Registering with UNHCR and Documents

If you wish to apply for asylum in Thailand, the first step is to Register with UNHCR.

Select below to find out more about this process

How do I register with UNHCR in Thailand? ⬇️

If you would like to register with UNHCR to apply for asylum in Thailand, you can submit your request:

  • In-person: at the UNHCR Reception in the United Nations Building, Rajdamnern-Nok Avenue, Bangkok, from Monday to Friday 8:30–16:30
  • By phone: 📞 02 340 6500 (from Monday to Friday 8:30–16:30)
  • By e-mail: 📧 [email protected]

Please include the following information when you submit your request:

  • Full name of the Principal Applicant
  • Nationality
  • Sex (of the Principal Applicant)
  • Date of Birth
  • List of family members accompanying along with their sex and age
  • Reasons for seeking asylum
  • Identification documents you can present
  • Contact details (Phone, Video-call, and Email)
  • Language(s) (including whether you need an interpreter for your appointment)
  • Please note any special needs you may have that UNHCR should be aware of for your first interview, such as physical disability, hearing problems, etc.

Once the information you provide is received and reviewed, UNHCR will contact you to inform you of the next steps.

If you are given a registration appointment, UNHCR will inform you of the date and time you should come to UNHCR’s office to register in person.

What should I bring to my Registration appointment? ⬇️

When you come to your registration appointment,  remember to bring all the documents you would like to submit as part of your asylum application.

Please bring the following documents if you have them:

  • Passport and/or other identity documents of you and any family member who would like to apply.
  • Documents to prove your family relationships, if applicable, such as birth and marriage certificates.
  • Your current address and telephone number in Thailand.

How can I submit documents to UNHCR? ⬇️

You or your legal representative can submit documents by email or in-person to the UNHCR office.

ATTENTION! Documents submitted after a decision has been made on your case, even if you have not yet been notified, will not be considered. Please submit everything you want to be considered as part of your case as soon as possible.

You or your representative can submit documents to us by:

  • UNHCR email: 📧 [email protected] (please put your full name and UNHCR case number in your email subject line).
  • UNHCR Mailbox: Outside of the UNHCR office, IDC Suan Phlu, Bangkok Refugee Centre (please ensure you include your full name and UNHCR case number within your documents)


What is a UNHCR card, and how does it help me? ⬇️

A UNHCR card is a formal document issued by UNHCR. It shows your status as a registered asylum-seeker or refugee with UNHCR.

➡️ The card for asylum-seekers is valid for 12 months. The card for refugees is valid for 18 months and needs to be renewed BEFORE the expiring date.

The UNHCR card shows that you are registered with UNHCR.   Although the UNHCR does not give you legal status and is not a visa, you should present it if the Thai authorities question you to help explain your situation in Thailand.

Sample of UNHCR Thailand Card
Sample of UNHCR Thailand card



Please contact the UNHCR office 2-3 weeks before your card expires to schedule an appointment to renew your card.  If you are living outside of Bangkok, you may want to contact the Office sooner to ensure your card does not expire before you can come to collect the new one.

  • You should always keep and carry your original refugee card with you (including your children’s cards).
  • You should keep a copy of your UNHCR card(s) in a safe place.
  • The UNHCR card includes your basic information, your UNHCR file number, UNHCR’s office phone number, and emergency after-hours Protection hotline number (see Contact us), which you can call if you are arrested or stopped by police.

Please note that: 

  • The UNHCR card does not prevent arrest by the police or authorities if you violate national laws, including immigration laws.
  • The UNHCR card does not function as a travel document or a visa. If you can, try to maintain a valid visa while you remain in Thailand.

Do I need to renew my UNHCR card? ⬇️

The card for asylum-seekers is valid for 12 months. The card for refugees is valid for 18 months.

➡️ If your card has expired, you can go directly to the Reception office without an appointment on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00am until 3:00pm.

What should I do if my UNHCR card is lost, stolen or damaged? ⬇️

If your UNHCR card is lost, stolen or damaged, you should immediately contact the UNHCR office. You will receive an appointment to come to the office.

  • If the UNHCR card is damaged, bring the damaged card with you to the office.
  • If the UNHCR card is lost or stolen, you will be required to present a police report reporting your card as stolen. UNHCR can assist you in getting a police report; please Contact us for this.

I am already registered with UNHCR, how do I update my family and contact information? ⬇️

Updating contact information:

  • Please contact UNHCR by phone or email (see Contact us) to update a new phone number or other contact information.
  • Please include your UNHCR number and your name so we can update the information correctly.

Birth of a baby in Thailand:

  • Please email a copy of the birth certificate to UNHCR: [email protected].
  • UNHCR will contact you for an in-person interview to add the baby to your file. For the interview, you will need to bring your baby and the original birth certificate.

Death of family member in Thailand:

Add a family member from my case or separate my case:

  • To request to add a new family member to your case or separate your case from your current family members, please contact UNHCR by phone or email (see Contact us).
  • Provide information on the family members involved and the reason for your request. Always remember to provide your UNHCR number and your name.
  • Registration staff will contact you to explain whether the requested changes are possible. If an interview is needed, Registration will inform you of the interview date.
  • If you want to separate your case for domestic violence or other safety reasons, you can also contact the Protection Unit.

See also: