Registration


1. Should new arrivals without access to the internet/emails contact UNHCR through the Infoline for initial recording?

To keep the number of phone calls manageable, we would like to encourage all applicants who wish to newly register with UNHCR to preferably send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Family size (how many persons are accompanying you in Egypt?)
  • Contact details (telephone number – e-Mail address)
  • Date of arrival to Egypt
  • Reason for contacting UNHCR
  • Any specific needs / concerns.

2. My registration card (white certificate/yellow card/blue card) expired. Why can’t I renew my expired documents at the moment?

In the interest of the reliability of UNHCR documents and the integrity of our registration data, most registration activities including document renewal require persons of concern to visit UNHCR premises in person. However, precautionary measures taken by the WHO and Government of Egypt to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 restrict the possibilities for UNHCR to receive large numbers of applicants at our premises. Activities processed at this stage are therefore severely limited and will focus on cases with compelling protection needs or other severe vulnerabilities that warrant immediate replacement of lost or renewal of expired documents.  


3. What are the current emergency situations in which refugee UNHCR cards are being renewed?

With a view to the continued limitations, UNHCR will focus primarily on cases with compelling protection needs, including persons without any ID documents, persons with expired documents in detention, at risk of detention or deportation, persons in need of urgent medical assistance which the provision of which requires the presentation of valid UNHCR documents, and similar cases in which the lack of valid UNHCR documents results in heightened protection risks for the applicants.

 

In the course of a further expansion of its registration and document renewal activities, UNHCR will further extend its focus to other persons with expired documents and invite them for document renewal in sequential order.


4. Has UNHCR started to provide registration services for registered asylum seekers and refugees, and to persons who would like to newly register as asylum seekers in Egypt?

As of 24 August 2020, UNHCR Egypt started to conduct limited numbers of document renewal interviews, and a number of applicants have been invited to pick up their renewed documents, in compliance with recommendations on physical distancing and other preventive measures to reduce the infection risk. In a second phase which started on 11 October 2020, a limited number of Registration interviews for newcomers have been added. UNHCR currently works on several options to expedite the issuance of documents and the registration of new asylum seekers. Since mid-November, we have simplified the document renewal process to shorten the procedure. In addition, we will expand our daily working hours, and we are exploring options to increase the number of interview rooms where we can conduct registration interviews in compliance with recommendations on physical distancing.


5. What else is UNHCR doing to assist persons with expired documents?

To mitigate the impact of restricted access for persons of concern to updated documents, negotiations with the Egyptian authorities for a flexible approach towards persons with expired documents/expired residency are ongoing. For example, the Ministry of Education has informed UNHCR that students with expired cards and residence permits will be permitted to continue their education during the current academic year.


6. What can I do to renew my expired registration documents (White Certificate/Yellow Card/Blue Card)?

Refugees and asylum seekers should contact UNHCR via the KoBo webform (https://enketo.unhcr.org/x/9dUBf4OV), via email ([email protected]) or through our two dedicated phone numbers that are specifically designated to handle registration-related inquiries:

 

  • 01202873019
  • 01202873033

7. The phone numbers that UNHCR posted on its FB page for renewing identity cards or updating data are not working, why? Why do I receive the following voice message: 'the number you have called is not available at the moment'?

We are fully aware of what refugees face due to the expiration of their cards, and we have records of whose card has expired or will soon expire, and accordingly we contact them with giving priority to emergency cases to renew their cards remotely by phone via the phone numbers published on the fb page. To enable registration colleagues to complete their work, these numbers are blocked for incoming calls. Applicants who have urgent registration-related inquiries are encouraged to call the registration hotline (01202873019, 01202873033), use the KoBo webform (https://enketo.unhcr.org/x/9dUBf4OV) or write an email to [email protected].

 

Asylum seekers who want to update their contact details can reach us through the infoline during office hours.

