Asylum in Thailand

Before you come to Thailand, you should know that the Royal Thai Government does not have an asylum system for the protection of refugees.  Anyone without a valid visa is at risk of detention.

In Thailand, UNHCR is the only organisation responsible for receiving and processing asylum applications.

To apply for asylum in Thailand, you have to:

  1. Register with UNHCR: You should contact UNHCR and request registration. You will be contacted by UNHCR staff to explain the registration process and to gather more information from you.
  2. Go through Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process: After you have been registered and issued a UNHCR card, you will get an appointment for what is called an “RSD interview”. You will be interviewed by UNHCR staff to decide if you meet the criteria to be recognised as a refugee.
  3. Wait for your decision: After the interview, you will receive more information about the next steps.

ATTENTION! Asylum-seeker and refugee status documents are NOT VISAS! If you can, make sure to have a valid visa with the Government of Thailand during your entire stay in Thailand.

Who is a refugee?

A refugee is someone who has a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.  They must be outside of their country of origin and unable or unwilling to receive protection from their country of origin because of their fear of persecution.

Who is an asylum-seeker?

An asylum-seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status but who has not yet received a decision as to whether he/she has been recognized as a refugee.  

How do I claim asylum in Thailand?

If you wish to ask for asylum in Thailand, you will first have to register with UNHCR and go through a Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process. 

What is the National Screening Mechanism?

The Royal Thai Government (RTG) is currently working on a national mechanism and laws that would allow certain people who were forced to flee their country to seek protection in Thailand. The National Screening Mechanism is still under development and has not been implemented.

ATTENTION! The information above is relevant to urban Refugees and Asylum seekers in Thailand.

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