What is refugee resettlement?

Refugees may find themselves applying for asylum in countries where their specific protection needs may not be met. In these situations, they can be resettled to a third country. The UNHCR defines resettlement as “the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State, that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent residence”.

Refugees may find themselves applying for asylum in countries where their specific protection needs may not be met. In these situations, they can be resettled to a third country. The UNHCR defines resettlement as “the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State, that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent residence”. Those who are eligible for resettlement are selected and interviewed by the UNHCR who asses each case on an individual basis and present them to countries who then agree to resettle.

Resettled refugees receive assistance from governments and NGOs for their integration through cultural orientation, language and vocational training. They also participate in programmes promoting access to education and employment.

Along with voluntary repatriation and integration, resettlement is outlined as one the three durable solutions for refugees, and it is beneficial for both the resettled refugee and the receiving country. The UNHCR reported 34,400 cases of resettlement in 2020, with 11,543 people resettling to Europe.