Refugee Status Determination Associate

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

General Background

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has an international mandate to protect persons in need of international protection, including asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons.

The Caribbean Protection Unit (CPU) of UNHCR’s Multi-Country Office in Washington, DC, covers 18 Caribbean countries and territories. The region is characterized by an increasingly complex phenomenon of mixed migration involving individuals who may be in need of international protection, including asylum-seekers, refugees, victims of human trafficking and stateless persons. The countries and territories in the Caribbean are source, destination, and transit countries, including persons in need of international protection. The region also produces refugees and is a transit gateway for refugees and asylum-seekers trying to reach North America within larger groups of migrants by land, air, and sea.

In many countries in the Caribbean, persons in need of international protection are not systematically given access Government procedures to assess their refugee claims and, the vast majority of these countries and territories do not have functioning asylum systems. The number of new asylum-seekers in the Caribbean has risen over the past five years, motivating the need for increased protection and programmatic support. UNHCR therefore conducts refugee status determination under its mandate and/or provides Advisory Opinions on individual cases for asylum-seekers to the Governments in a number of countries in the Caribbean.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

Against this backdrop, under the supervision of the Senior Operations Coordinator and the RSD Officer, the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Associate will be a member of the CPU in UNHCR¿s Washington Multi-Country Office. S/he will contribute to UNHCR¿s refugee status determination work in the Caribbean by interviewing asylum-seekers and issuing first-instance decisions and appeal assessments under UNHCR¿s mandate, as well as working closely with local partners to promote the protection of asylum-seekers and refugees in-country. The Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Associate will also support UNHCR¿s capacity-building efforts throughout the Caribbean, including through providing technical guidance to Governments on asylum law and conducting trainings.

The incumbent will work closely with the UNHCR Office in the Dominican Republic and provide support to RSD activities where needed. While the majority of work is conducted remotely from Washington DC, travel may be required for support missions in the Caribbean.

Specific duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

-Conduct an average of 3 RSD interviews per week and submit the corresponding transcripts and assessments weekly. -Maintain accurate and up-to date records and data related to all work on individual cases. -Provide counselling and respond to queries from asylum seekers and refugees regarding UNHCR¿s role and mandate in the region, the purpose of any RSD processing, as well as their rights and entitlements, including in the context of the notification of positive or negative RSD decisions. -Assist in the development of the RSD strategy of the operation and in the annual planning exercise. -Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD. -Systematically apply an age, gender and diversity (AGD) perspective in the performance of assigned functions. -Conduct research on country of origin information (COI) and other issues related to RSD and maintain the Operation’s local repository of relevant information, guidelines and standards accessible to RSD staff in the operation. -Provide statistics and draft reports related to RSD, as well as monitoring RSD trends by UNHCR and asylum authorities in the region. -Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policies and practice. -Prevent and identify fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR staff, partners and persons of concern. -Conduct support missions as required. -Perform other related duties as required.

Qualifications and Experience

Education (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)

Completion of Secondary School with post-secondary diploma in social sciences, statistics, international development/relations, international law, or related fields.

Work Experience

Minimum 5 years of relevant professional job experience. Previous experience working with UNHCR refugee status determination or Government asylum systems would be desired.

Key Competencies

– Data management, data collection and analysis. -Computer literacy. -Knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law, protection-related guidelines and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. -Completion of UNHCR’s RSD Learning Programme, COI Learning Programme, or Protection Learning Programme is desired. -Excellent knowledge of English required, Spanish fluency is desired. -Knowledge of UNHCR specific programmes (proGres, PRIMES) is desired.

** PLEASE NOTE Applicants must have legal residence with valid work permit in the US at the time of submitting their applications.**

How to apply

Please note that UNHCR only accepts applications submitted through the MSRP portal for this job opening. Please refer to the manual enclosed for the application steps to follow.

INTERNAL CANDIDATE with MSRP access, Navigation is shown below (through MSRP):

Main Menu / Self Service / Recruiting / Careers

Please be sure to update your fact sheets (languages, education and prior working experience) before submitting the applications. In case of technical issues with your fact sheet, please contact the Fact Sheet Team at [email protected] For any other technical problems encountered during the on-line application, please contact the Global Service Desk at [email protected] well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for problems to be resolved.

For EXTERNAL CANDIDATE without MSRP access, Navigation is shown below:

Interested candidates must submit their application through UNHCR’s official application site and select “vacancies” on the right-hand side of the screen; you can then search for the position using the job opening number listed above or by filtering for positions in the “United States”. On the bottom of the Job Opening page you will seeApply” button, in case you have never submitted application via our careers page, you will be requested to register as New User.

In case of technical problems, please clear the cache in your internet browser or login with a different browser. (i.e.,, if you are using Google Chrome, please try using Internet Explore).

For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please contact the Global Service Desk ([email protected]) prior to the deadline to allow sufficient time to resolve the issues. For any questions regarding the selection process, please contact Human Resources unit ([email protected])


We look forward to receiving your applications.