Information on whether Somali citizens who are UNHRC refugees in India are allowed to work, attend school, exit and return, and whether their status is affected if they have graduated from an Indian university [IND23145.E]

The following information was supplied by the Legal Officer at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ottawa (5 Mar. 1996). UNHCR-recognized refugees in India are not allowed to receive work permits. They are issued temporary residence permits which remain valid for one year before they need to be renewed, but renewals are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. The Indian government policy is that refugees should be repatriated or permanently re-settled outside India. UNHCR-recognized refugees do have access to education, but must pay for it themselves. The UNHCR has no information about any exceptions to these regulations.

The Legal Officer at the UNHCR was unable to provide information on whether residence permits allow refugees to exit or return. According to the Legal Officer, however, if refugees are being re-settled outside India and need travel documents, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) is approached for a travel document (5 Mar. 1996).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ottawa. 5 March 1996. Telephone interview with Legal Officer.