Resettlement is a solution that enables refugees to move from their country of asylum to another country, where they will receive protection and assistance.

Resettlement is not a right. It is also not an application-based process. It is only available to a very small number of refugees. This is because very few resettlement places are available each year. They are therefore reserved for the most vulnerable cases, for refugees who are at risk in their country of asylum and are also without any prospects of a safe return to their country of origin. Less than 1% of all refugees around the world are resettled.

Recognition of refugee status does not necessarily mean that a refugee will be referred for resettlement.

UNHCR works in collaboration with Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) to identify the most vulnerable cases to see if the individuals would be eligible for resettlement processing. The final decisions with regards to resettlement are taken by the receiving countries and not UNHCR.

If your case is selected for resettlement consideration, UNHCR will contact you.

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply for resettlement?

No. Resettlement is not an application-based process. UNHCR continually reviews the most vulnerable cases to assess whether they meet UNHCR’s resettlement criteria. If your case is selected for resettlement consideration, UNHCR will contact you.

Resettlement is not a right and does not apply to everyone granted refugee status.

Can I choose which country I would like to be resettled to?

No, refugees cannot choose the country of resettlement.

Countries are not obliged to accept refugees for resettlement. The governments of different countries tell UNHCR each year how many refugees they wish to accept; they also establish their own criteria.

If you are selected for resettlement processing, UNHCR will select a resettlement country for you by matching your case against the specific criteria of the resettlement countries.

What happens in a resettlement interview? What will I be asked by UNHCR to see if I meet the resettlement criteria?

An interview is conducted individually with each adult applicant included in the file. The interview is carried out in the language preferred by the applicant. The applicant can also express their preference as to the gender of the interviewer and/or interpreter.

The detailed content of the interview is written down in electronic format. The interview might also be audio recorded for anti-fraud reasons and for the protection of applicants.

The whole content of the interview remains strictly confidential. In order to facilitate a smooth process and a fair assessment, the applicant is requested to cooperate and tell the truth.

During the interview, the applicant will be asked a range of questions. This includes questions on biographical details, as well as the reasons why they fled their country of origin, the reasons why they fear to return, and other relevant issues that would enable UNHCR to make a decision about the applicant’s family composition, identity, and whether or not resettlement criteria are met. The applicant is reminded to provide any relevant identity, travel, or other documents which they may have.

I have just had my resettlement interview. How long do I have to wait until I am resettled?

As you were informed during the resettlement interview, the fact that you were interviewed does not guarantee that you will be resettled.

Please also remember that resettlement is a long process. It may take months or more than a year, depending on the resettlement countries and their procedures.

UNHCR will be in touch with you during the different stages of the resettlement process. You can also visit the UNHCR Turkey ‘Results’ website for updates on your case, or call the UNHCR-ASAM Counselling Line on 444 48 68.

Is it possible to speed up my resettlement case?

Resettlement processing depends on a number of factors: your personal circumstances, the countries’ procedures, etc. The length of your stay in Turkey does not influence processing times. If your circumstances change, and you have new information or documents you would like to provide, please inform UNHCR accordingly.

You can also visit the UNHCR Turkey ‘Results’ website to check the status of your resettlement case, or call the UNHCR-ASAM Counselling Line on 444 48 68.

I was told that if I paid money to someone, I would be resettled. Is this true?

No, it is not. 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 resettlement. 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.

You can report this through the following channels:

  • You can email UNHCR Turkey at [email protected];
  • You can put your complaint in a Complaints Box. Complaints Boxes are available at the gate of the UNHCR office in Ankara and at its partners’ offices;
  • You can submit your complaint in a sealed envelope to a UNHCR partner’s office, to be delivered to UNHCR by hand.

Your concerns are taken seriously, and will be treated confidentially. Your resettlement case will not be affected. If you do not want to use your name or case number, you can present your complaint anonymously.

If you have any information about a UNHCR staff member involved in any kind of fraud, please inform us using the Complaints Boxes, or make a complaint to the Inspector General’s Office at UNHCR’s Headquarters in Geneva:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Confidential fax: +41 22 739 7380
  • Mail: UNHCR, 94 Rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

Where can I go for help on my resettlement case?

If you have been approached by UNHCR for resettlement consideration, and have questions or concerns about your case, please contact the UNHCR-ASAM Counselling Line on 444 48 68 for further assistance.

If you have been interviewed by the US Government for resettlement to the United States but have received a denial letter, you can seek help for free from the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). IRAP’s lawyers may be able to help you to request a review of the negative decision.

Please read IRAP’s information page on this free assistance. (Available in English, Arabic, Farsi and Pashto.)

Additionally, if you are an Afghan or Iraqi national who was employed by, or on behalf of, the US Government or ISAF, IRAP lawyers may be able to help you to apply for a US Special Immigrant Visa.

For Afghan nationals: Read this information page about IRAP’s free assistance for Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan nationals. (Available in English, Farsi and Pashto.)

For Iraqi nationals: Read this information page about IRAP’s free assistance for Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi nationals. (Available in English and Arabic.)

(Please note that IRAP is an independent, non-profit organization that is not part of the US Government, Turkish Government, ICMC, IOM or UNHCR. It provides free legal assistance related to refugee resettlement and US immigration law.)

I have checked my case status on UNHCR’s Results website, and it states that my case “does not currently qualify for resettlement”. What does this mean?

This means that following careful assessment and consideration of your case, UNHCR has decided that you do not qualify for resettlement. Accordingly, UNHCR will not submit your case for resettlement. (However, you remain under temporary protection or international protection in Turkey, and your rights, obligations and the assistance services available to you will not be affected.)

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will be considered for resettlement again in the future. Please note that there is no appeal process for this decision. If you are facing any significant problems, please contact the UNHCR-ASAM Counselling Line on 4444868.



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