The Contracting Governments,
Having examined a Resolution adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees at its Plenary Session on 17th August, 1944, relating to the establishment of an identity and travel document for refugees who are the concern of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees,
Having regard to the international measures previously taken in the matter of travel documents for certain categories of refugees,
Convinced of the necessity of taking similar measures on behalf of the refugees referred to in the above-mentioned Resolution, with a view, in particular, to facilitating the movement of these refugees,
Considering that the making of arrangements for the emigration of refugees who cannot be absorbed in the countries in which they have taken refuge is an essential part of the work undertaken for the benefit of the said refugees,
1 Subject to the further provisions laid down in Articles 2 and 16, a travel document, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3, shall be issued by the Contracting Governments to refugees who are the concern of the Intergovernmental Committee, provided that the said refugees are stateless or do not in fact enjoy the protection of any Government, that they are staying lawfully in the territory of the Contracting Government concerned, and that they are not benefiting by the provisions regarding the issue of a travel document contained in the Arrangements of 5th July, 1922, 31st May, 1924, 12th May, 1926, 30th June, 1928, 30th July, 1935, or the Convention of 28th October, 1933.
As a transitional measure, the document referred to in Article 1 may, at the discretion of the Government concerned, be issued to refugees who, while fulfilling the other conditions laid down by the present Agreement, are not staying lawfully in the territory of the Contracting Government concerned on the date of the coming into force of the present Agreement, provided that they report themselves to the authorities within a period to be prescribed by the Government concerned and which shall not be less than three months.
Subject to the regulations obtaining in the country of issue, children may be included in the travel document of an adult refugee.
The fees charged for issue of the travel document shall not exceed the lowest scale of charges for national passports.
Save in special or exceptional cases, the documents shall be made valid for the largest possible number of countries.
The document shall have a validity of either one or two years, at the discretion of the issuing authority.
1 The renewal or extension of the validity of the document is a matter for the authority which issued it, so long as the holder resides lawfully in the territory of the said authority. The issue of a new document is, under the same conditions, a matter for the authority which issued the former document.
2 Diplomatic or consular authorities, specially authorised for the purpose, shall be empowered to extend, for a period not exceeding six months, the validity of travel documents issued by their Governments.
Each Contracting Government shall recognise the validity of the documents issued in accordance with the provisions of the present Agreement.
The competent authorities of the country to which the refugee desires to proceed shall, if they are prepared to admit him, affix a visa on the document of which he is the holder.
The authorities of the territories to which the present Agreement applies undertake to issue transit visas to refugees who have obtained visas for the territory of final destination.
The fees for the issue of exit, entry or transit visas shall not exceed the lowest scale of charges for visas on foreign passports.
When a refugee has lawfully taken up residence in another territory to which the present Agreement applies, the power to issue a new travel document will be transferred to the competent authority of that territory, to which the refugee shall be entitled to apply.
The authority issuing a new document shall withdraw the old document.
1 The travel document shall entitle the holder to leave the country where it has been issued and, during the period of validity of the said document, to return thereto without a visa from the authorities of that country, subject only to those laws and regulations which apply to the bearers of duly visaed passports.
2 The Contracting Governments reserve the right, in exceptional cases, when issuing the document, to limit the period during which the refugee may return, the said period being not less than three months.
1 Subject only to the terms of Article 15, the present provisions in no way affect the laws and regulations governing the conditions of admission to, transit through, residence and establishment in, and departure from, the territories to which the present Agreement applies.
Neither the issue of the document nor the entries made thereon determine or affect the status of the holder, particularly as regards nationality.
The issue of the document does not in any way entitle the holder to the protection of the diplomatic or consular authorities of the country of issue, and does not confer on these authorities a right of protection.
Travel documents issued before the entry into force of the present Agreement to persons benefiting by the provisions of Articles 1 and 2 shall remain valid until they have expired.
In the event of the transfer to any other international organisation of the functions of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, all the provisions in the Agreement relating to the Intergovernmental Committtee shall be deemed to apply to the said organisation.
The present Agreement, of which the English and French texts are both authentic, shall bear to-day's date and shall remain open for signature, in London, by the Governments Members of the Intergovernmental Committee, and also by non-member Governments.
The Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is designated as the authority to give notice of each signature and the date thereof to all Governments Members of the Intergovernmental Committtee and to any non-member Governments whose signature has been appended.
1 The present Agreement may be denounced by any one of the Contracting Governments after the expiry of a period of one year as from the date on which it came into force, by written notification addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who shall inform all Governments referred to in Article 22 of each notification, specifying the date of its receipt.
1 Any Contracting Government may at any time after the coming into force of this Agreement in accordance with Article 23, declare in writing to the Government of the United Kingdom that the Agreement applies to all or any of its colonies, overseas territories, protectorates and territories under mandate or trusteeship, and the Agreement shall apply to the territory or territories named in the declaration from the date thereof.
2 The participation of any territory to which the Agreement has been applied under the preceding paragraph may be terminated by a notification in writing addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom, and the Agreement shall cease to apply to the territory or territories named in the notification six months after the date of the receipt thereof.
In faith whereof the undersigned have affixed, in the name of their respective Governments, their signatures to the present Agreement.
Done in London, the fifteenth day of October, one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, in French and English, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and certified true copies of which shall be transmitted to all Governments referred to in Article 22.