Family Reunification

What is family reunification?

Family reunification is when dependent family members such as children, spouses, parents, etc. are brought together after a period of separation.  For asylum-seekers and refugees, this process can happen within a country of asylum, across borders, back to the country of origin or to a third country.

I have a relative in a third country, do I qualify for family reunification?

It depends.  Family reunification programs in places like Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand generally require that your relative has legal status in that country, often refugee or another sort of protection status.

Depending on the country, other requirements may apply.  In general, family reunification is possible for children and husbands and wives, but there are exceptions to this, and every country has different requirements.

How do I find out if I qualify for family reunification?

Your relative should be able to advise on your eligibility after speaking with a lawyer or social worker in the country where they live.

Most countries offer free legal services through NGOs.  You can also look up the requirements online for the specific country where your relative is located.  The process can be complex and confusing, so it is important to get information on eligibility and filing through trusted resources.

UNHCR can also advise you in this process.

I know I qualify for family reunification, but my relative and I do not know how to start the process. What do I do?

Depending on the country of the intended destination, UNHCR may be able to help connect you to a lawyer through our network of offices abroad or with a legal partner.

  • You can contact UNHCR Protection Hotline at 📞 +212(0) 666 58 43 61 every Friday from 09:00 to 12:00.
  • You can also contact the UNHCR resettlement helpline at 📞 +212(0)661 48 68 81 every Thursday from 9:00 to 13:00.

How long will family reunification process take?

Once you and your relative file for family reunification, there is no guarantee that your case will be approved.  The process can be long and there are usually a lot of documents to provide and interviews to attend.  In some cases, you may even be required to present a DNA test.

UNHCR cannot advise on timelines for individual family reunification programs.  If you have a case in process, please bring it to UNHCR’s attention in the event we can possibly help.

How can I get in touch with UNHCR on my family reunification inquiries?

You can contact us:

  • By calling us: 📞+212 (0)6 61486881

I have lost contact with my family. What can I do?

Contact UNHCR who will refer you to the Moroccan Red Crescent or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

See also: