UNHCR Egypt - Refugees Status Determination Information

This website provides asylum applicants with a secure way to access the results of their refugee status determination interview. These results are also posted – anonymously and in line with confidentiality provisions at the offices of UNHCR Implementing Partners.
According to article 1A(2) of the Geneva Convention of July 28, 1951, concerning refugee status, a refugee is:
“Any person who, owning to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or, owning to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”.
Egypt acceded to the Geneva Convention on 22 May 1981.
The statute of the UNHCR maintains almost the same definition. In addition, the UNHCR’s mandate is extended to any person who is outside of his country of origin and unable to return there owing to serious and indiscriminate threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from generalized violence or events seriously disturbing public order.

Question and Answers

The Refugee Status Determination Interview

If you are scheduled for an individual refugee status determination interview (RSD interview), you will be given an appointment slip with the date of the interview.

Are my family members, who registered with me, required to be present at the refugee status determination interview?

The principal applicant, the spouse and all adult family members need to be present for the refugee status determination interview. All of these persons will go through a separate interview at UNHCR.

What should I bring with me to the RSD interview?

You should bring with you the following:

  • Your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card;
  • Your original identification documents (such as passports, ID cards, etc);
  • Any other documents that you think are relevant to your refugee claim.

What is the purpose of the refugee status determination interview?

The purpose of the RSD interview is to assist you to put forward your case and to fully explain all pertinent information concerning you and your past experiences and circumstances that led you to fleeing your home country.

All information you provide during the interview will be treated in a confidential manner by UNHCR.

The RSD interview is not an investigation, but a straightforward fact finding exercise. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your family, education, place of birth, and the particular reasons for leaving your country of origin.

The following is intended to assist you to present your case properly:

  • During the interview, answer the questions openly and as honestly as possible, be patient and cooperative.
  • Do not try to improve your case by adding false facts or by exaggerating your claim.
  • If you do not understand a question, ask for the question to be repeated or explained to you.

Can I have a legal representative/adviser to assist me during my refugee status determination procedure?

You are entitled to have a legal representative/adviser to assist you during your RSD interview.

Notification of RSD Decisions

At the end of the RSD interview, you will be issued with an appointment slip by the RSD interviewer indicating the date when you can start checking for your RSD result. The first instance RSD results usually take approximately 8 weeks from date of the RSD interview.

What if I am recognized as a refugee?

If you are recognized as a refugee, you and your dependents will be provided with a UNHCR refugee card. This card is evidence that you have refugee status and fall under the protection of the Egyptian Government.

What if I am denied refugee status?

If you are denied refugee status after the first instance interview, you will be requested to approach the office on a specific date to receive a negative decision letter, which contains an explanation on the reasons that led to the denial of the asylum application.

In order to collect the decision letter you will be required to present to UNHCR reception staff your UNHCR asylum seeker registration card and your identification documents (passport or other form of identification). You will then be required to sign a receipt for your notification letter.

You may either accept the decision or you may lodge an appeal request to have your claim reconsidered by UNHCR.

If you do not wish to lodge an appeal against the first instance decision denying your asylum application, you will no longer be considered as an asylum seeker. Accordingly, the UNHCR asylum seeker registration card issued to you and your family members/dependants will be cancelled and any benefits or assistance you were receiving from UNHCR will be immediately terminated.

If you are denied refugee status and you wish to lodge an appeal against that decision, you have the right to do so within 30 days from the day you receive the notification of the first instance negative decision. Appeal requests are normally NOT accepted beyond the 30 days time limit.

Appeal process

You have the right to appeal ONCE against the negative decision.

How can I submit an appeal request?

You should submit a written appeal request in which you must explain the following:

  • The reasons why you think the first instance negative decision is wrong, and/or
  • Provide any relevant information that was not previously submitted to UNHCR together with the necessary explanation as to why the information was not submitted before.

Who will review my appeal request in UNHCR?

Different UNHCR protection staff members than the ones who were involved in the initial first instance decision review all appeal requests.

Will I get another chance for an interview after I submit an appeal request to UNHCR?

Not all appeal requests will lead to an appeal interview. An appeal interview will only be required when UNHCR concludes on one or more of the following:

  • There has been a serious error of fact or law in relation to the original decision, OR
  • You have raised sufficient relevant new information that needs to be considered at an interview.

What happens if my appeal decision by UNHCR is positive?

If the outcome of your appeal request is to overturn the first instance negative decision, then you will either:

  • Be granted refugee status and issued with UNHCR refugee registration card if you have been denied refugee status on first instance; or
  • You will maintain your refugee status previously granted if the appeal decision regarding cancellation or cessation of your refugee status is to overturn the first negative decision.

What will happen if my refugee status is denied on appeal stage?

If your appeal decision is negative, you will be informed in writing that your case is closed and you will no longer be considered as a person of concern to UNHCR. Accordingly, any UNHCR asylum seeker registration card issued to you and/or your family members/dependants who are also added to your case will be cancelled. Any benefits or assistance you were receiving from UNHCR will also be immediately terminated.
UNHCR - Data Analysis Group - 2013