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Refugee Status Determination Procedures in Mexico

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Refugee Status Determination Procedures in Mexico
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados
Refugee Status
Determination
Procedures in Mexico
San José, Costa Rica 2008
Background
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

From 1982 to 2002, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined the
status of refugees in Mexico under his mandate since
Mexico was not yet part of the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees.

In June 2000, Mexico adhered to the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol,
thus taking on the commitments stipulated by these
instruments for protection of and assistance to
refugees.

Since 2002, the Mexican Government determines the
status of refugee for individual cases.
COMAR
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

The Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados
(COMAR – Mexican Commission for Refugee
Assistance) is a Government agency that is
responsible for protection of and assistance to
refugees in Mexico.

COMAR is a permanent inter-secretarial entity
that was established by Presidential Accord in
July 1980.
Objectives of COMAR
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

To analyze requests for acknowledgment of refugee status in order
to issue an opinion;

To participate in procedures for determining refugee status;

To provide protection and institutional assistance to acknowledged
refugees;

To promote the search for lasting solutions (integration, voluntary
return, and resettlement);

To establish the foundations for cooperation with national and
international organizations.
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados
What are the procedures to
request acknowledgment of
refugee status in Mexico?
Eligibility Process
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados
INM
- Headquarters
- Regional Representatives
COMAR
- Federal District
- State Delegations
Application
COMAR
Interview
Analysis
Opinion
Revision
INM
Positive or
Negative
Resolution
CE
Recommendation
Procedures
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

Arrested applicants need to state – verbally or
in written form – their intention to apply for
acknowledgment of refugee status.

Applicants that have not been arrested can visit
the INM offices or the COMAR offices. COMAR
will then notify the INM of the submitted
application.
Procedures
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

Once the application has been received, the
principles of non-refoulement, confidentiality,
and non-discrimination are applied.

Applicants that have not been arrested have the
right to receive a Proof of Application for
Refugee Status, issued by the INM.

For applicants that have been arrested, relevant
actions are carried out to record that the
application has been submitted.
Procedures
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

COMAR examines the application and carries out an analysis consisting of:
•
A Personal Interview
With a gender approach and the presence of an interpreter
where required
•
Investigation
Searching information from the country of origin
Requesting information from the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
Requesting information from International Organizations (UNHCR)
Consultation with CISEN
Documents submitted by applicant
•
Analysis of well-founded fear of persecution and/or risk to life,
safety, or freedom
•
legislation Interpretation
•
Credibility Assessment
•
Recommendation
Procedures
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

COMAR submits an opinion to the Eligibility
Committee consisting of the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Sub-Secretariat of Population, Migration, and
Religious Matters (Subsecretaria de Población,
Migración y Asuntos Religiosos), as Chairman
A representative of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs
(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores)
A representative of the Secretariat of Labor and
Social Welfare (Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión
Social)
A representative of the National Migration Institute
(Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM)
A representative of COMAR
Procedures
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

The Committee, in turn, recommends that the INM issue
a well-founded Resolution of Acknowledgment or NonAcknowledgment of Refugee Status.

Usually it takes 5 weeks to reach this stage of the
process.

Applicants who are not acknowledged as refugees by
the Eligibility Committee have the right to request a
revision of this decision to INM within 15 working days
of being notified.
Rights of Applicants
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados









To enjoy individual guarantees as established by the Constitution
of Mexico;
Not to be deported or expelled while their application is being
examined;
To have access to the procedure free of charge;
Respect of the confidentiality of any information provided by
applicants;
Authorities of the country of origin will not be notified regarding
the applicant’s requests;
To have access to an interpreter in a language that the applicant
understands;
To receive a proof stating that this person is applying for the status
of refugee;
Not to be discriminated against for any reason;
To receive international protection.
Rights of Refugees
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

Not to be punished for having entered the country without the
required documents;

To receive a Non-Immigrant Refugee immigration document - FM3 –
certifying the Refugee’s legal stay;

To engage in any lucrative or non-lucrative activities, provided
they are legal and honorable (no need to specify types of
activities);

To move freely within Mexican territory and to reside in any
location within the Mexican Republic;

To enter and exit the country multiple times with due
authorization by the INM (based on recommendations by COMAR);

If the Refugee does not have a valid passport, to have an identity
and travel document issued by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.
Rights of Refugees
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

To be exempt from payment of fees for
Immigration services, except for procedures
such as exit and entry permits, marriage
permits, or any fines incurred due to lack of
compliance with any of the Refugee’s
obligations relating to Immigration;

To request family reunification with spouse or
partner, children, and parents;

To have access to public health services and
basic education.
Obligations
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

To provide truthful and complete information to
authorities regarding the reasons why the Refugee left
the country of origin or country of residence.

To comply with obligations regarding immigration
matters, such as: To request an extension of the
identity and travel document, to notify any changes in
home address, marital status, birth of children, to
request permission to leave the country, etc.

To notify about exiting Mexico in order to travel to a
country other than the country that the Refugee had to
leave due to persecution or threats.
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados
Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados
(COMAR)
Hamburgo #135 – 4to. piso
Colonia Juárez
Delegación Cuauhtémoc
06600, México, D. F.
Bárbara Pérez Martínez Treviño
Directora de Protección (Director of Protection)
bperez@segob.gob.mx
Tel. (52) (55) 5209-8846
Comisión Mexicana de
Ayuda a Refugiados

COMAR Delegation in Tapachula
Prolongación Central Oriente s/n,
Plaza Kamico Locales 6,7 y 8
Colonia Guadalupana
30770 Tapachula, Chiapas
Tel. (52)(962) 642-5318 Ext. 103 al 105 y 108

COMAR Delegation in Chetumal
Avenida Centenario # 582
Colonia Isabel Tenorio
77010 Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Tel. (52)(983) 285-5431
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