Application process: refugee travel document
Submitting an application
To submit an application for a refugee travel document, visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in person.
- Each applicant must submit an application of their own, even children under the age of 18.
- Children under the age of 18 must be present at the service point of the Finnish Immigration Service when they apply for a refugee travel document.
- If you already have a refugee travel document, submit a new application before your current refugee travel document expires. Apply for a new refugee travel document approximately three months before your passport expires.
- You cannot fill in the application form beforehand. Instead, an employee at the Finnish Immigration Service will print out a form for you, which you will then have to sign.
Before you visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service, book an appointment in our appointment system.
- At the service point, you will need to pay the processing fee for the application, and your fingerprints will be taken, as well as the fingerprints of all applicants who are at least 12 years of age.
Bring with you the attachments needed for the application:
- a passport photo complying with the photo guidelines issued by the police or a photograph retrieval code you received from a photo shop
- an identity document
- a passport issued by your country of nationality or your previous refugee travel document
- If you have previously been granted a refugee travel document, attach it to your application or return it to the Finnish Immigration Service before you receive your new refugee travel document. The Finnish Immigration Service is not able to give you the new travel document before you have handed over the previous one.
- When a child under the age of 18 is applying for a refugee travel document, the child’s parents or guardians or the legal representative of the child must provide a written consent to the child’s application for a refugee travel document. The child's parents or guardians or the legal representative can either fill in a separate consent form or in some other way express their consent in writing. The form is available at the service point. The consent form or statement must be signed by the parent, guardian or legal representative of the child.
Pay the processing fee when you submit the application.
A refugee travel document is valid for a maximum of five years.
If your refugee travel document is lost or damaged
- Report the loss of your refugee travel document to the police.
- If your refugee travel document is damaged, visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to apply for a new one.
- If your refugee travel document is lost or damaged when you are outside Finland:
- Contact a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate). A Finnish mission can grant you an alien’s passport that is valid for a maximum of one moth so that you can return to Finland.
1. Processing of the application
- See the expected processing time at the top of this page. You can also use the Processing Time Checker on our website to get an estimate of the processing time.
- If you have also applied for a residence permit, the applications will be processed and decided simultaneously.
- If we notice that something is missing from your application or if we need additional information from you, we will contact you.
- It is not possible to speed up the processing of the application because of a holiday trip abroad. We do not recommend booking a trip before you have received your alien’s passport.
2. Supplementing or cancelling your application
If you need to add information or documents to your application, you can send the additional information:
- by post; or
- by email.
- If you choose to send the information by email, please use encrypted email. For instructions on how to send encrypted email to the Finnish Immigration Service, see the page Contact information.
- It is also possible to bring your documents to an office or service point of the Finnish Immigration Service during opening hours. Our service points have a postbox meant for additional documents. Put your documents in the box.
You can cancel your application at any time before a decision has been made. If you cancel your application, the Finnish Immigration Service will stop processing it and makes a decision on the expiry of your application. You cannot appeal the expiry decision to an administrative court.
- If you wish to cancel your application, send a free-form written notification of this to the Finnish Immigration Service in English, Finnish or Swedish.
- Remember to date and sign the notification.
- Mention in the notification why you are cancelling your application.
3. Decision and notification of the decision
The Finnish Immigration Service will post your decision as a registered letter or with advice of delivery to the address that you have given to the Finnish Immigration Service.
- If the decision is positive, you will receive your travel document together with it.
- The period during which you may appeal against the decision begins on the day when the decision has been served on you.
- Please collect the letter as soon as you have received an arrival notification by post. Read the arrival notification to see where you can collect the letter and when is the last possible day to claim the letter.
- You will need to prove your identity at the post office. A list of identity documents accepted by post offices can be found on Posti’s website.
- If you do not have an identity document accepted by post offices, you can give a written authorisation to a person who has an accepted identity document.
- More information on using a power of attorney can be found on Posti’s website. There is also a sample power of attorney that you can fill in.
- If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal against the decision to an administrative court. Instructions on how to appeal will be attached to the decision.
- Processing an appeal in an administrative court is subject to a fee. For more information about court fees, please contact the relevant administrative court.
- When you appeal against a decision of the Finnish Immigration Service, the Finnish Immigration Service is no longer the authority that is responsible for processing the matter. This means that if you have questions about the matter or wish to submit additional information or documents, you need to contact your legal counsel or the administrative court that is processing your matter.
Refugee travel document
- Book an appointment for visiting a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.
- Make an application at the service point. An employee of the Finnish Immigration Service will verify your identity. The employee will print out a form for you to sign.
- The Finnish Immigration Service processes the application and issues a decision.
- The decision will be served on you. You will either receive a registered letter or an advice of delivery letter.
- a) Positive decision: You will receive your refugee travel document together with the decision. You may appeal against the decision.
- b) Negative decision: You may appeal against the decision to an administrative court.