Urgent Message from UNHCR India to Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Changes in Registration and Refugee Status Determination Services due to COVID-19 starting 23 March 2020

19 March 2020

UNHCR understands that the impact of COVID-19 outbreak brings additional challenges to refugees and asylum seekers in India resulting in anxiety at the individual, family and community levels. It is our collective responsibility, including all refugees and asylum seekers, to support the Government of India’s efforts to raise awareness, contain the spread and implement response measures.

In line with recent instructions from the Government of India and the state Government of Delhi, in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, UNHCR reiterates the following messages and takes the following measures:

To protect yourselves and your community:

  • Undertake only essential travel – national and international – to avoid increased risk, exposure and potential spreading of COVID-19
  • Avoid group gatherings and practise social distancing
  • Comply with instructions from the Government of India
  • UNHCR makes efforts to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are well informed and fully included in preventative measures and public health responses.

UNHCR and partners are adjusting their service delivery to asylum seekers and refugees in India starting 23 March 2020.

  1. Registration:
  2. Persons who seek to newly register with UNHCR, including your family members, and who contact Save the Children Hyderabad, GNMS in Pune, UNHCR Field Office Chennai and UNHCR/SLIC at the Registration Centre in Vikas Puri, Delhi will receive an appointment letter for a registration interview in the second half of the year.
  3. All regular Refugee Card renewal interviews and Under Consideration Certificate extension activities in Save the Children Hyderabad, GNMS Pune, the UNHCR Field Office in Chennai and the UNHCR Registration Centre in Vikas Puri, Delhi, are suspended until further notice.
  4. All asylum seekers or refugees whose Under Consideration Certificate (UCC) or Refugee Card will expire by 31 May 2020 will receive a replacement UCC or blue paper Refugee Certificate, with a validity until 31 October 2020.
  5. All these documents will be sent to UNHCR and partner locations in Jammu, Jaipur, Mewat, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Delhi where distribution of these documents will be ensured in an organized manner. UNHCR and partners will communicate directly with asylum seekers and refugees living in their area on the modalities to receive the documents. Contact details of UNHCR and partner organizations are found at the bottom of this message.
  6. UNHCR will inform government authorities regarding the new arrangement including documents.
  • Refugee Status Determination
  • All RSD interviews scheduled to take place until 31 May 2020 at the UNHCR Office in Vasant Vihar of and Vikas Puri are postponed until further notice.
  • All asylum seekers scheduled for RSD interviews will be contacted individually in the coming days.
  • All asylum seekers whose UCC expires by 31 May 2020 will receive a new UCC with a validity until 31 October 2020 through the modalities described above.
  • Communication channels:
  • Please ensure your contact details (phone number, WhatsApp number, email address) are updated.
  • For questions and information sharing, please dial the toll-free number 1800-1035635 or write to [email protected].
  • UNHCR and partners will no longer receive asylum seekers and refugees at their respective offices.
  • UNHCR and its partners will continue to communicate with refugees and asylum seekers through community leaders for any urgent protection and emergency issues. 

We ask you for your continued cooperation and understanding in these challenging times.

Annex: UNHCR and partner office contacts:

  • Delhi:


Phone: 011-45705611 or 011-45705612

Email: [email protected]


Phone: 1800-1035635

Email: [email protected]

  • Jammu:

Save the Children India

Phone: 7006927307; 7006536021; 01912493550

  • Hyderabad:

Save the Children India

Phone: 9100319411
Email: [email protected]

  • Jaipur

Phone: 08302455952 and 09982246330

  • Mewat, Aligarh, Mathura


Mewat Phone: 8307580857

Aligarh, Phone: 6387852685
Mathura, Phone: 9027215008

  • Pune


Phone: 020-26699460
Email: [email protected]

  • Chennai

UNHCR Field Office

Phone: +914424461735 or +914424461732
Email: [email protected]