  • Greater Cairo: Sunday to Wednesday from 09:00 to 15:00 and Thursday from 09:00 to 12:00.
    01202873434 | 01202873414
    01202873179 | 01202873307
    01202873184 | 01202873011
    01202873215 | 01202872744
    01202873306 | 01224186980
  • Alexandria and the North Coast: Sunday to Thursday from 09:00 to 15:00.
    01272960630 | 01289976699
    01271556940

Or they can update their contact details online using this link https://enketo.unhcr.org/x/9dUBf4OV?fbclid=IwAR3jzsfpgUxXiGXRlxtFA2qg8u7QsI_Nvw4cB2JqUDHJJdP37fJJ4bkEfTc


8. In case that myself or a family member or friend are facing a security problem due to expired UNHCR card or got arrested, how can UNHCR assist in this case?

Refugees and asylum seekers who face any legal issues are encouraged to contact UNHCR directly via e-mail or the hotline phone numbers. For security problems related to expired UNHCR documents, the legal unit will follow up with them, case-by-case, to help resolve their issue. Moreover, UNHCR has two legal implementing partners that are available to support refugees with any legal issues/inquiries.

UNHCR legal unit: [email protected]

Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights: 01272020938 / 0225751118

United Lawyers: 01154526171


9. Why can’t I renew my UNHCR card, despite that the Egyptian immigration authorities have reopened their premises and has restarted issuing residence permits?

As of 24 August, UNHCR has resumed partial activities in its offices to provide updated documents for persons with lost or expired cards, including through remote telephone interviews. However, to avoid overcrowding and to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, our capacities to receive refugees and asylum-seekers at our offices remain limited for the time being. We are regularly reviewing our capacities and a potential expansion of our activities and will inform the communities in due course about any change of the procedure.


10. I received a call from UNHCR inviting me for a document renewal interview. What should I do?

If you are invited to UNHCR for document renewal, please come to the office with all members of your case at the day and time indicated in the confirmation SMS which you have received from UNHCR. Please note, that due to limited waiting space in the UNHCR premises, you will be admitted to our office only at the indicated time slot! On the date of your interview, please make sure to bring all relevant documents, including, most importantly:

  • Expired UNHCR card(s) for all members of your case;
  • National passports (if available) for all members of your case;
  • Any other documents that are providing evidence on your identity, and
  • All documents that give evidence on any changes of your personal or family status that you would like UNHCR to record.

The document renewal process should not take more than 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of your family and complexity of your case. During the document renewal process, we will do a visual check for all members of your case and randomly verify biometric information of one of the case members.

Please note that we can swiftly proceed with your document renewal only if all documents are available, and that we cannot easily reschedule your case in case something is missing!

 

Please also be reminded to abide by all precautions implemented to reduce the risk of further spreading the virus. When inside the UNHCR premises, you are obliged to wear a mask and to keep a safety distance to other persons; to best protect yourself and others, we strongly recommend wearing a mask also on your way to the office and in front of the UNHCR premises.


11. I received a call from UNHCR inviting me for a New Registration Interview. What should I do?

If you are invited to UNHCR for New Registration, please come to the office with all members of your case at the day and time indicated in the confirmation SMS which you have received from UNHCR.

Please note, that due to limited waiting space in the UNHCR premises, you will be admitted to our office only at the indicated time slot! On the date of your interview, please make sure to bring all relevant documents, including, most importantly:

 

  • Expired UNHCR card(s) for all members of your case;
  • National passports (if available) for all members of your case;
  • Any other documents that are providing evidence on your identity and/or your personal or family status.

The interview will last between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on the size of your family. In addition to capturing your biodata and contact information, we will take a picture as well as biometric information (iris scan) during your interview.

Please note that we can swiftly proceed with your New Registration only if all documents are available, and that we cannot easily reschedule your case in case something is missing!

 

Please also be reminded to abide by all precautions implemented to reduce the risk of further spreading the virus. When inside the UNHCR premises, you are obliged to wear a mask and to keep a safety distance to other persons; to best protect yourself and others, we strongly recommend wearing a mask also on your way to the office and in front of the UNHCR premises.


12. What is the period for the expiry of the asylum seeker card and the refugee registration card?

The asylum-seeker registration card (“Yellow Card”) is valid for 18 months, while the refugee registration card (“Blue Card”) is valid for 3 years.