Registration with UNHCR

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All refugees and asylum-seekers in Iraq must register with UNHCR and obtain a UNHCR Certificate.

A valid UNHCR certificate confirms that you need international protection and assistance as a refugee or asylum-seeker.

Asylum-seekers who do not have a valid UNHCR certificate are subject to immigration laws in Iraq, and they may be at risk of deportation. Non-holders of a valid UNHCR Certificate also risk the loss of assistance and protection services provided by UNHCR and other humanitarian actors.

It is very important that you provide full and correct, information, to the best of your knowledge, during registration with UNHCR. If you have entered an alternate identity or have any information to disclose that you are scared might negatively impact your case with UNHCR, please note that all information shared with UNHCR is confidential. It will only be shared as needed and will not be shared without your permission. You will be asked to sign a document to confirm the truth of your statements and provide a telephone number or address at which you can be contacted. Therefore, please contact UNHCR in case you change to record your new phone number and/or address.

How to register yourself and your family members as asylum-seekers:

For Dohuk, Erbil, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah:

  • You can request a registration appointment by calling Iraq Information Centre (IIC) at the toll-free number 80069999 and request an appointment for new registration.
  • The IIC operators will ask you about your name, nationality, current location, and phone number.
  • The IIC will share your information with UNHCR who will set you on a waiting list for registration.
  • The IIC will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR Registration Centre, PARC, or CSC (depending on your location). Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the IIC calls you back.
  • At the date and time of your registration appointment, make sure that you come to the UNHCR registration centre with all family members.
  • Bring all the identification documents you have. You can register with UNHCR even if you do not have any documents. You will be asked why you do not have any documents, and then registration will continue. Please inform UNHCR if this is the case.
  • UNHCR registration staff will photograph you and your family members and collect biometric information (iris scan). The iris scan does not cause pain or health complications.
  • UNHCR interviewers will ask for your consent to share your information with our partners. All information will be kept confidential, except for information you authorize UNHCR to share with NGOs and authorities to receive documentation, assistance, and services.
  • UNHCR will issue a Registration Certificate containing your photograph, data, and Registration Number. Keep this certificate safe and confidential to prevent unlawful use of your information.

In Duhok (Bardarash): Those newly arrived should first appear at the Assayesh Office inside the camp for clearance, followed by registration by the Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs (BRHA). After this is completed, you can approach the UNHCR Registration Team.

For Ninewa

  • You can set a registration appointment by calling UNHCR on 0783 576 8460 or 0780 921 7331 (call tariffs will apply) and request a new registration appointment. Our staff will ask you about your name, nationality, current location, and phone number.
  • UNHCR will set you on a waiting list for registration.
  • UNHCR will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR  and the Legal Clinics Network (LCN) Community Support Centre (CSC)[GL1] [SA2]  in Mosul. Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the UNHCR calls you back.
  • At the date and time of your registration appointment, make sure that you come to the UNHCR registration centre with all family members.
  • Bring all the identification documents you have. You can register with UNHCR even if you do not have any documents. You will be asked why you do not have any documents, and then registration will continue. Please inform UNHCR if this is the case.
  • UNHCR registration staff will photograph you and your family members and collect biometric information (iris scan). The Iris scan does not cause pain or health complications.
  • UNHCR interviewers will ask for your consent to share your information. All information will be kept confidential, except for information you authorize UNHCR to share with NGOs and authorities to receive documentation, assistance, and services.
  • UNHCR will issue a Registration Certificate containing your photograph, data, and Registration Number. Keep this certificate safe and confidential to prevent unlawful use of your information.

For Baghdad

Asylum seekers and refugees in Baghdad will need to notify the Legal Clinics Network (LCN) of their presence in Iraq. LCN will ask you about your name, nationality, current location, and phone number.

  • UNHCR will set you on a waiting list for registration.
  • UNHCR will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR and Legal Clinics Network (LCN)Community Support Centre (CSC)  in Almansour, Baghdad. Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the UNHCR calls you back.
  • At the date and time of your registration appointment, make sure that you come to the UNHCR registration centre with all family members.
  • Bring all the identification documents you have.
  • UNHCR registration staff will photograph you and your family members and collect biometric information (iris scan). The Iris scan does not cause pain or health complications.
  • UNHCR interviewers will ask for your consent to share your information. All information will be kept confidential, except for information you authorize UNHCR to share with NGOs and authorities to receive documentation, assistance, and services.
  • UNHCR will issue a Registration Certificate containing your photograph, data, and Registration Number. Keep this certificate safe and confidential to prevent unlawful use of your information.

