2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.7 How does overseas processing by UNHCR work?
(ii) What are the basic stages in processing resettlement submissions to a country by UNHCR?
How Canada Does It
Following the identification of refugees in need of resettlement, UNHCR conducts three basic stages in preparing resettlement submissions to Canada: assessing individual resettlement needs; preparing a resettlement submission; and making a submission to a resettlement country.
ASSESSING INDIVIDUAL RESETTLEMENT NEEDS: This involves a file review followed by at least one interview with the refugee and all family members. During the resettlement interview, UNHCR will verify biodata and family composition, review and confirm the refugee claims of all adult family members, and assess and confirm the resettlement needs of all family members.
PREPARING A RESETTLEMENT SUBMISSION
- Based on the resettlement needs assessment, UNHCR may authorize a resettlement submission, which includes a Resettlement Registration Form (RRF) and supporting documentation as appropriate.
- The RRF is the primary tool to represent the needs of refugees to resettlement countries. To ensure quality, RRFs go through a review process before being submitted to resettlement countries.
- In certain situations and in close consultation with resettlement countries, an abridged RRF may also be used to expedite individual case processing when refugees share similar claims and/or resettlement needs. The RRF includes a declaration page signed by the refugee and all adult dependants authorizing UNHCR to share the data with the resettlement country for the purpose of processing.
- For cases submitted under the Medical Needs Category, a Medical Assessment Form (MAF) is attached to the RRF. For cases involving unaccompanied or separated children, families in which there are unresolved custody disputes, married refugee children, or children being resettled with only one parent who does not have legal custody or written consent from the non-accompanying parent, Best Interest Assessment (BIA) or Best Interest Determination (BID) reports are attached to the RRF.
SUBMISSION TO A RESETTLEMENT COUNTRY: In determining the suitable resettlement country for submission, UNHCR considers:
- Family links, particularly those in resettlement States;
- Resettlement submission priority, vulnerability, and the resettlement country’s average processing time and capacity for urgent processing;
- Selection criteria and admission priorities of resettlement countries;
- Allocation of annual quotas of resettlement States;
- Health requirements/availability of treatment;
- Language abilities;
- Cultural aspects;
- Family configuration; and, if possible,
- The refugee’s expressed preference for a resettlement country.