What happens after I submit my asylum application to UNHCR?
After you submit an asylum application, the Office will review the information you provided about your case. All requests by individuals falling under the UN Refugee Mandate are important to us. However, given the limited resources of the Office, long waiting periods should be expected for review of received requests. You will be notified if you can be assisted and you will be invited to a registration interview. You will also be notified if the office decides otherwise.
According to the current office procedures, not all asylum applicants will be registered with UNHCR. After careful review of asylum requests by the deciding committee, the UNHCR office will only register certain number of applicants for further follow up.
The Registration Process with UNHCR
The process of submitting an asylum application to UNHCR is very simple. All you need is to contact our office by providing information as listed under the contact section of this Help Page.
After the Office reviews your application and notifies you of your eligibility for registration you will be invited to come to the office for a registration interview. You will be advised on the steps you need to take when you are informed of the appointment. If you are scheduled for an interview, please ensure to bring along all your family members present in KSA and all your requested documents.
Note: At present, due to the precautionary measures taken due to COVID-19, the registration interview is conducted over the phone after all the requested documents are sent by the applicant and verified, after which the registered families are contacted to set an appointment to come to the office to complete the registration procedures.
UNHCR recognizes that personal information of persons of concern is personal highly sensitive. Therefore, UNHCR treats all information you provide with confidentiality. Your information will not be shared with any individual, family member, relative, or any government without the applicant’s prior consent.
It is worth to mention that any false information about the legal or living situation shared with UNHCR will adversely affect your application and may lead to the suspension of the registration process.
What are your rights and duties once registered with UNHCR?
Registering with UNHCR, even if recognized as a refugee, does not give the applicant any special status or privileges, as KSA is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Registration with UNHCR does not mean the applicant will have the right to public healthcare, education, employment nor will it give him/her the right to renew their Iqama or visitor visa. For such services, the applicant must go through normal government procedures per Saudi laws. UNHCR advises everyone to maintain a valid legal status in KSA.
Regardless of the applicant’s status with UNHCR, be it registered asylum seeker or refugee, the applicant must respect and abide by Saudi laws and that recognize that s/he is primarily under the protection of the government of the KSA.