are. That is why you were given the warning about not confusing it with a passport. – Michael Hampton Jul 5 '16 at 16:39
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+50

The short answer is, it seems you'll be ok.

It's hard to prove the opposite, because there's little detail about the validity of this document anywhere.

From searching through EU embassy websites and EU legal documents, they all claim to recognize the document but few specify what validity is accepted in case you don't need a visa. Denmark for example, only cares that you're a legal resident of Malta, Italy considers it equivalent to a passport.

23. Holders of valid travel documents issued under the Convention of 28 September 1954 Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, provided that the travel document has been issued by one of the EU/Schengen States

Holders of valid travel documents issued in accordance with the Convention of 28 September 1954 Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons may enter Denmark without any visa, provided that the travel document has been issued by one of the EU/Schengen States and that the holder is a legal resident of the EU/Schengen State that issued the travel document.

Belgium mentions it only need to be valid.

Condition générale: l'intéressé doit être en possession d'un document de voyage en cours de validité, délivré conformément aux règles [...], de la convention du 28 juillet 1951 relative au statut des réfugiés[...]. Les documents de voyage doivent contenir une autorisation de retour ayant une durée de validité suffisament longue.

According to the 1951 Convention, the travel document guarantees your right to return to the issuing country, in this case Malta, for the entire duration of the validity period.

Paragraph 13
1. Each Contracting State undertakes that the holder of a travel document issued by it in accordance with article 28 of this Convention shall be re- admitted to its territory at any time during the period of its validity.

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