Refugee status in Rwanda is granted by the Government of Rwanda, not by UNHCR. If you are in need of international protection, you can apply for asylum with the Government of Rwanda. It is very important to consistently provide truthful information, including about your intention to seek asylum in Rwanda, at the first point of encounter with Government officials (including at Kigali International Airport). Failure to provide truthful information to Rwandan authorities at all times and in a timely manner may result in negative outcomes for your application. UNHCR’s NGO partner, Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR), is assigned to provide legal counseling on asylum procedures. If you are unsure of how to submit your application or about the process of asylum in Rwanda or have any other questions, the NGO partner can provide you with legal information. Please come to Gikondo Community Center on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am until 3pm. If you need an interpreter for languages other than French, Kinyarwanda or English, please contact 0788381857 to schedule an appointment, so we can arrange an interpreter of the language that you are comfortable with. Application for asylum in Rwanda shall be lodged to the closest immigration office. If you are in Kigali, you should present yourself to the Directorate General Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) in Kacyiru by bringing 2 copies of your asylum application letter and any relevant documents that would support your claim. In case you did not indicate your need for asylum upon arrival, you should approach the DGIE office as soon as possible - preferably within 1-2 days after your arrival - to declare your intention to seek asylum, even if your visa is still valid. If you are located outside of Kigali, you can approach village leader/umudugudu for information about the address of the DGIE office. Your asylum claim should be written down in the language of your choice and should provide detailed information on:
- Your identity and personal circumstances, including any special needs
- the reason you left your country,
- why you cannot return to your country,
- what might happen to you if you return,
- why you came to Rwanda,
- the reason why you left the previous country(ies) of asylum if Rwanda is not your first country of asylum, and
- what you request from the Government of Rwanda.