Refugee Status Determination (RSD)

In compliance with the recommended precautionary measures against COVID-19, UNHCR Egypt has started conducting RSD interviews remotely to be able to continue serving our asylum seekers while reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
The practical and technical steps of the process are described in detail in the below video called “Refugee Status Determination Remote Interviews”.

As for the decision notifications, some individuals will be notified remotely in the same way as the remote interviews, whereas some individuals will be invited to the Office for in-person notification. Each individual will be informed on the method, location and date of their notification by call/SMS.

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

The purpose of the refugee status determination (RSD) interview is to assist you to put forward your case and to fully explain your past experiences and circumstances that led you to fleeing your home country.
All information you provide during the interview will be treated in a confidential manner by UNHCR. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your family, education, place of birth, and the particular reasons for leaving your country of origin.
Based on this interview, UNHCR will determine whether or not you meet the refugee definition and granted refugee status according to international refugee law.

2. What should I do when I'm invited to attend the RSD interview?

When you are scheduled for an individual refugee status determination (RSD) interview, either you will be given an appointment slip with the date of the interview or you will receive a call and/or an SMS. Furthermore, this website 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,
  • Tell the truth and be cooperative,
  • Inform UNHCR about your family members accompanying you. Adult family members will be interviewed individually.

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 rumours spread among refugee communities about specific stories to be presented in order 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 foreigners, 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. Why are there different procedures at first instance interviews?

UNHCR Cairo 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.

The date, location and modality of your interview will be explained to you in detail once you are given your RSD appointment. The different modalities used do not affect the process or the outcome of the interviews.

4. What if I missed an RSD appointment?

The RSD interview is an important procedure for your asylum application. 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.

5. 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 same file need to be with you 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.

6. What should I present at the RSD interview?

You should present the following:

  • Your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card,
  • Your appointment slip,
  • Any documents that are relevant to support your refugee claim,
  • You 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.

7. 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 provide information, counselling, referral, representation, and advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees in Egypt free of charge, and you can access to their website through the following link and you can reach them via 01029842820 from Sunday to Thursday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

8. How will I be notified of Refugee Status Determination Decisions?

Once your RSD decision is ready, you will receive an SMS or a call to indicate your result notification date/appointment.

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.

9. What if I changed my contact details?

Please be informed that your mobile number is the main channel we use in order to communicate with you and it is paramount that your contact details are up to date.

Therefore, if your contact details are changed, please contact the Infoline to update your contact details. The phone numbers are available in the announcement.

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

If you are recognized as a refugee, you and your dependents will be provided with a UNHCR refugee card. In order to collect the decision letter 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; and the date, time and location will be communicated to you once you are informed of your appointment.

11. What happens if I am denied 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. 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.

In order to collect the decision letter, you will be required to present to UNHCR staff your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card and your identification documents (passport or other form of identification). You will then be required to sign a receipt for your notification letter. 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.

12. 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:

  • The reasons why you think the first instance negative decision is wrong, and
  • 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.

13. 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.

14. When would my file be closed?

If your asylum claim is rejected on appeal or if you miss your RSD appointments without any valid reasons and you fail to request a new appointment, your case will be closed. Reopening of a file is not a right and is not an automatic process; hence, the reopening of your file will be decided based on the merits of your case.

15. How can I contact the RSD Unit?

You can contact UNHCR’s InfoLine at the numbers:

Greater Cairo:

01202873434 | 01202873414

01202873179 | 01224773459

01202873184 | 01202873011

01202873215 | 01202872744



Alexandria and North Coast Governorates: