I had refugee protection in Italy under the Geneva convention with a Refugee Travel Document. Except for Schengen countries, what other countries can I travel to with this document and don't need a visa.

2 Answers 2


Depends a little on whether they're Schengen, who it was issued by (in this case Italy), and what the countries you want to travel to think about your country.

The Refugee Travel Document is like a faux passport, allowing you to exit and return to the country that issued it. You're not a citizen (usually) so can't get a passport. Makes sense.

Now of course you'll enter another country with this document instead of a passport, so they have to decide whether to recognise it. Not all will, especially some Middle East and SE Asian countries. Instead of listing them all out, as they may change, I'll refer you to this:

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees - has a map of the (currently) 145 states which are parties to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and are obliged to issue travel documents to refugees lawfully resident in their territory, as well as ones who only signed the 1967 Protocol.

Even if they do recognise and will issue documents, you may still need to meet the regular requirements for a visa (eg tourist visa for Cuba, or invitation for Russia), that nationals of your country do, or indeed, potentially additional requirements that the destination country may impose on you, given your refugee status.

As a result, t's always best to check with your state department equivalent before you travel, to ensure your eligibility, as international politics and policies do change.

  • 3
    It's one thing whether the 1951 convention document is recognized as a travel document, but note that even where it is, holders will generally need visas for just about everywhere too -- even when nationals of the state that issued the document don't. Jun 18, 2017 at 9:48
  • @HenningMakholm sorry, yes, I started down that path with "they have to decide whether to recognise it" and then forgot. I'll add it in.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jun 18, 2017 at 10:02
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    "That nationals of your country do": no. Nationals of a country enjoy relaxed immigration requirements by presenting that county's passport. A national of country X traveling on a document issued by country Y is generally not treated like a national of either country.
    – phoog
    Jun 18, 2017 at 14:06
  • " best to check with your state department equivalent before you travel" - I'm not sure if they would be very helpful when it comes to questions on visiting other countries. Maybe it's best to ask the local consulate instead?
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 29, 2017 at 17:57

There are certain countries you can travel without a visa with I-571. Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium are one of them.

  • Technically, it's not an I-571, it's a documenti di viaggio
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 16, 2017 at 18:41
  • Can you add some details / references for your answer?
    – VMAtm
    Oct 16, 2017 at 18:49
  • @VMAtm if thats for I-571 then I called and checked with embassy as well you can see here timaticweb2.com.
    – Thehot Guy
    Oct 16, 2017 at 19:58
  • Personally me do not understand anything in linked resource. Can you add here, in your answer, quotes and references?
    – VMAtm
    Oct 16, 2017 at 20:23

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