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Resettlement is the selection and transfer of refugees from their country of asylum to a third country that has agreed to admit them, as refugees, with permanent resident status.

Resettlement is a limited solution available to refugees who meet specific requirements. The criteria are defined by the resettlement country based on specific protection needs and particular vulnerabilities. UNHCR monitors individual cases of refugees continuously and determines those eligible for Resettlement consideration.

Resettlement is not a right and is not available to everyone granted refugee status. Places are limited, and resettlement countries choose how many refugees to resettle.

How does UNHCR select cases to be considered for resettlement submission?

Resettlement identification is done regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, education level, social status, national or religion. Yet, in order to be identified for resettlement, you need to meet the resettlement criteria.

Considering resettlement criteria and the limited resettlement places, not everyone who wants to be resettled, will be resettled. Each year, resettlement countries decide how they will allocate resettlement places among the millions of refugees throughout the world, and UNHCR can only process cases for resettlement submission within existing limits. Refugees must therefore be realistic about the chances of being submitted for resettlement by UNHCR.

The resettlement countries, and not UNHCR, make the final decision concerning the resettlement of a refugee.

Can I apply for resettlement?

Refugees cannot apply for resettlement. UNHCR identifies refugees based on their protection needs and continuously reviews the situation of highly vulnerable families to assess whether they meet resettlement criteria.

How do I know if I am being considered for resettlement?

You should not assume that you have a resettlement case or else have been considered for resettlement, unless you are interviewed by a UNHCR staff member who informs you that you are invited to a resettlement interview and all aspects of resettlement processing will then be explained to you. If following the resettlement interview, your case is positively assessed and meets the resettlement criteria, it will be submitted to the resettlement country, and you will be notified.

If I am eligible for resettlement, can I choose which country I am submitted to?

No. The resettlement resources are scarce, so there is no possibility for refugees to choose where they want to go. UNHCR considers all relevant factors before deciding on the resettlement country to which you will be submitted, including your family situation, family links in third countries, and the resettlement places available in the resettlement countries.

My family members are not registered with UNHCR in China. Can I include them in my resettlement case?

If your unregistered family members are in China, please inform the Office and we will discuss with you the best possible solution for you and your family. If they are not in China, we cannot include them in your case.

What happens after UNHCR submits my case to a resettlement country?

The resettlement country would inform you of their procedures and the actions you need to take to process your case. They may inform you directly or through UNHCR.

Who decides if I am accepted by a resettlement country?

The resettlement country decides if you are accepted to their country.  

How long does it take for me to be resettled?

Normally resettlement is a long process. After your case is submitted, it depends on the resettlement country to decide how long the whole process will take. It may take several years. Once your case is submitted, your case will be processed by the resettlement country. UNHCR is not involved in the decision-making process by the resettlement country. As each case is unique, the duration of the process differs from one case to another.

After your case is submitted, the resettlement country will give you an online account, through which you can check your case status yourself.

It may take longer time for the resettlement country to process your case if your family composition in China changes after the case submission. You should inform UNHCR as early as possible when your family composition has changed, for example, in case of marriage, divorce, new-born baby, departure of a family member, etc.  If you fail to update UNHCR of such information, the processing of your resettlement case may be delayed.

Consequences of providing fraudulent information during the RST process.

Misrepresenting facts (including family links, family composition, and asylum claim) during any resettlement interview may make your case ineligible for submission.

What should I do if my resettlement case is rejected by the resettlement country?

Beside resettlement, there are other solutions available. Below are some options refugees could benefit from:

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