The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) grants refugee status to individuals who have fled and have sought asylum in states that are not parties to the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 or in states that do not have in place a national asylum system. In such cases the status granted directly by the UNHCR is called a “mandate status”.
Mandate status is granted to a person who meets the refugee definition of the Geneva Convention of 1951.
If an individual who has been granted mandate status by UNHCR lodges an application for protection in Bulgaria, he/she must immediately inform the staff of the Agency for Refugees about the mandate status when he/she is registered as an applicant for protection. In this case the Agency for Refugees is obliged to automatically grant refugee status to the relevant applicant who is a mandate status holder.
In order for this to happen, however, documents proving that the applicant does have mandate status granted by UNHCR must be presented. If the applicant for protection does not have such documents, he/she can approach UNHCR Representation in Bulgaria requesting the issuance of a mandate status certificate.
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