The Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CCAR), the Ministry of SAFRON, and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), with the support of UNHCR, will commence a mandatory exercise, “Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise” (DRIVE), from 15 April 2021 for registered Afghan refugees who are Proof of Registration (PoR) cardholders in Pakistan.
NADRA will verify and update the data of Afghan refugees who are PoR cardholders and issue a new PoR card. The exercise will start on 15 April 2021 and last at least six months.
What is DRIVE?
DRIVE stands for the “Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise”. It is an exercise that will be undertaken in 2021 by the Government of Pakistan (SAFRON, CCAR, NADRA) and supported by UNHCR. Registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan holding a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015 (PoR cardholders) will receive new PoR smartcards. In order to receive their new PoR smartcards, registered Afghan refugees must schedule an appointment and visit a PoR DRIVE site in person. During their visit, information about the PoR cardholders and their immediate family members will be confirmed and updated, including photographs and fingerprints.
Who is DRIVE for?
DRIVE is for registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan who hold a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015 (PoR cardholders). All PoR cardholders must participate in person. In addition, biological children under the age of five (5) (as at 31 December 2020) will be included. Some information of unregistered immediate family members of PoR card holders will also be recorded.
When will DRIVE happen?
DRIVE will launch on 15 April 2021 and continue for at least 6 months. Some small-scale testing will be carried in advance.
Where will DRIVE happen?
There will be 40 PoR DRIVE sites operating in all provinces of Pakistan.
How are appointments scheduled?
Registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan holding a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015 (PoR cardholders) must schedule an appointment before they visit an PoR DRIVE site in person. Where possible, appointments will be scheduled at the site closest to the PoR cardholder’s place of residence. The appointment scheduling numbers will be provided as of 15 March 2021.
Is DRIVE a new registration exercise?
No, DRIVE is not a new registration exercise. Afghans who are not PoR cardholders will not be processed. DRIVE will not assess new refugee claims or change legal status. Those who have voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan under UNHCR’s programme are not included.
Are Afghan Citizen cardholders (ACC) eligible to receive the new PoR smartcard?
No, ACC cardholders are not eligible. They should not call to schedule appointment and not visit PoR DRIVE sites.
Is DRIVE mandatory?
DRIVE is mandatory. All PoR card holders and their immediate family members in Pakistan must participate. All Afghan refugees who hold a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015, including men, women and children, must visit the PoR DRIVE sites for a personal interview and to update their data.
What will happen if an Afghan refugee with a PoR card does not participate?
PoR cardholders who fail to participate in person before the end of the exercise will be deregistered. This means that a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015 will be invalid after the exercise ends. They may no longer have access to services such as health and education, and freedom of movement in Pakistan may be limited. Also, they will not obtain a new PoR card and will no longer be eligible for a repatriation assistance grant.
Are PoR Card Modification Centres open?
No, PoR Card Modification Centres are closed for the duration of DRIVE.
How will DRIVE work?
DRIVE will be implemented in main three steps.
Step 1: PoR cardholders must make an appointment. Information about the appointment scheduling numbers will be provided as of 15 March 2021. A specific PoR DRIVE site will be designated for the visit when scheduling the appointment. Once a PoR cardholder makes an appointment, he or she will receive an SMS confirming the time, date and location of the appointment.
Step 2: On the day of the appointment, PoR cardholders and their immediate family members must visit in person the PoR DRIVE site. There will be 40 DRIVE sites operating nationally and, where possible, interviews will be scheduled at the site closest to the PoR cardholder’s place of residence. PoR cardholders must arrange their own travel to and from the PoR DRIVE site at their own expense. PoR cardholders must bring their original PoR card. At the DRIVE site, interviews will be conducted, and photographs and fingerprints recorded.
Step 3: After the in-person interview and processing over a few weeks, new PoR smartcards will be issued to all eligible registered Afghan refugees. An SMS from 8400 will be sent when the new PoR smartcards are available for collection. The location for collection of the new PoR smartcards will be indicated in the SMS. To receive an update on the current status of their new PoR smartcards, Afghan refugees who have already visited a PoR DRIVE site and who have been interviewed can send their PoR card number to 8400.
What effect will the coronavirus have on DRIVE?
Coronavirus mitigation measures will be taken very seriously. If PoR cardholders have any symptoms of the coronavirus (or have been in close contact with someone who does) on the day of their interview, they are asked not to visit the PoR DRIVE sites. Upon arrival at a PoR DRIVE site, any person with symptoms will not be permitted to enter the site. Instead, they are requested to call to reschedule the interview to a later date. Afghan refugees must also observe coronavirus protocols at all times while at a PoR DRIVE site:
i. Masks are to be worn (fully covering the nose and mouth);
ii. Hands must be washed/sanitized upon entry; and,
iii. Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
What do Afghan refugees who hold a PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015 need to bring?
PoR cardholders must bring their original PoR card with an expiry date of 31 December 2015. All immediate family members, including women and children, will accompany and also bring their original PoR cards.
What do PoR cardholders need to do to register a child under the age of five (5)?
A biological child of PoR cardholder(s) who is under the age of five (5) must attend the interview in person at the DRIVE site. Applications to register a child under the age of five (5) must be supported by documentation confirming that child’s identity and the relationship with the parents. At the time of the interview in person at the PoR DRIVE site, one of the following documents must be brought:
i. Birth certificate/birth notification;
ii. Hospital or basic health unit (BHU) camp health record;
iii. WHO vaccination card; and/or,
iv. Medical prescription for the child.
Which members of the families of PoR cardholders can be included in DRIVE?
If a PoR cardholder has unregistered immediate family members living in Pakistan, the information of the unregistered immediate family members will be recorded in person at the time of the appointment. Unregistered immediate family members must provide documentation proving their identity and relationship with the PoR cardholder. In such cases, only a family information certificate will be issued. Unregistered immediate family members will not be registered and will not receive new PoR smartcards. Unregistered immediate family members are strictly limited to the following:
i. parents (biological mother, father);
ii. spouse (wife, husband); and,
iii. children (biological son, daughter).
What if someone provides false information?
If anyone deliberately provides false information or fake documents, this may lead to disqualification or cancellation of the PoR card, along with any other legal proceedings as per law of the land.
Where can more information be obtained?
Specific details, including the appointment scheduling numbers, PoR DRIVE site locations, hours of operation (including during Ramadan) and dates, will be provided. General advice may be sought by calling the UNHCR DRIVE helpline, 0800-11122. More information will also be shared on UNHCR Pakistan’s website (www.unhcrpk.org) and Facebook page www.facebook.com/UNHCR-Pakistan-192783240782982
What are the operating hours of PoR DRIVE sites?
PoR DRIVE sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and Saturday, with a one-hour break between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. On Fridays, operating hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Sundays, sites will be closed.
During Ramadan, PoR DRIVE sites will have reduced operating hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, operating hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, sites will be closed.
Is this all free of cost?
Yes, all services provided by the Government of Pakistan (SAFRON, CCAR, NADRA) and UNHCR are free of cost. If anyone is asked to pay money, or to give or do anything in return for services, this should be reported immediately by calling the UNHCR DRIVE helpline, 0800-11122.
What if a PoR cardholder has concerns about their safety or well-being, a complaint or needs other information?
Any concerns may be raised confidentially by calling the UNHCR DRIVE helpline, 0800-11122.