UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) ENDED REGISTRATION AND REFUGEE STATUS DETERMINATION PROCEDURES IN TURKEY ON 10 SEPTEMBER 2018
The Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), as the national authority entrusted by the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, is responsible for registering and processing international protection applications. UNHCR has provided support to DGMM during its formation process, including registration of international protection applicants and referral processes.
As of 10 September 2018, UNHCR stopped registering and making referrals of foreigners wishing to apply for international protection in Turkey. As of 10 September 2018, UNHCR stopped carrying out mandate Refugee Status Determination procedures.
According to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, foreigners who would like to apply for international protection in Turkey shall approach the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management (PDMM) in the cities upon entry to the country. PDMMs will initiate and undertake registration and further processing of the international protection applications lodged by individuals.
UNHCR will continue its protection activities, including delivery of counselling services, to refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey. If you have protection needs or are in need of counselling about the procedures or about your rights and obligations in Turkey, you can approach UNHCR and its partner organizations. UNHCR will continue to have access to international protection applicants and, subject to the consent of the applicant, to the information concerning the international protection application lodged by the individual with PDMM.
In this context, if you have recently arrived in Turkey and have not yet been registered by PDMM:
- Please approach PDMM upon your arrival in Turkey and apply for registration as soon as possible.
- There is no need to obtain a referral letter from UNHCR in Ankara in order to lodge your application for international protection at the PDMM. You can approach the PDMM in your location, or in any other province you wish.
- Having your registration completed with the PDMM will legalize your stay in Turkey. You will be issued an ID card with a Foreigners’ ID number, which will give you access to the rights and services as per the Turkish legislation.
- International protection applications are received by 81 provinces while permanent stay in some cities are not allowed under the legislation. If you apply to one of the provinces where residence is not allowed, you will be referred to a province where longer-term residence is regulated – these provinces are shown in green on the map.
- PDMM will identify your protection needs and vulnerabilities. If you have any special needs, please inform the interviewer at the PDMM. Based on an assessment, your application may be prioritized.
- UNHCR and its partners will continue to provide protection services, including counselling, to international protection applicants or status holders in Turkey. If you have protection needs or are in need of counselling, you can approach UNHCR and its partner organizations.
- UNHCR will continue to have access to international protection applicants and, subject to the consent of the applicant, to the information concerning the international protection application lodged by the individual.
The provinces where you can reside in Turkey are indicated in green:
Should you experience difficulties or require any further information related to your registration with the Turkish authorities, you may contact DGMM and UNHCR via the following hotlines:
157 YIMER – DGMM Communication Centre for Foreigners
444 48 68 – UNHCR Counselling Line
Frequently asked questions
I’ve had my RSD interview with UNHCR. Will I receive a decision on it?
All individuals who have had their RSD interview with UNHCR will be contacted by UNHCR and informed of the outcome of the process. UNHCR will not be issuing formal decisions; however, if you have been interviewed for RSD, UNHCR will notify you about your eligibility for resettlement consideration.
However, please note that the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) is the only RSD decision-making authority in the country. It is very important that you follow up on your case with PDMM.
(As of 10 September 2018, RSD in Turkey is conducted only by DGMM and its provincial directorates, in accordance with its responsibilities under Turkish legislation. It is therefore very important that you show up at PDMM on the date of your PDMM interview and comply with the signature duty.)
I’ve submitted an appeal to UNHCR. Will I receive a decision on it?
UNHCR is no longer conducting RSD procedures in Turkey, and is therefore no longer handling appeals. Therefore, you will not receive a formal decision on appeals. Please follow up on your case with PDMM.
I have submitted a re-opening request to UNHCR. Will I receive a decision on it?
If UNHCR received and accepted your re-opening request before 10 September 2018, you will be contacted and informed of the outcome of the review process.
When I registered with UNHCR, I received an RSD interview appointment date. What will happen to this? Is my appointment with UNHCR still valid?
Please note that RSD interview appointments with UNHCR are no longer valid. As of 10 September 2018, DGMM is the single authority responsible for individual case processing in Turkey.
It is therefore very important that you register with PDMM in your province, fulfil your signature duty, and present yourself at PDMM on the interview date.
If you experience difficulties in accessing the national asylum procedures, please call the DGMM Communication Centre for Foreigners (157 YIMER) or the UNHCR Counselling Line (444 48 68).
I have received an SMS that my registration or interview appointment with UNHCR is no longer valid, and that I should register with PDMM, if I have not done so already. Can you provide more information?
As of September 2018, DGMM has announced that it is now the single authority responsible for individual case processing for asylum-seekers in Turkey. This means that UNHCR is no longer conducting registration for asylum-seekers or conducting interviews as was the case in the past. In this regard, UNHCR is sending SMSs to notify asylum-seekers who were previously issued with a registration or interview appointment with UNHCR that these appointments are no longer valid.
In this case please present your claim to the relevant PDMM office in the province that you reside in so that you are registered and then undergo an interview; you no longer need to approach UNHCR.
It is very important that you register with PDMM in your province, fulfil your signature duty, obtain an interview date and present yourself at PDMM on the interview date indicated by PDMM. (Please note that certain PDMMs will prefer to call you for your registration and interview appointment instead of providing a written appointment date.)
On the interview date, present your claim with all your supporting documents as PDMM will be making a decision on your case and refugee status. This is therefore a very important interview for you (and your family).
It is important that you obtain all the necessary information for the interview date from PDMM, such as what to bring and who should accompany you. We encourage you to ask for additional information about the interview from PDMM to make sure you are ready.
If I pay money, can I have my RSD interview with UNHCR?
No, you cannot. First, UNHCR is no longer conducting RSD interviews.
Second, and just as important, all services provided by UNHCR and its partners are free of charge.
Do not trust anyone or any organization that asks for money to be paid for UNHCR or its partners’ services. They are lying to you. You will lose your money, and you will not get an interview appointment. People who tell you such lies are seeking to take advantage of your situation. Avoid them at all costs. They may show you information to persuade you that they are connected to UNHCR. Do not believe them.
If you have been approached by someone claiming they can help your case, please inform UNHCR immediately.
I have been notified that I am being invited for an interview with UNHCR. What does this mean? Hasn’t UNHCR stopped conducting RSD interviews?
In close consultation with DGMM, UNHCR processes the cases of individuals claiming to be in need of international protection and who have been identified for possible resettlement.
UNHCR accordingly conducts individual interviews to determine whether an international protection applicant meets the resettlement criteria determined by resettlement countries (sometimes referred to as “third countries”).
Visit our information page on Resettlement to find out more.
I have not approached DGMM/PDMM to apply for international protection in Turkey. Can I be considered for UNHCR processing for resettlement?
No. Only individuals who have applied for international protection and have been recognized as a conditional refugee by the State of Turkey, and who are in compliance with the obligations set out under the law (including fulfilling their signature duty), can be processed by UNHCR.