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Self Help Kit: Reopening on UNHCR Refugee Status Determination

Information on UNHCR Reopening process.

Due to a large number of people requesting legal aid, Suaka is unable to meet with you until you have done your best to provide these things. If you cannot read and write please speak with other members of your community and ask them to help you write your statement.

This page is for information only. It is not legal advice.

Please find information about Suaka’s services below:

SUAKA’s legal advisors are trained volunteers, they receive no payment.
SUAKA’s legal services are free. If anyone in your community asks for money to help you speak to us this is wrong.
SUAKA’s legal services are confidential – we do not share your information with any other organization.
SUAKA is independent from UNHCR, IOM, Immigration, Police and Government.
SUAKA’s legal advisors are not able to influence UNHCR’s decisions. We cannot guarantee your application will succeed. We cannot make your application proceed more quickly.
SUAKA provides legal assistance only in relation to UNHCR applications for asylum (Refugee Status Determination – RSD).
SUAKA can provide limited information about the resettlement process but cannot assist with resettlement or sponsorship
SUAKA cannot provide material, financial or other assistance.
SUAKA’s Legal Aid Services are provided in accordance with the Nairobi Code.
SUAKA’s Volunteer Legal Advisors follow SUAKA Legal Aid Services Code of Conduct.

UNHCR request to Reopen your file.

If you have already been considered and refused refugee status after your first interview with UNHCR, and your appeal has also been considered and refused, UNHCR will close your file. They will not issue another asylum seeker certificate.

Suaka has a Self Help Kit (SHK) with information that may help you decide whether you want to submit a reopening request to UNHCR. Only around 5% of reopening requests are successful.

Suaka does not have enough lawyers to assist with reopening requests to UNHCR. You must write a statement to UNHCR yourself so you should read the SHK very carefully.

Download the Reopening Self Help Kit by clicking here

SHKs are only available in English for now. They will soon be available in Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Tamil, Urdu, Oromo, Bahasa Indonesia.

The Reopening Self Help Kit includes important information.
The Reopening Self Help Kit will:

  • Explain the definition and criteria needed to become a refugee. It will help you understand whether you are a refugee under international law
  • Explain UNHCR’s process – how they recognize applicants as “refugees” and help you understand why your file was rejected and closed
  • Help you decide whether you should write a statement to request UNHCR reopen your file. Not all asylum seekers decide to write a statement and request UNHCR to reopen their file.
  • Help you decide whether you should write a statement to request UNHCR reopen your file. Not all asylum seekers decide to write a statement and request UNHCR to reopen their file.
  • Help you understand what information you should include in your reopening statement and how to write this – what it should look like.

There are only very limited reasons UNHCR will agree to reopen a file after they have already considered it twice. More information about this is on page 3 of SUAKA’s Reopening Self Help Kit.

After reading SUAKA’s Self Help Kit, if you decide to write to UNHCR about a reopening, it will take UNHCR a very long time to consider your request. It can take more than 12 or 18 months to receive a reply.

While you are waiting, you will not receive a new asylum seeker certificate and will not be under the protection of the UNHCR in Indonesia. There is nothing Suaka can do to make this process happen more quickly.

There is no deadline to submit a reopening request to UNHCR.

If you decide to write a reopening request, SUAKA legal aid can meet with you once to give advice on your statement.

Before we can help with you, you must email the following things:

  1. Copy of asylum seeker certificate for every member of your family
  2. Copies of both rejection letters you have recieved from UNHCR – First instance and Appeal.
  3. Copy of the appeal you wrote and submitted to UNHCR
  4. Your reopening statement
  5. Your contact phone number

You may also message Suaka legal aid on Whatsapp or Viber 0852 1350 8445

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