If you have been exposed to any harm, UNHCR and its partners are available to support you. You can call the following numbers:
Helpline numbers: +919810173130, +917303154009
UNHCR field office in Chennai: +914424461735
Women’s Helpline New Delhi: 1091
Ambulance Helpline: 102
Police Control Room: 100
There are currently a number of refugee support centres supported by NGO partners that offer language classes, bridge classes, computer classes, help in enrolment in schools.
Most of the services provided at the refugee support centres established by UNHCR India and its education partners have moved to distance learning modalities using instant messaging and videoconferencing applications such as WhatsApp, Zoom and YouTube. Please reach out to the UNHCR partner location for more details. (refer to useful numbers section)
DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme.
Refugee youth in India can also apply for the DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme. It offers qualified refugee and returnee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum or home country. Through the dedicated support of the governments of Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic, UNHCR and private donors, the programme has supported over 18,000 young refugees to undertake tertiary studies since 1992. To learn more please see the 2019 DAFI Programme Annual Report.
Refugee Status Determination (RSD) is an individual process that is carried out for each person seeking international protection. The primary objective of an RSD process is to explore in detail why a person seeking asylum cannot return to their country of origin or habitual residence. During the RSD interview, the person seeking asylum will be asked questions about their family, their background, education, occupation and general personal circumstances. The RSD interview will particularly focus on the reasons why the person left their country and cannot return. Based on the statements provided by the person during the interview as well as information and reports about what is happening in the person’s country of origin at the time of the interview, the RSD Unit will assess the individual case and determine whether the person qualifies for refugee status.
Refugee status determination processing time
That depends on the details of your case. Each case is considered individually. Because of the high number of applications we receive, you may need to wait several months to receive your results or even be called for another interview to ask you more questions before completing your case. We appreciate your understanding and patience. The RSD Unit tries its best to finalise RSD decisions within 3 months of your last RSD interview, but due to high volumes of cases, it is not always possible to stick to this timeline. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
It is important you keep UNHCR updated on your phone number, email or other contact information. We will use these details if we need to contact you to come in for another interview or for any other follow up.
If 12 months have passed and you have still not received the outcome of your refugee status determination interview, please email us at [email protected] with the subject line “case number/ RSD decision inquiry“, call our toll free number 1800-1035635.
As for the decision notifications, individuals will be notified remotely in the same way as the remote interviews. Each individual will be informed of the method, location and date of their notification by call or/and email
The process to appeal a negative RSD decision
You have the right to appeal if your application for refugee status is rejected for the first time. UNHCR issues a ‘notification of rejection’ decision along with a blank appeal form. You have 30 days from the date of receiving the decision, to submit this appeal form to UNHCR. Please submit your appeal to [email protected] with case number/appeal in the subject line.
IT IS NOT PERMITTED FOR YOU TO RECORD ANY CALL OR INTERVIEW MADE BY UNHCR. THIS IS A BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY. IF UNHCR DISCOVERS THAT YOU HAVE RECORDED A CALL OR AN INTERVIEW, THIS WILL BE NOTED IN YOUR FILE.
Please note that ALL services provided by UNHCR, including registration, are provided for FREE.
Videoconferences are still used to conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews.
There are currently no in-person interviews taking place at the offices.
Due to the pandemic, UNHCR had to reschedule the majority of previously scheduled RSD interviews. UNHCR will contact you to confirm your revised interview date. For RSD interviews, there is no need to travel to the UNHCR offices in Delhi.
UNHCR will contact you to inform you of the outcome of your RSD processes.
Please note that individual data of refugees are protected by the Policy on Protection of Personal Data of Persons of Concern toUNHCR.
1. Renewal and distribution of UNHCR documents – Refugee Cards and Under consideration Certificates (UCC)
This is to inform you that UNHCR and implementing partners resumed the distribution of hard copies of refugee cards and Under Consideration Certificates (UCC) to refugees and asylum seekers whose hard copies have expired or will expire in the coming months, and to newly recognized refugees. The relevant implementing partner which covers the location where you stay will contact you to schedule an appointment to collect your renewed hard copy of the document.
Please do not travel to UNHCR/SLIC Delhi offices and the UNHCR Chennai office without an appointment to collect a hard copy of your renewed document, as UNHCR and SLIC will not be able to give you a document without a prior appointment.
