Information on Resettlement

All UNHCR services including resettlement are free of charge 

UNHCR defines resettlement as the selection and transfer of refugees from a State in which they have sought protection to a third State that has agreed to admit them ‐ as refugees ‐ with permanent residence status. 

Resettlement is a separate process to Refugee Status Determination (RSD), which is the legal or administrative process by which governments or UNHCR determine whether a person seeking international protection is considered a refugee under international, regional or national law.  

Resettlement on the other hand is neither a guarantee nor a right. There is no obligation on States to accept refugees through resettlement. Instead, it depends on the willingness of the resettlement country to accept a refugee for legal stay in its territory. The resettlement country will take the final decision on whether a refugee is accepted for resettlement.  

UNHCR is mandated by its Statute and UN General Assembly Resolutions to undertake resettlement as one of the three durable solutions. There were 20.7 million refugees of concern to UNHCR around the world at the end of 2020, but less than one per cent of refugees are resettled each year. Resettlement assessments are undertaken independently by UNHCR and according to UNHCR criteria and guidelines. Assessments contain various elements, including verification of family composition, registration data and refugee claim; consideration of all possible durable solutions; and determining whether a case meets the criteria of one or more UNHCR resettlement submission categories. In addition, resettlement countries apply their own criteria including admissibility and settlement considerations.   

Further information on UNHCR Resettlement can be found on our website .