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Resettlement is a process which results in a permanent third-country solution for refugees who are unable to integrate locally or return to their home country and have ongoing protection needs in the country where they are living.

Resettlement is a limited solution available to refugees who meet very specific requirements. The criteria are defined by the Resettlement Country, specific protection needs and vulnerabilities. UNHCR monitors individual cases of refugees on an ongoing basis 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.

Who can be considered for Resettlement?

Resettlement Identification is done regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, education, level, social status, nationality or religion. Yet, to be identified for Resettlement, you need to meet the Resettlement categories.

Can I apply for Resettlement?

No. Resettlement through UNHCR is not initiated by an individual refugee application. UNHCR is unable to consider petitions (letters, e-mail, faxes, etc.) or phone calls from refugees requesting Resettlement. You should not assume that you have a Resettlement case unless you are advised by UNHCR.

There is no need to approach the office individually or send letters, faxes or emails to apply for resettlement. It is, however, very important to keep your contact details updated with UNHCR, so that the office can arrange an appointment with you whenever required.

How are refugees identified for Resettlement?

UNHCR identifies refugees for Resettlement in accordance with Resettlement criteria based on their protection needs. Identification for Resettlement is not linked to the date of arrival to Egypt or registration with UNHCR, nationality or any other profile.

UNHCR identifies refugees based on their protection needs and continuously reviews the situation of highly vulnerable families to assess whether they meet Resettlement criteria.

The identification of a refugee as being particularly vulnerable does not necessarily mean that the refugee is either eligible for or in need of Resettlement. Resettlement is a limited option for UNHCR to address a refugee needs and vulnerabilities. While assessing an individual case, voluntary repatriation and local integration prospects will also be considered.

How do I know if I have a Resettlement case?

If your case is being considered by UNHCR for Resettlement, you will be contacted individually and invited for an interview at the UNHCR office. After the interview, you will be contacted again by telephone and you will be informed whether your case has been referred to a Resettlement country.

If UNHCR is unable to refer your case to a Resettlement country, you will be informed that you are not currently eligible for Resettlement, this means that you no longer have an active Resettlement case. In case you have not heard back from UNHCR for over 6 months, after your resettlement interview, contact us for a status update on your case.

Some refugees believe that they have been identified for Resettlement in the past and may have received communication several years ago related to Resettlement but have not had any interviews. Most often, these refugees do not have active cases.

How can I check the status of my Resettlement case?

UNHCR Infoline can assist you in knowing if you have an active Resettlement case and where that case may stand. You cannot apply directly for Resettlement through the Infoline or other mechanisms.

For email inquiries, please contact us at: [email protected]

Should you wish to update your file to share new or urgent protection, health, or other concerns, including change in family composition and contact details, please report to UNHCR through the relevant service area of the Infoline or Protection functional emails or at your next renewal appointment.

What happens if I am identified for Resettlement?

If your case is identified for Resettlement consideration, you will be contacted by UNHCR and invited for an interview. If you are interviewed, there is no guarantee that you will be resettled. After the interview, if your case is found eligible for Resettlement and your case is referred to a Resettlement country for consideration, you will receive a phone call from UNHCR, informing you about the submission of your case, specifying the country.

UNHCR will contact you by phone about each stage of the Resettlement process. Therefore, it is very important you keep UNHCR updated in case you change your contact number. You can update your contact number with UNHCR by calling the Infoline or UNHCR partners.

Who makes the final decision on my case for Resettlement?

While UNHCR identifies refugees for Resettlement consideration and interviews them to assess their eligibility for Resettlement, the final decision to accept a refugee for Resettlement rests with Resettlement states and not UNHCR.

How long does it take between the Resettlement interview and departure?

Resettlement can be a very long process for all the persons concerned and the processing time varies from country to country, due to different immigration laws, priorities and resources. It is very hard to predict how long it will take from the time a Resettlement interview with UNHCR has been completed to the time of departure.

It may take many months or several years, depending on the Resettlement state and its procedures. Some Resettlement countries may also undertake additional interviews to the initial one with refugees in the Resettlement pipeline. You will be required to undergo medical checks and receive further information from the Resettlement country and IOM prior to departure.

UNHCR will be in contact with you during the different stages of the Resettlement process, but it is important to be patient.

Is my Resettlement case confidential?

All Resettlement files that are processed by UNHCR are kept strictly confidential. UNHCR will request refugees whose cases are submitted for Resettlement Consideration to sign a declaration authorizing UNHCR to share all information and any documents pertaining to them and their family members with government officials from the Resettlement Country.

Should I or my dependents stop working or studying when our case is considered for Resettlement?

No. Final decisions regarding Resettlement to a Resettlement Country are done by the Governments of the Resettlement Countries. As such, there is no guarantee your case will be accepted for Resettlement until this is pronounced by the Resettlement Country. Additionally, Resettlement is a long process and if your case is accepted for Resettlement, job skills and education, including language skills, will be of fundamental importance in the Resettlement Country. Your skills will help you to better integrate once you are resettled!

Do I need to pay for Resettlement?


Refugees should not pay or give any favors in return for Resettlement to anyone to refer their case for Resettlement. All services provided by UNHCR and its implementing partners are FREE OF CHARGE.

Please notify UNHCR if anyone tries to charge money for Resettlement.

UNHCR does not tolerate fraud and corruption. UNHCR is committed to combating fraud and corruption to preserve the integrity and credibility of the Resettlement process.

Any refugee who attempts to commit fraud relating to his/her Resettlement case may be permanently disqualified from Resettlement under UNHCR auspices. Examples of such fraud would include: giving false information about your background; claiming a false identity or attempting to substitute yourself for another person; attempting to add a person onto your case who is not a genuine member of your family; paying money for Resettlement services; the unauthorized use of UNHCR’s name and logo.

If you are aware of fraud committed by another refugee report to: [email protected]

If you have any information about possible misconduct or sexual exploitation or abuse by any UNHCR or UNHCR partner staff member or other persons working directly with UNHCR, please report to UNHCR Inspector General Office of the UNHCR Inspector General:

  • Hotline: +41-22-739-884                       
  • Confidential e-mail: [email protected]

Should you be approached by any person or entity requesting money, personal information, documents, etc. for support in the Resettlement process, please report this to UNHCR immediately.