Refugee Status Determination

What is Refugee Status Determination interview?

During the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interview we will collect all information related to your asylum claim for UNHCR to determine whether you are a refugee or not. During the RSD interview, you will be given the opportunity to present all the information on the reasons that you left your country and why you cannot go back. Withholding or failure to reveal such information without reasonable justification will negatively affect the processing of your case and may lead to a negative decision. All the information you provide to UNHCR during the interview will be kept strictly confidential.

How and when will I be notified of my RSD interview appointment?

After you are registered with UNHCR, we will inform you about your Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interview appointment.

When you are scheduled for an RSD interview, the Office will contact you by email and phone for the date and time of the appointment. Please make sure that your contact details are updated with UNHCR, alerting us via email of any changes, and that you can be reached on the contact details provided.

Due to the high volume of applications, it takes some time before you are contacted and scheduled for an RSD interview.

How can I prepare for the RSD interview?

You do not need to prepare for your RSD interview. The RSD officer will guide you through the interview, explain the process, and ask you questions about your background and why you cannot return to your country and seek asylum.

Will my family members be interviewed as well?

All adult family members (above 18) will be interviewed separately and children of 16 years and older may be separately interviewed as well.

I do not speak English. Can I get an interpreter?

Yes. Please inform the Office of your preferred language and we will make the arrangement.

What happens if I do not attend the RSD interview?

The email notification for your RSD interview will include a deadline to inform UNHCR if you are unable to attend the interview. Please provide a reasonable explanation as to why you are unable to do so. If you do not show up for 2 successive RSD interviews without a valid explanation, you will be recorded as having abandoned your asylum claim and we will close your case accordingly.

I have already had my RSD interview. How long do I need to wait for the RSD decision?

Due to the high volume of applications, you may need to wait for several months to receive our decision. You may also be contacted for another interview before we complete your case. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

What happens if I am recognised as a refugee?

We will send the decision letter via email informing you that you are recognized as a refugee. In the email you will be asked to return the original asylum-seeker certificate to our Office by post. Upon receipt of the original document, we will send you the original decision letter and refugee certificate by post to your address known to our Office.

Please be informed that UNHCR provides limited financial assistance to vulnerable refugees. If you consider yourself in need of financial assistance, please write to [email protected] with a request, clearly stating why you require this assistance.

For more information about UNHCR’s assistance, click here.

What should I do if my asylum claim is rejected after my RSD interview?

We will send you the RSD decision letter by post and email. The letter includes a detailed explanation on why your claim is rejected. You have the right to make an appeal within 15 days of the negative decision either by email or by post in your preferred language.

You should explain why you do not agree with our decision in your appeal. You may use this opportunity to present new issues or evidence that you did not present during your RSD interview.

To send your appeal by email, please enter your UNHCR case number and mention “Appeal Request” in the subject line. Include your name and updated contact number in your email.

For appeals sent by post, the address is:

UNHCR, No. 14 Liangmahe Nan Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Address in Chinese: 北京市朝阳区亮马河南路14号联合国难民署


Your case will be closed if you fail to submit the appeal within the 15-day timeframe without reasonable cause.

What will happen after I submit my appeal application?

Your appeal will be reviewed by different RSD officers than those who made the negative decision. After the review, the Office will make the final decision on your asylum application. If your claim meets the refugee criteria, you will be recognized as a refugee. If you do not qualify for refugee status, your claim will be rejected, and your case closed. We will issue the decision letter with this information to you by post and by email.

What will happen if my appeal application is rejected?

Your file will be closed. You cannot appeal this decision as it is considered the final decision. You will no longer be issued any UNHCR documentation.

Why is my case closed by UNHCR?

Your case will be closed if any of the following happens:

  • You fail to show up for your RSD interview twice without a reasonable cause.
  • In the case of receiving a negative decision in your first RSD interview, you have not submitted an appeal within 15 days of the decision.
  • The final decision on your case in the appeal procedure is negative.
  • You have left China.

• Can I reopen my case?

Reopening your case is not a right. Cases are reopened only on exceptional grounds. Written requests can be submitted by sending an email to [email protected]. Put “Reopening Request” and UNHCR previous case number in the subject, and indicate your name, and updated contact number in the email.

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