My Travel Experience - RTD no Green Card

scully51

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hello everyone,

Earlier this year I begun asking questions regarding traveling abroad specifically to Spain and England some were answered and some well, I had to find out once I left for my travels.

Travel to Spain:

Through this forum I received great information and was told I needed a visa to travel to Spain especially because I didn’t have my GC. I called the embassy to make sure I needed a visa, I was told “yes.” The day of my appointment I was told that since I didn’t have my GC I couldn’t apply for a visa. I wasn’t “officially” denied as they didn’t even take my application.

So, I decided to go to Germany and take a plane to Madrid, resigned to be turned back at the airport.

On June 17 I flew out of LAX to Frankfurt with a stop in Chicago. I arrived in Frankfurt on June 18 I approached passport control in Frankfurt and the officer had never seen a Refugee Travel Document, luckily –to avoid delays- the officer sharing his booth knew of the document and he took care of me. 5 minutes later I was trying to figure out how to take a quick trip to the city before my flight to Madrid, Spain.

Before anyone here rolls their eyes, thinking I did something terrible. Allow me to explain why I took the chance with Spain. I am of Salvadoran nationality. If I were using my national passport, I would not need a visa to visit continental Europe, so after consulting with the Spanish embassy in Los Angeles and New York, I was told that there was no clear guidance for folks in my situation. The embassy employee in charge of processing visas told me I shouldn’t have any problems because of my nationality;as other people with the same situation, had gone to Spain and were ok.

So, at 10:45PM (Spain’s time) I arrived at the Barajas airport in Madrid and as I approached passport control I think I had minor heart attack, when I got to the booth, the officer took my RTD asked me if I was going to be staying in Madrid, I say yes, and he said, “Welcome to Spain”

I spent 11 days in Spain with no problems.

England:

The British folks were clear and so friendly. I was told I did need a visa to visit the UK, however, because my RTD took so long and I spent 10 days trying to deal with the Spain situation, I didn’t have a time to apply for the UK Visa in the U.S.

I was told you can apply for the UK visa in any country you are, as long as you are there legally. So, I made an appointment to apply for my visa in Madrid. I went to my scheduled appointment; they took my picture and fingerprints and processed my application. However, I had to take a plane from Granada to Barcelona within Spain and needed to keep my RTD. The embassy folks allowed me to keep my passport and told me they would let me know when it was time to send in my RTD in to affix the visa. The UK visa was processed and approved in less than 48 hours.

At the airport my picture and fingerprints were once again taken, I was asked some “standard” questions, was told the reason why the UK documents visiting asylees/refugees so carefully.

For those that might be curious the reason is FRAUD. People trying to have asylum in both the UK and other countries.

I flew from Barcelona to London and spent 10 wonderful days in England.

Coming back to the U.S.

On July 10 I flew from London to Madrid, as my flight was departing from Madrid to Dallas, Texas.

I arrived to Madrid, once again, went through passport control without problems.

However, as I went through passport control to leave Madrid, the officer said “You need a visa to travel with this document in the Schengen area, next time apply for a visa” I didn’t say a word as I was leaving and there was no sense in arguing. I nodded my head and he returned my RTD and off I went to catch my flight.

At DFW, Dallas airport, I went to “soft second” the immigration officer apologized for making me wait an hour, but their computers were down. Then, he asked “how long were you out of the U.S.?” I said 22 days. He stamped my RTD and issued me a new I-94 and off I went to catch my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

While the immigration officer and I were chatting about the hassles of technology, I took the opportunity to ask if I needed to turn in my ORIGINAL I-94 when departing from the U.S., which, was given to me when I was granted asylum and he said “no, that is your original evidence and should not leave your possession”

Well, I know this is long, but I hope in some way it helps anyone who might have questions.

Always do your research and consult with many reliable sources.

I am thankful for this forum.
 

vdostoi1

Volunteer Moderator
#3
Hello everyone,

Earlier this year I begun asking questions regarding traveling abroad specifically to Spain and England some were answered and some well, I had to find out once I left for my travels.

Travel to Spain:

Through this forum I received great information and was told I needed a visa to travel to Spain especially because I didn’t have my GC. I called the embassy to make sure I needed a visa, I was told “yes.” The day of my appointment I was told that since I didn’t have my GC I couldn’t apply for a visa. I wasn’t “officially” denied as they didn’t even take my application.

So, I decided to go to Germany and take a plane to Madrid, resigned to be turned back at the airport.

On June 17 I flew out of LAX to Frankfurt with a stop in Chicago. I arrived in Frankfurt on June 18 I approached passport control in Frankfurt and the officer had never seen a Refugee Travel Document, luckily –to avoid delays- the officer sharing his booth knew of the document and he took care of me. 5 minutes later I was trying to figure out how to take a quick trip to the city before my flight to Madrid, Spain.

Before anyone here rolls their eyes, thinking I did something terrible. Allow me to explain why I took the chance with Spain. I am of Salvadoran nationality. If I were using my national passport, I would not need a visa to visit continental Europe, so after consulting with the Spanish embassy in Los Angeles and New York, I was told that there was no clear guidance for folks in my situation. The embassy employee in charge of processing visas told me I shouldn’t have any problems because of my nationality;as other people with the same situation, had gone to Spain and were ok.

So, at 10:45PM (Spain’s time) I arrived at the Barajas airport in Madrid and as I approached passport control I think I had minor heart attack, when I got to the booth, the officer took my RTD asked me if I was going to be staying in Madrid, I say yes, and he said, “Welcome to Spain”

I spent 11 days in Spain with no problems.

England:

The British folks were clear and so friendly. I was told I did need a visa to visit the UK, however, because my RTD took so long and I spent 10 days trying to deal with the Spain situation, I didn’t have a time to apply for the UK Visa in the U.S.

I was told you can apply for the UK visa in any country you are, as long as you are there legally. So, I made an appointment to apply for my visa in Madrid. I went to my scheduled appointment; they took my picture and fingerprints and processed my application. However, I had to take a plane from Granada to Barcelona within Spain and needed to keep my RTD. The embassy folks allowed me to keep my passport and told me they would let me know when it was time to send in my RTD in to affix the visa. The UK visa was processed and approved in less than 48 hours.

At the airport my picture and fingerprints were once again taken, I was asked some “standard” questions, was told the reason why the UK documents visiting asylees/refugees so carefully.

For those that might be curious the reason is FRAUD. People trying to have asylum in both the UK and other countries.

I flew from Barcelona to London and spent 10 wonderful days in England.

Coming back to the U.S.

On July 10 I flew from London to Madrid, as my flight was departing from Madrid to Dallas, Texas.

I arrived to Madrid, once again, went through passport control without problems.

However, as I went through passport control to leave Madrid, the officer said “You need a visa to travel with this document in the Schengen area, next time apply for a visa” I didn’t say a word as I was leaving and there was no sense in arguing. I nodded my head and he returned my RTD and off I went to catch my flight.

At DFW, Dallas airport, I went to “soft second” the immigration officer apologized for making me wait an hour, but their computers were down. Then, he asked “how long were you out of the U.S.?” I said 22 days. He stamped my RTD and issued me a new I-94 and off I went to catch my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

While the immigration officer and I were chatting about the hassles of technology, I took the opportunity to ask if I needed to turn in my ORIGINAL I-94 when departing from the U.S., which, was given to me when I was granted asylum and he said “no, that is your original evidence and should not leave your possession”

Well, I know this is long, but I hope in some way it helps anyone who might have questions.

Always do your research and consult with many reliable sources.

I am thankful for this forum.
I just have one questions - why was there passport control between Germany and Spain? Isn't Spain part of the Shengen area and, thus, there is no passport control between the two countries?
 

OpeLLL

Registered Users (C)
#4
vdostoi1
I think its because they need to check for ID anyway.

