What is resettlement?

Refugee resettlement is when refugees voluntarily move from their country of asylum to another country that has agreed to allow them to live in that country permanently, with similar rights to its own citizens.

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

Resettlement is not a right and is not guaranteed. UNHCR conducts resettlement assessments based on elements including refugee claim, family composition, other possible durable solutions, and resettlement needs. In addition, resettlement countries apply their own criteria including admissibility and settlement considerations. The resettlement country will decide whether to accept a refugee for resettlement to their country.

Read more about UNHCR Resettlement.

I am a refugee or asylum-seeker in Australia. Can UNHCR resettle me to another country?

UNHCR is not able to resettle or relocate refugees, asylum-seekers or failed asylum-seekers from Australia to any other country.

The only exception to this is Resettlement to New Zealand for People Transferred Offshore by Australia.

I am a refugee and I want to be resettled to Australia. Can UNHCR help me?

UNHCR’s Representation in Canberra cannot assist in resettlement to Australia.

UNHCR in your country of asylum undertakes a careful and continuous review of the current situation and needs of the refugee population to identify individuals for resettlement consideration. If you are identified as a potential candidate for resettlement, the UNHCR operation in your host country will contact you.

Due to the small number of resettlement places available each year, resettlement is a solution which is only available to a small number of refugees. Recognition of refugee status does not necessarily mean that you will be referred for resettlement.

There may be other migration options available to help you settle in Australia. UNHCR recommends that you seek the assistance of a lawyer or migration agent. A list of registered migration agents is available at the Australian Migration Agents Registration Authority.

I have family members in Australia and want to be reunited in Australia with them. Can UNHCR help me?

UNHCR’s Representation in Canberra cannot help with resettlement to Australia.

If you are a refugee outside Australia, you should contact the UNHCR office that you are registered with to discuss your resettlement options. Find the country you are in on the UNHCR Help homepage or find contact details for UNHCR offices around the world..

Family reunification or sponsored visa options may be available if you have family members in Australia. UNHCR recommends that your family member in Australia seeks the advice of a lawyer or migration agent on reunification options. See a list of registered migration agents at the Australian Migration Agents Registration Authority website.

Related information

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