Refugee Status Determination Procedures

This part of the toolkit outlines the procedural steps and possible courses of action to take when working on refugee status determination (RSD) cases. RSD procedures are relatively uniform around the world. Usually governments or UNHCR run this process. It is important to familiarize yourself with these procedures and be aware of local channels through which you can report irregularities in procedure.

The rights and responsibilities of asylum seekers section details the rights and responsibilities that refugees have during different stages of the RSD process.

The credibility assessments section explains why credibility is important, lists some key factors for this assessment, and explains how to apply them.

The registration section describes this process and some considerations to keep in mind when helping refugees register with the government or with UNHCR.

The first instance section discusses the steps and procedures involved in refugees’ status determination interview.

The appeal section provides some basic information on the process for appealing an RSD rejection.

The reopening section lists the reasons why UNHCR may close a case, briefly describes the process for reopening a case, and discusses how a legal advocate can assist a client in this process.

The derivative status section briefly describes the process for applying for derivative status.

The other mechanisms available in RSD section describes different systems that you may be able to use to challenge a denial of refugee status.

The other options for legalization section discusses why a refugee would want to pursue other forms of formal legal status, other types of status, and how best to advise clients who are seeking this.

The raising procedural irregularities section describes when and under what circumstances you could file an appeal based on a procedural irregularity that occurred during the RSD process.

To complete this training, click on each of the links above beginning with the Rights and Responsibilities of an Asylum Seeker. After reading all of these sections, you should have a basic understanding of the RSD process and how to help a refugee navigate it.

When working with UNHCR-run status determination in particular, consult the following documents: