An asylum-seeker is someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed. Every year, around one million people seek asylum.
National asylum systems are in place to determine who qualifies for international protection. However, during mass movements of refugees, usually as a result of conflict or violence, it is not always possible or necessary to conduct individual interviews with every asylum seeker who crosses a border. These groups are often called ‘prima facie’ refugees..
At UNHCR, we believe that everyone has a right to seek asylum from persecution, and we do our best to protect those who need it.