About Spain
I am so not surprised. When I was a student there on my semester abroad, I went to London for a weekend. I had a special student card that allowed me to travel around Europe. At the passport control they did not check it, they only took my passport (Russia)... no questions asked. But one officer asked the other one if Russia was a part of EU and the guy replied yes :D oopsy :p
 

tributeblinky

Registered Users (C)
#5
so my question is, were they easy on you and alowed you to enter the spain anyways because of your nationality or because of the fat that you were holding a US travel document?
 

scully51

Registered Users (C)
#6
tributeblinky,

Unfortunately, i do not have a clear answer for your question as it was never explained to me. However, over the phone both Spanish Embassies in Los Angeles and New York told me that I shouldn't have a problem because of my nationality. BUT, the guy who checked my RTD on my way out of Spain to return to the US told me that I needed a visa because of the RTD.

So, until Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs clears up the policies for RTD holders, I think it's a case by case basis.
 

yahia08

Registered Users (C)
#7
Exactly, i did get the same experience as you, and when getting home I reach the CBP (custom and border protection) and they told me the new I-94 stamped in my passport doesn't turn the original one in either way. (www.CBP.gov)
 

gandrud

Registered Users (C)
#8
Great Information

Hello Buddy, your post was perfectly amazing!
I live in Santa Barbara, Can I please have your email? I just got my RTD and I have some important questions! Please, feel free to call me 805-689-4174.
Hello everyone,

Earlier this year I begun asking questions regarding traveling abroad specifically to Spain and England some were answered and some well, I had to find out once I left for my travels.

Travel to Spain:

Through this forum I received great information and was told I needed a visa to travel to Spain especially because I didn’t have my GC. I called the embassy to make sure I needed a visa, I was told “yes.” The day of my appointment I was told that since I didn’t have my GC I couldn’t apply for a visa. I wasn’t “officially” denied as they didn’t even take my application.

So, I decided to go to Germany and take a plane to Madrid, resigned to be turned back at the airport.

On June 17 I flew out of LAX to Frankfurt with a stop in Chicago. I arrived in Frankfurt on June 18 I approached passport control in Frankfurt and the officer had never seen a Refugee Travel Document, luckily –to avoid delays- the officer sharing his booth knew of the document and he took care of me. 5 minutes later I was trying to figure out how to take a quick trip to the city before my flight to Madrid, Spain.

Before anyone here rolls their eyes, thinking I did something terrible. Allow me to explain why I took the chance with Spain. I am of Salvadoran nationality. If I were using my national passport, I would not need a visa to visit continental Europe, so after consulting with the Spanish embassy in Los Angeles and New York, I was told that there was no clear guidance for folks in my situation. The embassy employee in charge of processing visas told me I shouldn’t have any problems because of my nationality;as other people with the same situation, had gone to Spain and were ok.

So, at 10:45PM (Spain’s time) I arrived at the Barajas airport in Madrid and as I approached passport control I think I had minor heart attack, when I got to the booth, the officer took my RTD asked me if I was going to be staying in Madrid, I say yes, and he said, “Welcome to Spain”

I spent 11 days in Spain with no problems.

England:

The British folks were clear and so friendly. I was told I did need a visa to visit the UK, however, because my RTD took so long and I spent 10 days trying to deal with the Spain situation, I didn’t have a time to apply for the UK Visa in the U.S.

I was told you can apply for the UK visa in any country you are, as long as you are there legally. So, I made an appointment to apply for my visa in Madrid. I went to my scheduled appointment; they took my picture and fingerprints and processed my application. However, I had to take a plane from Granada to Barcelona within Spain and needed to keep my RTD. The embassy folks allowed me to keep my passport and told me they would let me know when it was time to send in my RTD in to affix the visa. The UK visa was processed and approved in less than 48 hours.

At the airport my picture and fingerprints were once again taken, I was asked some “standard” questions, was told the reason why the UK documents visiting asylees/refugees so carefully.

For those that might be curious the reason is FRAUD. People trying to have asylum in both the UK and other countries.

