Refugee Status Determination (RSD)

UNHCR Egypt has started conducting RSD interviews remotely to be able to continue serving our asylum seekers while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. You can find out more about the remote interview process through this video:

1. What is the purpose of the refugee status determination interview?

RSD interview is to assist you to put forward your case and fully explain your experiences and circumstances that led you to fleeing your home country. Based on the interview, UNHCR will determine whether you meet the refugee definition or not and grant refugee status according to international refugee law.

2. The Refugee Status Determination Interview

When you are scheduled for an individual refugee status determination (RSD) interview, you will receive a scheduling call to inform you about the RSD interview and counsel you on steps you have to take prior the interview. After the scheduling call, you will receive an SMS with the link of the Signal application, if you agreed to have a remote interview. Furthermore, the RSD website at will be updated with your appointment date as well. As there could be changes in the RSD appointments, you are also requested check the website regularly, especially 48 hours before your RSD appointment.


During the RSD procedure, you are required to:

  • Submit any documents and evidence available regarding your application;
  • Inform UNHCR about your family members accompanying you. Adult family members will be interviewed individually;
  • Tell the truth and be cooperative;
  • Have a smart phone with a functioning front camera and stable internet connection, if you agreed to have a remote interview;
  • Be alone in the room, if you agreed to have a remote interview.


During the RSD procedure, you have the right to:

  • Be interviewed in a language you can communicate in;
  • To be represented by a lawyer or a legal representative, who qualifies as such under UNHCR’s established procedures, during your RSD procedure.

Please also take note that:

  • Each applicant has a different profile, background, and reason for fleeing his/her country; hence, each case will be assessed individually, according to UNHCR rules and procedures.
  • Please, do not pay attention to rumors spread among refugees about specific stories to be presented to be granted refugee status.
  • Intentionally misleading UNHCR about the facts of your case or your identity is fraud. Please note that this will negatively affect the processing of your case and may lead to a negative decision. UNHCR reserves the right to take appropriate measures in such cases.
  • Your statements and documents will be kept confidential and will not be shared by UNHCR with other third parties without your consent. Please note that under no circumstances will UNHCR share your information with the government of your country of origin.
  • Do not sign any documents unless read, understood, and approved by you.
  • While in Egypt you, like any other foreigner, are expected to respect the laws, customs and traditions of the society hosting you.
  • Verbal and physical threats made to UNHCR staff violate national law. UNHCR will report any person making such threats to the police and this person may be prosecuted.

3. What should I prepare/ bring with me to the RSD interview?

  • Your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card;
  • Any documents that are relevant to support your refugee claim;
  • Your and your family members’ original identification documents (such as passports, ID cards, military booklet, marriage certificate, birth certificates, medical reports if any, etc.);
  • Proof of previous registration with other UNHCR Offices.

4. Can I have a legal representative/advisor to assist me during my refugee status determination procedure?

You are entitled to have a legal representative/advisor to assist you during your refugee status determination interview. In Egypt, Saint Andrews’ Refugee Services (StARS) provide information, counselling, referral, representation, and advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees in Egypt free of charge, to know more on how to reach StARS, please take a look at our partners section under (protection services).

5. Why are there different procedures at first instance?

UNHCR Egypt has different procedures depending on the complexity of the cases. Some cases undergo registration and refugee status determination (RSD) interviews together in the same interview, which is called the Merged Registration/RSD procedure; some cases have separate registration and RSD interviews; and some cases have more than one RSD interview in order to ensure the Office has sufficient amount of information to complete the RSD procedure.

6. What if I missed an RSD appointment?

Please be informed that if you failed to attend an RSD appointment without a reasonable explanation, your case might be closed. If you miss an appointment, it is your responsibility to request a new one as soon as possible explaining the reason why you could not approach the office. Please note that the new appointment will only be granted if you provided a reasonable explanation as to why you failed to attend.

7. Are my family members, who registered with me, required to be present at the refugee status determination interview?

All those who are registered in the file need to be present for the refugee status determination interview unless you are informed otherwise. All the adult members of the case will go through a separate interview at UNHCR.

8. What happens if I am recognized as a refugee?

If you are recognized as a refugee, you will be given a result notification appointment which will clearly indicate the location, date and time. In order to collect the decision, you will be required to present to UNHCR reception staff your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card and your identification documents (passport or other form of identification) when you approach UNHCR.

If you are recognized as a refugee, you and your dependents will be provided with a UNHCR refugee card.

9. What happens if I am denied a refugee status?

If you are denied refugee status after the first instance interview, you will be given a result notification appointment which will clearly indicate the location, date and time. In order to collect the decision, you will be required to present to UNHCR reception staff your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card and your identification documents (passport or other form of identification) when you approach UNHCR.


On the date of your appointment, you will receive a negative decision letter, which contains an explanation on the reasons that led to the denial of the asylum application. If you are notified with a negative decision you have the right to submit an appeal request within 30 days. If you do not wish to file an appeal against the first instance decision denying your asylum application, you will no longer be considered as person of concern to UNHCR.

10. How will I be notified of my Refugee Status Determination decision?

Once your RSD decision is ready, you will receive an SMS or a call to indicate your result notification date/appointment. You will be notified of your decision either remotely through Signal Application or you will be scheduled for an in-Office notification. Each individual will be informed on the method, location and date of their notification by call/SMS.

In the meantime, you can also check this website via the RSD status part, which will also reflect your result notification date/appointment, once available. The decision on your asylum application could either be recognition or rejection.

11. How can I submit an appeal request?

You can download the appeal request form from the Forms and Leaflets section of this website In your appeal request form, you must include the following:

  1. The reasons why you think the first instance negative decision is wrong, and
  2. Your updated contact information.

You can then submit your duly filled appeal application form either in an email to Appeal/Reopening  [email protected]  or by approaching the RSD Building at 44A street, 2nd proximity, 8th District, 6 October City on certain days of the week, which will be specified to the individuals on the day of their notification.

12. What will happen during the appeal process?

Different UNHCR protection staff members than the ones who were involved in the initial first instance decision review all appeal requests. Not all appeal requests will lead to an appeal interview. If an appeal interview is needed, you will be notified of the date of your appeal interview via SMS, and the appointment will also be available in the RSD status section of this website

If the first instance decision is overturned, you will be granted refugee status; if the first instance decision is confirmed, your file will be closed.