UNHCR’s role in Korea

The Republic of Korea is a State party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugee and the Korean government has the responsibility to process asylum claims and to provide protection to those who are seeking asylum in Korea. Therefore, individuals applying for asylum in Korea are subject to the Korean national laws and domestic asylum procedures that are in place. For more information, consult Korea Immigration Service

❌ In Korea: UNHCR does NOT process nor examine asylum applications,

❌ UNHCR does NOT register refugees, 

❌ UNHCR does NOT issue refugee documents and, 

❌ UNHCR does NOT provide direct cash assistance. 

UNHCR’s role in Korea focuses on working with the Government, non-governmental and other stakeholders to ensure protection of refugees and asylum-seekers in the Republic of Korea. 


Please note that there is no resettlement programme to a third country from the Republic of Korea The Korean government provides asylum-seekers with a refugee status determination procedure. Resettlement places offered to UNHCR by various countries are extremely limited. For those limited places, UNHCR prioritises extremely vulnerable individuals who are in very dangerous or unstable situations in countries which do not provide such persons with any legal status or assistance. 

Therefore, asylum-seekers and refugees in the Republic of Korea who wish to travel or migrate to a third country should follow the relevant procedures and requirements for visa application to that country. UNHCR does not provide any letter of referral or confirmation of refugee status to individuals in Korea. 

For further general information on resettlement, please see UNHCR’s resettlement webpage.