I flew from Barcelona to London and spent 10 wonderful days in England.

Coming back to the U.S.

On July 10 I flew from London to Madrid, as my flight was departing from Madrid to Dallas, Texas.

I arrived to Madrid, once again, went through passport control without problems.

However, as I went through passport control to leave Madrid, the officer said “You need a visa to travel with this document in the Schengen area, next time apply for a visa” I didn’t say a word as I was leaving and there was no sense in arguing. I nodded my head and he returned my RTD and off I went to catch my flight.

At DFW, Dallas airport, I went to “soft second” the immigration officer apologized for making me wait an hour, but their computers were down. Then, he asked “how long were you out of the U.S.?” I said 22 days. He stamped my RTD and issued me a new I-94 and off I went to catch my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

While the immigration officer and I were chatting about the hassles of technology, I took the opportunity to ask if I needed to turn in my ORIGINAL I-94 when departing from the U.S., which, was given to me when I was granted asylum and he said “no, that is your original evidence and should not leave your possession”

Well, I know this is long, but I hope in some way it helps anyone who might have questions.

Always do your research and consult with many reliable sources.

I am thankful for this forum.
 

lagflag

Registered Users (C)
#9
I-94 question

Thanks for this great post.
I have a question about the I-94, do you fill it out while you are in the plane "handwriting"? or it is all being printed from the immigration officer computer? such as the one we got when we had our asylum?

another question please, was those 22 days affected the time you should apply for the green card? I know you must be physically 1 year in USA after getting asylum to be able to apply for the GC, so was it in your case 1 year + 22 days?

Thanks again

Hello everyone,

Earlier this year I begun asking questions regarding traveling abroad specifically to Spain and England some were answered and some well, I had to find out once I left for my travels.

Travel to Spain:

Through this forum I received great information and was told I needed a visa to travel to Spain especially because I didn’t have my GC. I called the embassy to make sure I needed a visa, I was told “yes.” The day of my appointment I was told that since I didn’t have my GC I couldn’t apply for a visa. I wasn’t “officially” denied as they didn’t even take my application.

So, I decided to go to Germany and take a plane to Madrid, resigned to be turned back at the airport.

On June 17 I flew out of LAX to Frankfurt with a stop in Chicago. I arrived in Frankfurt on June 18 I approached passport control in Frankfurt and the officer had never seen a Refugee Travel Document, luckily –to avoid delays- the officer sharing his booth knew of the document and he took care of me. 5 minutes later I was trying to figure out how to take a quick trip to the city before my flight to Madrid, Spain.

Before anyone here rolls their eyes, thinking I did something terrible. Allow me to explain why I took the chance with Spain. I am of Salvadoran nationality. If I were using my national passport, I would not need a visa to visit continental Europe, so after consulting with the Spanish embassy in Los Angeles and New York, I was told that there was no clear guidance for folks in my situation. The embassy employee in charge of processing visas told me I shouldn’t have any problems because of my nationality;as other people with the same situation, had gone to Spain and were ok.

So, at 10:45PM (Spain’s time) I arrived at the Barajas airport in Madrid and as I approached passport control I think I had minor heart attack, when I got to the booth, the officer took my RTD asked me if I was going to be staying in Madrid, I say yes, and he said, “Welcome to Spain”

I spent 11 days in Spain with no problems.

England:

The British folks were clear and so friendly. I was told I did need a visa to visit the UK, however, because my RTD took so long and I spent 10 days trying to deal with the Spain situation, I didn’t have a time to apply for the UK Visa in the U.S.

I was told you can apply for the UK visa in any country you are, as long as you are there legally. So, I made an appointment to apply for my visa in Madrid. I went to my scheduled appointment; they took my picture and fingerprints and processed my application. However, I had to take a plane from Granada to Barcelona within Spain and needed to keep my RTD. The embassy folks allowed me to keep my passport and told me they would let me know when it was time to send in my RTD in to affix the visa. The UK visa was processed and approved in less than 48 hours.

