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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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can i get a british travel document if i have indefite leave

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can i get a british travel document if i have indefite leave to remain
Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. Has your Zimbabwe passport expired?
2. Have you spoken to the Zimbabwean embassy about getting a replacement?
Kind regards.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it got damaged in the washing machine and when i went to the zimbabwean embassy to try and re-apply for a new one, they said that i needed a national identity card which i currently do not have. they said that i have to go back to zimbabwe to get an identity card and then apply from there. but my mother canot afford to finance the fares to go there

Can you still read the passport?

Can you identify you from the passport?

Can you identify that you have your indefinite leave to remain stamp in your passport?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no i acnnot read anything. the only thing that proves that it is mine is the dotted numbers at the bottom of the passport pages.. otherwise it is completely damaged. you can see that there was a visa on the page but it is very unclear. i did get an email from the british high commission in pretoria(south africa) with my reference number and type of visa and the sponser's name and the relationship.


Thanks for your question.

Travel documents are temporary documents which permit the holder to travel from one country to another. It does not mean that they can travel for free and they must still have a flight ticket I’m afraid.

You would not need a UK travel document to travel back to Zimbabwe, you would need a travel document issued by the Zimbabwean Embassy. This is the only document which will allow you to travel to Zimbabwe at present if your passport is damaged.

You need in the first instance to arrange for someone to fund you to buy a flight ticket. Do not book it yet because you need to be sure that you can travel on the flight, which means that you need to have your travel document.

I would arrange with someone who can lend you money, or buy you the ticket, or work until you have enough money to buy it yourself and then go to the Zimbabwe embassy and apply for a travel document to return to SA.

Once the travel document has been issued you can book your flight tickets and return to get your ID card and replace your passport.

The UKBA will hold details of the fact that you have obtained ILR, particularly if you have got it recently (eg. Last ten years) but you should retain your current passport as partial proof of your status and also to substantiate your circumstances in the future.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i do not want to travel to zimbabwe or anywhere at the moment as i cannot afford it. all i want is a document that will allow me to do everything i need, like obtain NI, college, register with the GP as i have not done any of these and i cannot be offered any services that i am entitled to. i am also in college which means travelling to zimbabwe will affect my course as i do not know how long it will take



Ultimately the document that can prove your identity and right to remain in the UK and work is your passport. That is the problem.

A travel document is a document strictly for the purpose of travelling. It does not confirm your right to work and would not be accepted as proof of your identity for the purpose of claiming benefits and or obtaining an NI number.

Only your passport can do that and this is your only option. If there are no other avenues to funds your flight ticket home then you have to ask your embassy to pay for it. Most embassies will do so under exceptional circumstances and they are there to help citizens of their countries so you really need to press them for assistance here.

Also you should speak to your college about your position and ask them to permit you time off in this regard.

Getting a replacement passport is your only option. Ask them again about a replacement passport to see if you were given the correct advice and then plead poverty to them in order to get a flight ticket back.

I appreciate that it must be frustrating but this is the only way to solve your problem unfortunately.

Trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you