Skip to content

How to Prepare Your RSD Interview (1)

The purpose of the interview is for the UNHCR to decide if you are a refugee under the 1951 Convention or the extended mandate definition. Here’s some suggestion that you may take in order to prepare your interview with UNHCR;

The Refugee Convention Definition

To remind you about the definition of who a refugee is, it comes from Article 1A of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Article 1A (2) says that a refugee is a person who:

  • “owing to a 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 owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country;
  • or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her habitual residence, is unable, or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

Your interview is an important opportunity for you to provide information to the UNHCR.
The UNHCR will be trying to find out:

  • why you left your country of origin and why you are afraid to return
  • what might happen to you if you returned
  • why you have been targeted
  • whether what has happened to you amounts to persecution, and
  • whether that persecution was on the basis of one of the five Convention grounds, or
  • whether you are fleeing generalised violence, rather than targeted persecution


A UNHCR refugee status determination officer interviews a Sudanese man at the Sallum border crossing between Libya and Egypt. -(c) UNHCR/L.Dobbs

A UNHCR refugee status determination officer interviews a Sudanese man at the Sallum border crossing between Libya and Egypt. Photo: UNHCR/L.Dobbs



  • If you are a woman and cannot tell your whole story in front of men, contact the UNHCR before your interview and tell them that you would need a female Case Officer and Interpreter,
  • Following the points in this information sheet, prepare a statement of your story, in order from the beginning (such as where you were born and your family) to your arrival in Indonesia – this will help you to remember all the things you want to tell at your interview,
  • The story you tell at your interview should be consistent with the information you provided to the UNHCR at your Registration Interview. If there are any changes or new information, you will be asked to explain why the story has changed,
  • Take all your original documents with you and be prepared to answer questions about them. If you do not have original documents it is ok to take copies if you can explain why you cannot get the originals (such as if you left it in your country, or if it is lost),
  • Take a copy of your statement and your UNHCR asylum seeker’s certificate,
  • Make sure you arrive on time. If you are late, your interview might be postponed,
  • There may be a long waiting period before the interview so take some food and water with you,
  • The interview may take several hours (usually 2-4 hours) and may even go on for the whole day.


  • The Case Officer will make a short introduction – this should explain the definition of a refugee, the confidentiality of everything that happens in the interview, and your duty to tell the truth,
  • The interviewer should check that you and the interpreter understand each other, and that you are comfortable with the interpreter and the interviewer,



  • If you have any problems with the interviewer or interpreter (for example if you suspect the interviewer or interpreter has any bias towards you), you have the right to request a different interviewer or interpreter (but this will likely result in your interview being postponed).

If you feel the interpreter is not interpreting correctly or if there are any communication difficulties, you should tell the interviewer.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chala mohammed Aref #

    My interview date is not is as before please change for me thank you

  2. ubaxmuusecilmi #

    I missed my interview date at april and until now i have no answer i’m a mother of 5. After 3 months of jail, i missed my Rsd interview so that i sent an application to the UNHCR two Times i don’t have a reply first time, i transfered my from Alexandria to Cairo and Caritas doesn’t help me after coming to Cairo. My phone number is 201006359248 and my file number is 740-15c00576 thank you so much for helping me

    • hi, i’m very sorry to hear your condition. But SUAKA only operate in Indonesia. For legal aid services in egypt you can try call AMERA Egypt.

      1 Latin America Street, 3rd Floor
      Garden City
      Phone: 20 2 795 3202
      Fax: 20 2 795 3202

  3. Entrvie 6 manthe befor but not my result ?


Leave a Reply to Suaka Secretariat Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s