Travel documents


Country Report: Travel documents Last updated: 09/05/24


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Convention Travel Documents are issued to persons granted refugee status with a three-year validity.[1] The only limitation to the areas of travel is the country of origin of the refugee. Up to 2020, the Convention Travel Documents issued did not meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and, although it was not in most cases an obstacle for refugees to travel to the Schengen Area, which is the most common destination, there were often complaints of being stopped by various airport immigration authorities, at times for hours, due to the travel document. In 2020, new travel documents were issued which comply with the requirements.

Up to 2020, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection were issued with a one-page travel document valid for a one-journey trip (laissez passer), which were very problematic as the vast majority of countries did not accept these, including the Schengen Area. In mid-2020, the CRMD announced the issuance of the travel documents which led to high demand by Syrian nationals’ holders of subsidiary protection as they had been waiting for many years in order to visit relatives mainly in the EU. Due to an influx of requests, the Department announced that travel documents would only be issued for subsidiary protection holders who do not have access to a national passport and a preliminary examination would be carried out to examine this prior to issuing travel documents.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the issue remains problematic as in most cases the procedure to apply cannot even be accessed as the application will not be received and as a result the CRMD does not issue a negative decision which would require justification. Evidently, to date travel documents are not issued by the CRMD for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, including cases of a stateless person, with very limited exceptions mostly for cases of persons with serious medical issues which require transfer for medical procedures out of Cyprus with the support of the Ministry of Health.[2]



[1] Article 22 Refugee Law.

[2] Information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation