Complementary Pathways

Complementary pathways for admission are safe and regulated avenues for refugees that complement resettlement by providing lawful stay in a third country where their international protection needs are met. They are additional to resettlement and do not substitute the protection afforded to refugees under the international protection regime.

Below represents a non-exhaustive list of complementary pathways for admission of refugees to third countries

I. Family Reunification:

Following separation caused by forced displacement, family reunification procedures are often the only way to ensure respect for the right to family unity. Under this pathway, the family member who is resettled in a third country may make an application under country specific program for issuance of a visa under this category.

Different countries have specific programs under family reunification category. UNHCR has been continuously updating the accurate information concerning various programs available to the refugees and asylum seekers as per the country.

For detailed information regarding various country specific program, please visit:  

NOTE: UNHCR has means to support selected refugees with flight tickets who have obtained a visa under family reunification category. For detailed information on eligibility, please write to [email protected]   

II. Humanitarian Visas

Humanitarian visas are often used to admit individuals in need of international protection to a third country where they are given the opportunity to formally apply for asylum upon arrival, including through expedited procedures. Humanitarian Visas exist in the legislative provision of some countries. The visas are issued at state discretion and are typically very limited in numbers.  Only a few countries in the world currently have this provision, they include Argentina, Brazil, France, Switzerland, and Italy among others.

III. Humanitarian Admission

States occasionally set up humanitarian admission programmes for persons from regions with acute conflict. They thereby declare their willingness to take up a certain number of people in need of protection. These programmes enable individuals in need of international protection to safely and legally enter a country prepared to admit and grant them effective protection.

IV. Third Country Employment Opportunities

Third country employment opportunities are safe and regulated avenues for entry and stay in another country for the purpose of employment, with the right to either permanent or temporary residence. They can also include temporary and permanent skilled entry arrangements specifically aimed at supporting refugees, with the eventual or immediate attainment of the right to family unity.

  1. Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB): TBB connects refugees with international employment opportunities so that individuals may obtain a work permit linked with permanent resident status for the worker/employee and their family members in countries where they can access full rights and stability.

You may visit

Please select “For Job Seekers” to see more information on your suitability.

In addition, you can also contact UNHCR’s partner BOSCO’s New Delhi office. Email: [email protected]; PHONE: (+91) 9354938959.

  1. TalentLift Canada:

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. They support employers to source talent from within refugee and displaced populations to fill skills shortages, enabling refugees along with their families to migrate to Canada.

For more information, please visit: and select “Seek a Job”.

NOTE: The individuals need to register themselves on the TBB/TalentLift Portal as “Job Seekers” and complete their profile by providing their educational qualifications and professional experience. Individuals become a part of the talent pool and are invited to an interview when a job opportunity matching their qualifications arises. It is important to note that simply registering does not guarantee a job.

V. Third Country Community Based or Private Sponsorship

Many countries have special humanitarian schemes and provide community-based and individual sponsorship visas to refugees and asylum seekers. The applicant (sponsors) needs to apply for the same with their country on their official website as per the prescribed procedure. There may exist country specific requirements which the applicants need to fulfil to be eligible under the program.

  1. Australia
  • Global Special Humanitarian Program – for proposing both ‘close’ and ‘extended’ family members.
  • Community Support Program – for communities and businesses, as well as families and individuals, to propose applicants with employment prospects (and their families) and to support their settlement in Australia. There are costs associated with this option.

To be eligible to apply for a Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202) through the Special Humanitarian Program you must be:

  1. Canada:

Under their community sponsorship program, some community organizations may sponsor refugees to migrate to Canada. The organization must agree to provide emotional and income support for the full sponsorship period.

For more information, please visit:

VI. Third Country Education Opportunities:

The third country educational pathways allow asylum seeker and refugees to explore study opportunities overseas in the third countries which can be seen as a long-term durable solution. UNHCR India is exploring partnership opportunities which can provide accurate and reliable information about various study programs in third countries including information about scholarships and financial aid for refugee and asylum seeker students.

  1. Duolingo English Test –Duolingo and UNHCR are in a partnership to explore and assist refugee children in exploring various educational pathways to third countries. One of the requirements for applying to a college/university is the English Proficiency Requirement (IELTS/TOEFL and others). Duolingo provides refugees (through UNHCR) a free of cost alternative service, i.e., Duolingo English Test which is accepted in more than 3500 institutions around the world.

         For more information, please visit:

  1. EducationUSA: EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of 430 student advising centres with a presence in more than 175 countries and territories. They provide accurate and comprehensive information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the US. The services provided by the network are free and open to everyone.

For more information, please visit:

  1. Other educational pathways: UNHCR is working with various government institutions, non-governmental organisations, educational institutions, and other relevant stakeholders in finding various educational opportunities for the refugee and asylum seeker students across the globe. UNHCR through partnerships are also working in finding scholarship opportunities for the refugee students to pursue their higher educational goals in the third countries. A detailed information on the available educational opportunities and related scholarships can be found on the opportunities page of UNHCR website.

For detailed information, please visit: