Active Resettlement Cases

The below information is relevant if you currently have an ACTIVE resettlement case! If you are unsure if you have an active case, please read the information on the general Resettlement page.

What happens if I am identified for resettlement?

If your case is identified for resettlement consideration, you will be contacted by UNHCR and be invited for an initial interview. If you are interviewed, there is no guarantee that you will be resettled.

If your case is found eligible for resettlement and your case is sent to a resettlement country for consideration, you will be informed by UNHCR about the submission of your case, specifying the country.

UNHCR will contact you by telephone about each stage of the resettlement process. Therefore, it is very important you keep UNHCR updated in case you change your contact number.

Who takes the final decision on my case for resettlement?

The final decision to accept a refugee for resettlement rests with resettlement country, not UNHCR.

How long does the resettlement process take? Why is my resettlement case taking so long?

Resettlement is a very long process and the processing time varies depending on the resettlement country and the individual case.

If you have been informed by UNHCR by the dedicated resettlement line that your case has been submitted to a resettlement country you will receive counseling by UNHCR resettlement staff on the status of your case.

It is not possible to predict how long the resettlement process will take. It is also not possible to predict how long after a resettlement country has accepted to receive an individual, s/he will actually departure Syria.

It may take many months or several years, depending on the resettlement state and its procedures. Some resettlement countries may also undertake additional interviews to the initial one with refugees they are considering for resettlement. You will be required to undergo medical checks and receive further information from the resettlement country prior to departure.

UNHCR will be in contact with you during the different stages of the resettlement process, but it is important to be patient as the processing time may take several years. Do not sell your belongings or stop working until you have been notified of a departure date. Ensure your children go to school and gain knowledge and skills.

My case has been submitted to the USA, when will I hear back?

The crisis in Syria has disrupted the resettlement process to the USA. At the moment, UNHCR does not know if your case will be processed further and when.

We are aware that this is a very difficult situation and that it is not easy to wait in these circumstances.

Due to the limited resettlement opportunities, UNHCR is unable to re-submit your case to another resettlement country.

UNHCR will contact you via the dedicated resettlement line if there is any update in your case. In the meantime, UNHCR advises you to focus on your current situation. This means that children must continue to study and you should continue working to cover your family’s housing and expenses.

Can I choose which country I would like to be resettled to?

No, refugees cannot choose the resettlement country of their preference and there is a very limited choice of resettlement countries.

However, when UNHCR submits a case to a resettlement country, we ensure to consider the refugee’s own background [family, cultural, linguistic, education and work experience], any specific needs as well as family links.

Can I withdraw my case after it has been submitted?

You have the right to withdraw your case submission to a resettlement country.

However, note that withdrawing your case does not mean it will automatically be considered for re-submission to another country and it may no longer be processed for resettlement at all.

Re-submission also may not be an option if there are no resettlement countries available.

What happens if my case is rejected by the resettlement country?

If your case is rejected by the resettlement country you will be contacted by the resettlement country and/or UNHCR and counseled accordingly.

Note that if your resettlement case is rejected by the resettlement country, this has 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.

If I am rejected by one resettlement country, will UNHCR resubmit to another?

Due to the very limited resettlement slots available for refugees in Syria at the moment, it is highly unlikely that your case will be resubmitted. You will be informed by UNHCR if your case is eligible to be resubmitted.

What happens if I have already been interviewed for resettlement and there is a change in my family situation, such as marriage, birth or death?

You should immediately inform UNHCR of any change to family composition. Withholding this information could negatively impact your case.

You can provide UNHCR with updates on your circumstances during interviews with UNHCR or by calling the resettlement counseling line (0932-113 339). Should UNHCR require any additional information or documentation for your resettlement case, the resettlement team will reach out to you directly. Once again, it is very important to keep your contact information updated so the team can reach you if needed.

If I am resettled can my family members join me after?

It is very important that you declare all your family members during the resettlement process so that they are mentioned in UNHCR’s records. There is no guarantee that your family members will be able to join you in the resettlement country later, as this will depend upon the legislation and criteria of the country.

Many countries limit their family reunification criteria to immediate family members and have financial requirements that must be met before you can sponsor your family members.

For more information on Family Reunification, click HERE.

Should I stop working or studying when my case is considered for resettlement?

No. Even if your case is identified for resettlement, it will take a long time for the process to be completed.

UNHCR encourages individuals with cases identified for resettlement to not take action to leave their homes, sell their belongings, stop working, or take their children out of school until they have been notified of a confirmed departure date.

Having a work permit, being employed, or enrolled in school, does not affect your resettlement case or the assistance you may be receiving from UNHCR.

Will I be able to work in the resettlement country?

Resettled refugees have the right to work in the resettlement country and are expected to do so to support themselves. Services and the levels of support vary between resettlement countries. However, be mindful that employment opportunities may be limited, and opportunity for advancement is impacted by various factors.

Integration in a resettlement country can be very challenging due to cultural and language difference but also possible separation from family friends.

Where can I go for help on my resettlement case?

If you have been approached by UNHCR for resettlement consideration, and have questions or concerns about your case, please contact the Resettlement Counselling Line on 0932 113 339 for further assistance.

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