About UNHCR in Malta

Malta has signed the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

UNHCR leads and coordinates activities to protect and support refugees worldwide. However, the primary responsibility to protect refugees is always with the Government of the country where the refugees live. Accordingly, in Malta, the Government is responsible for processing asylum claims and deciding whether somebody can be granted refugee status in the country.

What is the role of UNHCR in Malta?

UNHCR in Malta works with the Government, non-governmental and other organizations, volunteer networks and communities to ensure the protection and assistance of refugees, stateless persons and asylum-seekers arriving in Malta.

In Malta, UNHCR does not: register refugees, examine asylum applications, or issue refugee documents. These functions are the responsibility of the Government of Malta.

What can UNHCR do for you in Malta?

UNHCR staff will offer counselling and advise you of the options and procedures that are available to you to allow you to make informed decisions for yourself.

All information/ documentation you share with UNHCR will be confidential and not shared with any third parties without your written consent.

UNHCR may also refer you to relevant NGOs or an authority that can provide you with the necessary services or support.

  • UNHCR staff can give you clear and practical legal information. This includes information on procedures that you must complete when you arrive in Malta, how to apply for asylum, family reunification in another European country, relocation to another European country, or assisted voluntary return to your home country. UNHCR can also inform you of your rights and obligations as an asylum seeker or beneficiary of international protection in Malta.
  • UNHCR staff will explain to you specific procedures that may apply to the following groups: a) unaccompanied children b) persons with a disability or persons suffering from an incurable or serious illness, c) elderly, d) pregnant women or women having recently given birth, e) single parents with minor children, f) survivors of torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence or exploitation, or persons with a post-traumatic disorder, in particular survivors and relatives of victims of ship-wrecks, g) victims of trafficking. Only if you agree, will UNHCR staff share this information with the authorities or other organizations.
  • If you are at risk because of your gender, age or sexual orientation, UNHCR can advise you on where to seek help. UNHCR can refer you to the relevant organization or authority for further support and protection but will only do so if you agree.

How can you contact UNHCR Malta?

Meetings with UNHCR Malta are by appointment only. There are no drop-in hours. To request information or to make an appointment, kindly contact us through the following channels:

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