The importance of documentation

Every person, regardless of age, must be documented. Asylum-seekers will receive a document that permits their stay in the country while their claim is being processed by UNHCR.

While awaiting the determination of your claim, you must stay in Trinidad and Tobago or inform the Refugee Unit and UNHCR of your intent to leave the country. If you leave at any time without prior communication to the Refugee Unit and UNHCR, it may be considered abandonment of your asylum claim.

You must ensure that your Asylum-Seeker Certificate or Refugee Certificate is valid and that you carry it with you at ALL times.

Provisional document for refugee status applicants

After you submit your refugee status determination application form, photo, and any identity and supporting documents, UNHCR will issue an Asylum-Seeker Certificate for all persons included in your asylum claim (including you as the principal applicant and any dependents that you may have). The Asylum-Seeker Certificate is the official document confirming your status as an asylum-seeker in Trinidad and Tobago. The document states that as long as your claim for refugee status is in progress, you should be protected from forced return to your country of origin.

Refugee document

If you are recognized as a refugee, UNHCR will issue a Refugee Certificate for all persons included in your asylum claim (including you as the principal applicant and any dependents that you may have). The Government of Trinidad and Tobago may also issue you an identification document in order to authorize your stay in the country.

Refugees may leave and return to Trinidad and Tobago with prior permission from the Refugee Unit. Refugees must communicate to UNHCR if they decide to permanently leave Trinidad and Tobago or voluntarily return to their country of origin. If a refugee chooses to return to their country of origin and remain, their refugee status will cease.

Forgery of Documents

Forged documents can negatively impact you asylum claim. Ensure that all identification and supporting evidence you provide are verifiable.

Forgery of documents will be reported to the authorities. If you are offered fraudulent UNHCR documentation, report the situation to UNHCR, LWC or the Immigration Division as soon as possible.

Lost or Stolen Asylum Documents

If your UNHCR documents have been lost or stolen you should immediately contact the UNHCR Registration Centre.


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