Right of Recognised Refugees to travel in EU (2014)

This Ad Hoc Query concerns requirements for recognized refugees in order to travel within the Union.


Ad-Hoc Query on right of Recognised Refugees to travel in EU (pdf, 270 kB)


Cyprus issues recognized refugees a “temporary residence permit” which is renewed every three years. They wonder to what extent refugees with this permit and a refugee travel document may travel within the Union and ask the following questions:

  1. Would Member States allow a recognised refugee who holds a “temporary residence permit” and who has in his/her procession a refugee travel document according to the Geneva Convention, to travel to their territories for the purpose of residence/employment?
  2. Are there any Member States which will also require from a recognized refugee to be holder of a long-residence permit?

17 countries responded to the query, and there is some variance in responses. Most respond that such a person would be entitled to stay for up to 90 days, but would require a long term residence permit in, or would have to apply through ordinary procedures for third-country nationals, in order to work; i.e. a residence permit as a refugee does not entitle holders to exercise free movement in the Union. Hungary, however, gives refugees the same rights as citizens, including free movement.

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