Refugee Status Determination (RSD)

After you are registered you will enter the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process and you will be scheduled for an RSD interview –please note that this may take up to one year. The RSD interview will assess your eligibility as a refugee.

During the refugee status determination procedure, you are required to:

  • Submit any documents and evidence available regarding your application;
  • Tell the truth and be cooperative;
  • Inform us about family members accompanying you. Adult family members will be interviewed individually;

During the refugee status determination procedure you have the right to:

  • Be interviewed in a language you can communicate in;
  • To be represented by a lawyer or a legal representative, who qualifies as such under UNHCR’s established procedures, during your refugee status determination procedure.

How long will it take for me to be issued with a decision?

  • This depends on the nature of your case, as each case has to be considered individually. Approximately it takes from 1 to 6 months.

What if I am not recognized at first instance?

  • If you are notified with a negative decision you have the right to submit an appeal request within 30 days. When you submit an appeal your file will be reviewed by a different officer than the one who decided the First Instance.
  • The officer can overturn the First Instance decision and grant you refugee status. If the First Instance decision is confirmed your file will be closed.
  • Please note that it may take up to one year before you receive your Appeal Decision.
Please take note that:
  • Each applicant has a different profile, background and reason for fleeing his/her country; hence each case will be assessed individually according to UNHCR rules and procedures. Please, do not pay attention to rumors spread among refugee communities about specific stories to be presented in order to be granted refugee status;
  • Intentionally misleading UNHCR about the facts of your case or your identity is fraud. Please note that this will negatively affect the processing of your case and may lead to a negative decision. UNHCR reserves the right to take appropriate measures in such cases;
  • Your statements and documents will be kept confidential and will not be shared by UNHCR with other third parties without your consent; Please note that under no circumstances will UNHCR share your information with the Government of your country of origin;
  • Do not sign any documents unless read, understood and approved by you;
  • While in Malaysia you, like any other foreigner, are expected to respect the laws, customs and traditions of the society hosting you;
  • Verbal and physical threats made to UNHCR staff violate national law. UNHCR will report any person making such threats to the Police and these persons may be prosecuted;
  • If you have lost contact with a family member due to armed conflict or other situations of violence, you may visit ICRC’s family website at:

How can I contact the RSD unit?

If you have any RSD related question you can email us at:

Please use this email address for specific questions related to the RSD process, submit additional documents and evidence and to communicate changes in your contact numbers.

Given the number of queries received daily by the Office, please be patient, we will respond to you as soon as possible.

You can also write a letter to the UNHCR address mentioned here.

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