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To the attention of refugee community representatives and asylum-seekers in Azerbaijan!

In accordance with the arrangement between the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SMS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), starting from July 1, 2020, processing individual claims under UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedure and issuance of UNHCR protection documentation will undergo the following changes:

-  UNHCR will not be issuing Protection Letter to new asylum-seekers who lodge asylum application in Azerbaijan on or after July 1, 2020;

- Persons who lodge their asylum applications on or after July 1, 2020 will be documented with Temporary Certificates by the SMS throughout the entire national asylum procedure, including administrative and/or judicial appeal stages in the national courts;

- UNHCR will continue to issue and extend Protection Letters only to those asylum-seekers who have applied for asylum in Azerbaijan prior to July 1, 2020;

- This measure will have no negative or retroactive effect in terms of registration or documentation with UNHCR for those asylum-seekers who have applied for asylum in Azerbaijan before July 1, 2020;

- UNHCR will continue conducting refugee status determination only for those asylum-seekers who have applied for asylum in Azerbaijan prior to July 1, 2020 and were recommended for UNHCR’s refugee status determination under the monitoring procedure;

- Therefore, persons who will lodge an asylum application on or after July 1, 2020 will have their applications assessed only by the Azerbaijani SMS and national courts, but no longer by UNHCR.

- UNHCR will continue to enroll individuals who have applied for asylum after July 1 only for assistance (e.g. legal, medical, financial, etc.) and monitoring purposes based on the established eligibility criteria;

- UNHCR will otherwise continue its regular protection and assistance activities for persons of concern.

Should you have any questions regarding the above change, please contact UNHCR’s protection counseling line on Monday - Friday from 10:00-13:00 on +994 51 207 59 96 or 994 12 492 14 43 (press #2), or UNHCR’s email: azeba@unhcr.org

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