2. Interviews for renewal of refugee cards
Refugees whose refugee cards expire from July 2021 onwards need to schedule an appointment for a renewal interview.
For refugees in Goa and Maharashtra, please call GNMS: 020-29997644 or write to [email protected]
For FR/renewal of cards: For refugees in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh call the UNHCR Chennai office: 04424461732, 04424461735 or write to [email protected]
For refugees elsewhere in the country, please call SLIC on 8383049285 or write to [email protected]
3. New registration
When you contact UNHCR or a partner to ask for registration, please share the following information:
- First and last name:
- Date and place of birth
- Country of origin:
- Number of family members who are in India and are to be registered:
- Date of arrival from country of origin:
- Phone no/whatsapp number:
- Email address:
- Address in India:
- UNHCR Case number of family members already registered with UNHCR
In Goa, Maharashtra:
For all new registration requests, including registration of new-borns, please contact please call GNMS: 020-29997644 or write to [email protected]
For all new registration requests, including registration of new-borns, please contact please call SCI: 9100319411 or write to [email protected]
In Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka:
For all new registration requests, including registration of new-borns, please contact UNHCR Chennai: 04424461732, 04424461735
For locations not mentioned above (those residing elsewhere in India):
For new registration requests, email to [email protected] or call UNHCR tollfree number: 1800 103 5635 or helpline: 9810173130.
For registration requests for new-borns, please contact SLIC: on 8383049285 or write to [email protected]
4. RSD interviews
Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews continue to be held remotely through videocalls. No in-person interviews in the offices take place yet. Due to the pandemic, UNHCR had to reschedule most RSD interview appointments previously given. You will be contacted by UNHCR to inform you of your new interview date. There is no need to travel to UNHCR Offices in Delhi for RSD interviews. UNHCR will contact you about the result of your RSD procedures.
5. Contact details
Please make sure your contact details are up to date. To update your contact details (phone/ WhatsApp number, email and address), please contact SLIC: 8383049285.
6. Protection concerns
Please write to [email protected] or contact UNHCR’s tollfree number: 1800 103 5635 or helpline: 9810173130.
Important: The services and assistance provided by UNHCR and its partners are free of cost. No sexual or other favour can be requested in exchange of services and assistance. UNHCR and its partners have a policy of zero tolerance of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
If you have any complaints on the conduct of UNHCR staff, please send an email directly to the head office in Geneva on [email protected].
How to receive the renewed Asylum Seeker Certificate
As part of UNHCR’s Remote Renewal Interview Process, UNHCR is issuing appointments for refugees to collect their renewed Asylum Seeker Certificates. UNHCR contacts refugees directly to set appointments to approach the office, in order to avoid crowding, and in line with the precautionary measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus. It is absolutely essential that you approach the center at the exact specified date and time communicated to you .
UNHCR has begun informing Chin refugees of a review process to determine their continued international protection needs. This review will take place in all countries hosting Chin refugees, including Malaysia, India, Thailand, and Nepal.
The approach to assess the continued protection needs of Chin refugees was taken following a careful analysis over several years of the political, social, and security developments in Chin State and Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Information from a variety of sources, including missions to the region by UNHCR, indicate that the reasons giving rise to a fear of persecution under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees have very significantly diminished. This is confirmed by a negligible recognition rate for refugee status claims by individuals from Chin State over the last two years.
In order to maximize solutions available to Chin refugees no longer in need of international protection, UNHCR will renew their identity documentation until the end of 2019. During this time, the individual is entitled to all services and assistance provided by UNHCR. UNHCR will work with the community, the Government of Myanmar, resettlement receiving countries, and host country governments to achieve viable solutions through voluntary repatriation, resettlement (for those who qualify and are already in the resettlement process), family reunification in third countries (for those who qualify), and, potentially, transition to a different legal status.
Any individual who does not wish to pursue the above options is entitled to request UNHCR to review her/his case. If s/he can establish that s/he has a continuing need for international protection based on a Convention ground or a compelling reason (arising out of past persecution) not to return to her/his country of origin despite the changes there, an individual determination will be made on that basis.
UNHCR will review its approach if it can be demonstrated that the situation in Chin State and/or Sagaing Region of Myanmar warrant such a review.