A GUIDE ON THE ASYLUM SEEKING PROCESS IN KENYA

[sbs_blog_stats] The registration, documentation and protection of refugees in Kenya is conducted by the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS). The Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) has offices in the following locations:

• Dadaab

• Eldoret: Public Works Building next to immigration, Oloo Street

• Kakuma

• Mombasa: Opposite St. Mary’s Academy, Bombolulu estate

• Nairobi: Corporate Place, Kiambere Road • Nakuru: Farming Systems of Kenya Building, Kabarak Road, Kiamunyi

All asylum seekers must notify RAS of the presence in Kenya. Similarly, if you are seeking the refugee status, you must apply to RAS as follows:

STAGE 1: Upon arrival in Kenya, you must present yourself and apply for asylum at the RAS offices immediately upon arrival or within 30 days of entry into Kenya. If you were already in the country but are unable to return to your home country, you should tender your application before the expiration of your stay in Kenya. The RAS officials will collect your biodata and other information. You will also be asked questions about what made you flee your country or why you cannot return. It is important to carry with you any other documentation you may have like your passport or proof of previous registration of asylum in other countries. You will then be issued with any of the following documentation depending on where you applied:

• Proof of Registration: usually issued to a family or household.

• Asylum seeker pass

• Movement Pass: usually issued to refugees who intend to travel within Kenya.

STAGE 2: After making such an application, you will be invited to attend an interview called the Refugee Status Determination Interview/ Eligibility Interview unless you are an asylum seeker from South Sudan. Once such an interview is scheduled, you will be contacted by an officer from the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) and informed of both the date and the venue of this interview. The main purpose of conducting such interviews is to determine the reason the applicant left their original country and why they cannot go back. Such interviews are carried out on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis but exceptions can be made based on vulnerabilities of the asylum seeker. The interview will be carried out by Refugee Status Determination officers from the Refugee Affairs Secretariat. Though sometimes, which is quite rare, the interview ay be carried out by an officer from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The interview focuses mostly on the experiences such persons faced in their home country. At the beginning of the interview the officer will introduce themselves, state the purpose of the interview and explain the role that they are to play during the interview. You as an asylum seeker have the right to an interpreter if need be and you can also attend such an interview with your legal representative. Though in such instances, you are required to inform the RAS officer beforehand so that they can make any necessary arrangements. If you need legal assistance, you can contact the Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK). During such an interview the statements that are made by the asylum seeker are considered vital as they hold weight in making the final determination on the application. Any inconsistencies present shall be noted by the officer therefore it is important to keep your story straight. You may be called back for a follow up interview if there was insufficient information or if the officer needs clarity on the statements you previously made. But there is no need to apply afresh if called for the follow up interview. One may carry an Identification documents, birth or marriage certificate or newspaper clippings if available.

STAGE 3: At the end of the interview, you will be given an appointment slip which is valid for six months if your interview is in Nairobi. Therefore, there may be the need to renew it after every six months until the final decision on the application is made. If the interview was at Kakuma, you will be requested to check the notice board. Based on the application and information gathered during the interview, a recommendation is drafted. During the review process, the quality of such a recommendation shall be considered. On the appointment date stated on the slip, you should approach the RAS offices either in Nairobi or Kakuma to check if a decision has been made on your application.

STAGE 4: Your application may either be accepted or rejected. If rejected and you feel the decision was made in an erroneous manner, you can appeal to the Refugee Appeal Board within 30 days of receiving the decision. Such an appeal shall be made through an appeal application form which is usually attached with the negative decision. Though this only applies when such a decision was made by the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs.

Author: Fauve Mangich

5 thoughts on “A GUIDE ON THE ASYLUM SEEKING PROCESS IN KENYA”

  1. Hello there this is Fredrick mukama mukasa code no 82315C00080 have been here for so long i sat for my elegibility 2015 July upto to now am still waiting for decision surely this is not fair wenye nilikuya nawo walizaidika kitambo sana if i Calle them they only tells me that case yangu iko sawa ningoye sms ama call from 3 years now nikiambiwa hiyo my health is not good mimi gay am not receiving any help from unhcr even medicines do something about this sometimes i feel like to commit suicide i really need your help guys nakala njaa niyuko mgonjwa unhcr wameniwacha i really feel bad every day my phone no is 0741318943

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