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UNHCR Jordan opens registration centre on appointment basis

By JT - Jun 24,2021 - Last updated at Jun 24,2021

AMMAN — In light of the decrease of COVID-19 cases across the Kingdom, UNHCR Jordan is once again opening its registration centre for refugees in Khalda, Amman, Irbid and Mafraq. 

Operating on an appointment basis, refugees will receive an SMS message when they are scheduled for a face-to-face registration renewal interview with UNHCR, according to a statement from the UN agency.  

Through the implementation of new rapid registration renewal measures, the interview is expected to last no longer than 30 minutes. 

In comparison to procedures in operation prior to the pandemic, the new appointment-based system also means that refugees do not have to arrive before their allotted time or withstand long waiting times. 

These changes are designed to ensure physical distancing and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 

In addition, remote registration renewal interviews will still continue for refugees who are unable to attend UNHCR’s registration centres in person.  

At this time, UNHCR Jordan is urging refugees to check that their phone number is up to date within UNHCR’s database as SMS remains the primary method through which UNHCR can contact refugees and ensure they check whether they have been scheduled for a face-to-face or remote renewal interview, according to the statement.

Over the last month, UNHCR has been experiencing issues in contacting refugees who have changed their phone number, with a low-delivery rate of communications sent to refugees.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to innovate for the better. We hope that the new appointment registration renewal system will allow refugees to easily update their documentation,” said Igor Ivancic, Assistant Representative for Protection at UNHCR Jordan.  

In Jordan, refugees and asylum seekers have to renew their asylum seeker certificate on an annual basis, according to the statement.

A registration renewal interview provides an important opportunity for refugees to update data about their families such as if births, marriages and deaths have happened over the past year. 

Holding a valid asylum seeker certificate with correct and up-to-date information is an important means of refugees to be able to access to UNHCR’s protection and services. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, registration renewal procedures have been happening on a remote basis, with over 171, 000 refugees having renewed their UNHCR documentation remotely this year, the statement said. 

Despite this, there remains a significant number of refugees in possession of expired documentation.  

Although, the Government of Jordan recently announced that UNHCR issued Asylum Seeker and Refugee Certificates will be considered valid until December 31, 2021, regardless of the date of expiry, UNHCR is eager to ensure that as many refugees as possible are in possession of in-date documentation, concluded the statement.

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