Rights & Duties

What are my RIGHTS as an asylum-seeker or refugee?

  • You have the right not to be forcibly returned to a place where your life and freedom will be in danger (non-refoulement). UNHCR will advocate for your right to non-refoulement to be respected. The Royal Thai Government is responsible for implementing this right in Thailand.
  • All the information you provide to UNHCR is treated as CONFIDENTIAL. Your details and any information related to your claim will not be shared outside of UNHCR without your consent.
  • If you are detained at an Immigration Detention Centre, you will have access to some basic services.  For more information, please see the Detention and Deportation section.

What are my OBLIGATIONS as an asylum-seeker or refugee?

  • Comply with Thai laws.
    • If you overstay your visa or enter Thailand illegally, the Royal Thai Government will consider you to be an “illegal immigrant.”
    • If you commit a criminal offence, UNHCR status does not protect you from being detained or prosecuted. 
  • Inform UNHCR immediately if you change your address or telephone number.
  • Always provide accurate, truthful information to UNHCR and cooperate fully with UNHCR in your refugee application.
  • Be on time for your appointments with UNHCR
  • Take good care of your UNHCR card. You should always carry your original UNHCR card with you  and never let others use or take away your UNHCR card. In case of loss or damage to your UNHCR card, please inform UNHCR immediately.

For your safety and well-being, you are highly encouraged to:

  • RESPECT Thai culture and customs.  Many people are arrested because of behaviour/disturbances that lead neighbours to seek police intervention.  Protection begins with YOU
  • Avoid any unnecessary travel and avoid leaving your residence late at night.
  • Avoid demonstrating in public places, government buildings, embassies and the United Nations Building.
  • Avoid engaging in political activities that draw unnecessary attention, including online political activism.
  • Avoid personal conflicts or quarrels.
  • Not make excessive noise late at night or early in the morning.
  • Not live or gather in large groups.
  • Try to learn the Thai language and always remain polite to your neighbours.  UNHCR/BRC and JRS offer intensive Thai Language classes for both children and adults. Click here for more information on education resources.

See also: