If you or anyone you know has been a victim or has information about fraud committed by another refugee, or corruption or bribery involving a UNHCR or partner staff member, please report it using the channels available HERE (link to Misconduct section)

What is resettlement?

Resettlement is the process where refugees who are unable to integrate in Syria or safely return to their home country might be considered for relocation to a third country.

All UNHCR services, including resettlement, are free of charge.

Who can be considered for resettlement?

Resettlement Identification is done regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, education, level, social status, nationality or religion. Yet, in order to be identified for resettlement, you need to meet the Resettlement criteria.

Resettlement is not a right and is available to very few refugees in the world.

Resettlement is a solution that is only available in very specific circumstances and to a very small number of refugees. There is no obligation on countries to accept refugees for resettlement. UNHCR identifies the most vulnerable refugees for resettlement consideration. Each case is considered on its own merits and is not linked to the date of registration with UNHCR.

Resettlement opportunities are extremely limited and only a small percentage (less than 1%) of refugees who meet very specific requirements are considered for resettlement. The criteria are defined by the Resettlement Countries, specific protection needs and particular vulnerabilities. UNHCR monitors individual cases of refugees on an ongoing basis and determines those eligible for Resettlement Consideration.

There are many refugees who are vulnerable and have high needs in Syria. You may know people who were resettled from Syria in the past. UNHCR depends on resettlement countries for the allocation of resettlement places and at present there are no places available for refugees living in Syria.

UNHCR regularly advocates for additional resettlement slots for refugees living in Syria, but at present there is no indication that this situation will change much in the near future.


Can I apply for resettlement?

No. There is no application process for resettlement.

Resettlement through UNHCR is not initiated by an individual refugee application. UNHCR is unable to consider petitions (letters, e-mail, faxes, etc.) or phone calls from refugees requesting resettlement.

How do I know if I have a resettlement case?

If your case is being considered by UNHCR for resettlement you will be contacted by the resettlement unit and invited for an interview by the Resettlement team.

After the interview you will be contacted again to be informed whether your case has been referred to a resettlement country. If UNHCR is unable to refer your case to a resettlement country you will be informed that you are not currently eligible for resettlement.

If you have not been contacted by UNHCR for a resettlement interview, it means that UNHCR cannot submit your case to a third country for resettlement.

You can also check whether you have an active resettlement case by calling the Resettlement counseling number on 📞 0932 113 339 every Sunday and Tuesday from 9 am – 3 pm.

If your case is under consideration for resettlement, UNHCR will contact you directly by telephone.

ATTENTION! UNHCR will never try to contact you via Facebook, WhatsApp or other forms of social media.

Why is UNHCR not offering more resettlement slots?

UNHCR regularly advocates for more resettlement slots, however resettlement is dependent on the will of resettlement countries to accept refugees for legal stay in their territory.

Countries are not legally obliged to receive refugees and only a limited number of countries offer resettlement spots on a regular basis.

Accepting refugees for resettlement is a demonstration of generosity on the part of governments and UNHCR welcomes the opportunities that continue to be offered by States for the resettlement of refugees.

I have new information which I believe will make me eligible for resettlement. How do I inform UNHCR?

Should you wish to update your file with new information regarding your situation, please

  • contact UNHCR through the channels available HERE , or
  • send an email to: ✉️  [email protected]  or
  • inform UNHCR at your next  ID renewal appointment.

Will new information make me eligible for resettlement?

New information is important but may not result in you becoming eligible for resettlement

  • Please note that the identification of refugees potentially in need of resettlement is an ongoing, active and systematic process, based on available resettlement slots and eligibility criteria.
  • You should not assume that your case is being processed for resettlement unless you are contacted by the UNHCR Resettlement Unit.

My relatives are living in a resettlement country. How can I join them?

The protection of family unity is important human right that UNHCR is committed to.

If you were separated from your family before or while you were fleeing your country of origin, your relative in the resettlement country may apply for you to join them under specific conditions.

Whether yo can join your family member depends on the legislation of the resettlement country, the type of legal status your relative was granted and the nature of your relationship.

You can read more about the process of Family Reunification by clicking HERE.

Some receiving countries have developed a dedicated family reunification page on their respective help sites, which you can consult for further information on . Some of them are:

If you have applied for family reunification at an embassy and you are facing problems in the process you can approach UNHCR for further information.

I have been advised by the resettlement unit that my case “does not currently qualify for resettlement”. What does this mean?

This means that after careful assessment, UNHCR decided that your case was not found eligible for further resettlement considerations as per the existing standard procedures and guidelines. It means you no longer have an active resettlement case and UNHCR will not submit your case for resettlement.

Please note that there is no appeal process for this decision.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will be considered for resettlement again in the future.

Although you will not be resettled, there is no impact whatsoever on your refugee status and therefore you continue to enjoy the protection of UNHCR and benefit from all programmes and services targeting refugees in Syria for which you are eligible.

Why do refugees in other countries get resettled but not refugees living in Syria?

Resettlement slots are currently extremely limited in Syria, and only a very small number can be processed for resettlement. UNHCR regularly advocates for resettlement slots for refugees living in Syria, however it is up to the resettlement countries to decide how many and when to accept refugees for legal stay in their territory.

Countries are not legally obliged to resettle refugees and only a limited number of States offer resettlement on a regular basis by providing annual resettlement quotas as responsibility sharing.

UNHCR is working hard to find maximum resettlement opportunities for refugees of all nationalities, but unfortunately the number of available slots is currently extremely limited. This affects all nationalities in the same way.

Can I apply for resettlement directly through an Embassy?

Private visa procedures through Embassies are not the same as UNHCR’s resettlement process.

You can apply directly with an Embassy for immigration visas or other migration opportunities and follow each countries’ procedures. UNHCR is not involved in such a process and will not have information on the status of your application.

I have a private sponsorship or humanitarian case pending. When will I be resettled?

UNHCR is not involved in the processing of sponsorship or humanitarian case applications and therefore cannot provide you with an update on your case. Your questions need to be addressed to the country representation (embassy) that received and is processing your application. If there is a decision on your application we encourage you to inform UNHCR so your records are updated.

If you have a case at an embassy and you are facing problems in the process you can approach UNHCR for further information.

Do I need to pay for resettlement?


Refugees should not pay anyone to refer their case for resettlement. All services offered by UNHCR and partner organisations, including resettlement, are free of charge.

This means that you should never be asked for money to be resettled. It does occur that people who are not linked with UNHCR try to take advantage of refugees who want to be resettled and ask for compensation in one way or another. Sometimes these schemes are very well organized and seem convincing. This is a fraud and is taken very seriously by UNHCR.

Please notify UNHCR if you have been approached by someone claiming they can help your case in exchange of money or anything else.

You can report cases by:

  • Sending an email to ✉️ [email protected]
  • Writing to UNHCR Syria via our complaint box at the reception area of each UNHCR Office.
    • If you do not want to use your name or case number, you can submit a complaint anonymously
    • Access to the complaints box is limited to only very few UNHCR staff members


If you feel that you were treated unfairly by any UNHCR staff member or other persons working directly with UNHCR, and especially if staff may be involved in fraud, corruption, sexual abuse or exploitation, or other misconduct, we encourage you to report using the complaints box and/or contact UNHCR Inspector General’s Office:

Please keep in mind that the more information you provide, the better it is for UNHCR to address the concern.

Your concerns are taken seriously and will be confidential.

Related information:   << Back to Syria homepage >> Select another country on our Help page