The UNHCR asylum-seeker certificate is valid for 12 months. The refugee certificate is valid for 24 months. Both asylum-seeker certificates and refugee certificates must be renewed when they expire.

If you already registered with UNHCR but wish to update your information

If there has been a change in your family composition, please contact UNHCR and ask for an appointment to update existing records.

For Dohuk, Erbil, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah:

  • Set a registration appointment by calling Iraq Information Centre (IIC) at the toll-free number 80069999 and request an appointment to update existing records or add a newborn baby.
  • The IIC operators will ask you about your registration number, name, nationality, current location, phone number, and the type of information that you want to update.
  • The IIC will share your information with UNHCR who will set you on a waiting list for registration.
  • The IIC will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR Registration Centre, PARC, or CSC. Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the IIC calls you back.
  • Make sure that you always share accurate information with UNHCR.
  • Providing your most recent contact detail will allow UNHCR to stay in touch with you and keep you informed about changes in your case. If you do not have a phone number, please share the phone number of a friend or relative who can help us contact you.

For Ninewa:

  • Set a registration appointment by calling UNHCR at 0783 576 8460 or 0780 921 7331 (call tariffs will apply) and request an appointment to update existing records or add a newborn baby.
  • UNHCR will ask you about your registration number, name, nationality, current location, phone number, and the type of information that you want to update.
  • UNHCR will share your information with UNHCR who will set you on a waiting list for registration.
  • UNHCR will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR Registration Centre, PARC, or CSC. Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the IIC calls you back.
  • Make sure that you always share accurate information with UNHCR.
  • Providing your most recent contact detail will allow UNHCR to stay in touch with you and keep you informed about changes in your case. If you do not have a phone number, please share the phone number of a friend or relative who can help us contact you. 

For Baghdad

Approach the Legal Clinics Network (LCN) and request an appointment to update existing records. LCN will ask you about your name, nationality, current location, and phone number.

  • UNHCR will set you on a waiting list for registration.UNHCR will call you to inform you about your registration appointment date when you must come to the UNHCR and Legal Clinics Network (LCN)Community Support Centre (CSC)  in Almansour, Baghdad.
  • Given the high load on our registration facilities, expect some time to elapse before the UNHCR calls you back.
  • At the date and time of your registration appointment, make sure that you come to the UNHCR registration centre with all family members.
  • Bring all the identification documents you have.UNHCR registration staff will photograph you and your family members and collect biometric information (iris scan).
  • The Iris scan does not cause pain or health complications.UNHCR interviewers will ask for your consent to share your information. All information will be kept confidential, except for information you authorize UNHCR to share with NGOs and authorities to receive documentation, assistance, and services.
  • UNHCR will issue a Registration Certificate containing your photograph, data, and Registration Number. Keep this certificate safe and confidential to prevent unlawful use of your information.

What to expect at the registration interview?

Before the registration interview begins, the UNHCR staff member will explain the purpose of the interview, the type of questions and the steps that are to be followed.
Should you prefer an interviewer or interpreter of a specific gender, please request this.

During the interview, you will be assigned a case number for you and your family, as well as an individual number for each family member. These numbers relate to your record with UNHCR and serve as a reference within UNHCR as well as with external entities. You will be provided with an Asylum-Seeker Certificate at the end of the interview and both numbers will be recorded on your Asylum-Seeker Certificate.

During the interview, the registration staff will collect and record appropriate information about you and your family members. This means that the interviewer will need to speak not only to you but to everyone in your family who is present with you in Iraq, including your children and your spouse. An individual photograph will be taken of all your family members. As part of UNHCR standard registration procedures, biometrics (iris scan) will also be collected for each person aged five (5) years and above. UNHCR collects biometric data to enhance identification, registration, and documentation management. Biometrics are used to strengthen the integrity of your identity. Please note that your biometric data is stored in secure servers; only UNHCR has access to that data which is not shared with any third party. All the documents that you present in the interview will be copied and placed in your file; originals will be returned to you.

At the end of the interview, you are provided with a UNHCR Asylum-Seeker Certificate that includes information about you and all family members and confirms that you are now a ‘person of concern’ to UNHCR and are under the international protection of UNHCR in Iraq.

  • UNHCR asylum seekers or refugees’ certificates are proof that you have sought international protection.
  • UNHCR certificates are, however, not a substitute for identification or residency documents issued by the Iraqi government. 
  • The UNHCR Asylum-Seeker Certificate must be renewed every year for it to remain valid.
  • UNHCR asylum seekers or refugees’ certificates contain sensitive information about you and your family. Always keep your personal information safe and confidential. Never give away your personal information on social media and untrusted websites.

All humanitarian assistance is provided free of charge