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Refugee Travel Document - Frequently Asked Questions


Can my Refugee Travel Document application be denied?

Yes, a Refugee Travel Document may not be issued to you if:

  • You have already been issued such a document and it is still valid, unless the prior document has been returned to the USCIS, or you can demonstrate that it was lost
  • A notice was published in the Federal Register that precludes the issuance of such a document for travel to the area where you intend to go

How can I appeal a denial of Refugee Travel Document?

If your application for a Refugee Travel Document is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal

  • Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial
  • Your appeal must be filed on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeals Unit
  • The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision
  • After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC

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Can travel abroad still have severe consequences, even if I have obtained Refugee Travel Document?

Yes, if you depart the U.S. after being unlawfully present in the U.S. for a certain period, you may be barred from admission, even if you have obtained Refugee Travel Document.

  • If you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days but less than one year and depart voluntarily before the start of removal proceedings, you may be inadmissible for three years
  • If you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or more, you may be inadmissible for ten years
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