Who is entitled to a Blue Passport?

You can obtain a passport for fugitives ("Blue Pass") if your right to asylum or refugee status has been recognised in Germany. According to Article 28 of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, you are, in principle, entitled to a travel document. Only individuals who, for instance, have been convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation are not entitled to a travel document.

Those entitled to subsidiary protection or a national deportation ban cannot obtain a travel document for refugees. If that is the case you must ask for a passport at your home country's embassy. If the embassy does not issue you a passport, you can apply for a Travel Permit for Foreigners („Reiseausweis für Ausländer“) at the relevant Immigration Office („Ausländerbehörde”). You can learn more about it in our chapter “Traveling Abroad”.  

Please note: If you have been granted subsidiary protection or have a residence permit due to a national deportation ban and are appealing BAMF's decision, you must not visit your home country's embassy. If you do so, the BAMF assumes that you are not being persecuted in your home country.

Which countries can I travel to with my Blue Passport?

The Blue Passport enables you to travel to all the countries which have signed the Geneva Refugee Convention, i.e. more than 100 countries a list of which you can find on fluechlingskonvention.de. To travel to many of these countries, however, you must apply for a visa in advance. Then the respective country will decide whether you must be issued an entry visa or not.

As someone who holds a Blue Passport, you must not travel to your home country under any circumstances. If the Immigration Office or the BAMF finds out that you have visited your home country, your right to asylum or recognition as a refugee will be revoked and you will lose your right of residence in Germany.

Please note: You do not have any claim to diplomatic or consular protection by Germany outside the German territory.

Which countries can I travel to visa-free?

You can travel to the so-called “Schengen states” if:

  • Your stay does not exceed 3 months and
  • you do not work there.

You can find a list of current Schengen member states at auswaertiges-amt.de.

How long can I travel?

You can travel abroad for up to six ensuing months. If you are not in Germany or travelling abroad for more than six months because you want to live somewhere else, you can lose your residence permit and consequently, your Blue Passport.

Where and how can I get a Blue Passport?

The local Immigration Office will issue your passport. In principle, you will receive it along with your residence permit. 

You have to pay for your travel document, even if you are receiving social benefits (e.g. from Job Centre). The amount you pay depends on your age and status and can be as high as 100 Euro.

You will also need a biometric passport photo (which you can take in a photo booth or photo studio), a proof of residence (registration or „Anmeldung“) and a document acknowledging your asylum rights or refugee status. Usually, the immigration authority takes six to eight weeks to issue your travel ID.

You can find the immigration office responsible for you at bamf.de.

What is an e-Pass (“eReiseausweis”)?

Since November 2007, the travel documents are provided with an electronic chip and are therefore called e-Travel Document or e-Pass. For more security, your data is stored electronically in a chip. That is why the Immigration Office takes your fingerprints before issuing a travel ID. This data can only be read with special devices and by authorities. Your fingerprints, in particular, are protected and can only be accessed by the countries that have received special access rights from Germany. You have the right to see this data on an e-Pass reader in the Immigration Office.

How long is my Blue Passport valid for?

Your Blue Passport is valid as long as your residence permit. So “Travel Document for Refugees” or “Blue Passport” is valid for about three years. Afterwards, you have to apply for a new travel document.

Apply for a new Blue Passport preferably two to three months before the expiration of your current passport. Find out more in our chapter "Residence Permit".

I have lost my passport

In case you lose your passport, you must report this to the police immediately. Check your police chapter to learn how. In case you find your passport again, the police should be informed promptly. You will need to apply for a new passport at the local immigration office. You can find the Immigration Office responsible for you on bamf.de.

I have changed my place of residence- what should I do?

If you move within Germany, you must have the new address entered in your documents (residence permit and Blue Passport). You can find out more about this in our chapter Registration.

Important: If you have a so-called "residence restriction" (“Wohnsitzzuweisung”), you may only move with the permission of the immigration authorities. You can find out more about this in our chapter Looking for an apartment in the section "Can I move to another city or municipality?".

Is the Blue Passport the same as „Blaue Karte EU“?

From a legal point of view, the EU Blue Card has nothing to do with protection provided for refugees, and it is not a passport. The EU Blue Card is a residence permit for highly qualified individuals from non-EU countries who wish to work in an EU country and have already secured a position in a workplace. For more information on EU Blue Card, take a look at the chapter “Immigration ” or visit the website of BAMF.