At the airport my picture and fingerprints were once again taken, I was asked some “standard” questions, was told the reason why the UK documents visiting asylees/refugees so carefully.

For those that might be curious the reason is FRAUD. People trying to have asylum in both the UK and other countries.

I flew from Barcelona to London and spent 10 wonderful days in England.

Coming back to the U.S.

On July 10 I flew from London to Madrid, as my flight was departing from Madrid to Dallas, Texas.

I arrived to Madrid, once again, went through passport control without problems.

However, as I went through passport control to leave Madrid, the officer said “You need a visa to travel with this document in the Schengen area, next time apply for a visa” I didn’t say a word as I was leaving and there was no sense in arguing. I nodded my head and he returned my RTD and off I went to catch my flight.

At DFW, Dallas airport, I went to “soft second” the immigration officer apologized for making me wait an hour, but their computers were down. Then, he asked “how long were you out of the U.S.?” I said 22 days. He stamped my RTD and issued me a new I-94 and off I went to catch my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

While the immigration officer and I were chatting about the hassles of technology, I took the opportunity to ask if I needed to turn in my ORIGINAL I-94 when departing from the U.S., which, was given to me when I was granted asylum and he said “no, that is your original evidence and should not leave your possession”

Well, I know this is long, but I hope in some way it helps anyone who might have questions.

Always do your research and consult with many reliable sources.

I am thankful for this forum.
 

mesbahul

Registered Users (C)
#10
Thanks for this great post.
I have a question about the I-94, do you fill it out while you are in the plane "handwriting"? or it is all being printed from the immigration officer computer? such as the one we got when we had our asylum?

another question please, was those 22 days affected the time you should apply for the green card? I know you must be physically 1 year in USA after getting asylum to be able to apply for the GC, so was it in your case 1 year + 22 days?

Thanks again
Don't know about the I-94 part. As far as travel, you have to add the number of days traveled to the on year.
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
#11
You need not fill out an I94 if you are an asylee. That's only for non-immigrants. I have no idea why immigration give people new ones, because I, as an asylee, never got any at airports.
 

John Smith 1

Registered Users (C)
#14
when I was asylee I was getting new i94 each time I come back from trips outside the USA, and I used to surrender my 194 at the airliner counter each time I leave the USA
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
#15
But, the surrendering and receiving of an I94 is mostly for non-immigrants with I94s that EXPIRE isn't it? An asylee has an INDEFINITE I94, so I don't see why it needs to go back and forth.
 

lagflag

Registered Users (C)
#16
I agree with cafeconleche, why should I surrender my original I-94? it is the initial proof that I got asylum!
John, have you really surrendered your first I-94? "the proof for asylum one"?
 

gandrud

Registered Users (C)
#19
I agree with cafeconleche, why should I surrender my original I-94? it is the initial proof that I got asylum!
John, have you really surrendered your first I-94? "the proof for asylum one"?
If you travel using RTD ONLY, The IO gives you a new i-94 "asylum granted indefinetely" but I didn't give him the first one when I was granted. When you apply for your GC USCIS wants a copy of the i-94 granted and a copy of your i-94 "last entry"...I did that and I got my green card pretty fast.
 

lagflag

Registered Users (C)
#20
If you travel using RTD ONLY, The IO gives you a new i-94 "asylum granted indefinetely" but I didn't give him the first one when I was granted. When you apply for your GC USCIS wants a copy of the i-94 granted and a copy of your i-94 "last entry"...I did that and I got my green card pretty fast.
execuse me, can you explain in more details? this is very important to me and I would appreciate any help a lot.
Do you mean I have to keep the initial I-94 with me, and I will be given a new one "so I have 2" when re entering the states? is that what you mean? I have just read on the back of my I-94 that I have to surrender it to the transportation agency "airline" when I leave the states. what should I do? I am going to mexico and it states if going to Mexico or Canada I should give it to US officer "so not the airline in this case or what?!!"

thanks a lot
 
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