Qoricancha II is the registration and case management system implemented in Peru to improve the RSD procedure.
Implementation Dates: End of January 2019 – present
The Special Commission for Refugees (CEPR), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is responsible for the registration of asylum seekers. Since the beginning of 2018, the CEPR in Lima has been receiving approximately 800 asylum applications per day. The unexpected growth in the number of applications led to a collapse of the system with consequent delays in registration of applicants and issuing documentation.
In 2018, CEPR began work on the design of a new registration and case management system, called Qoricancha 2 (QII), an initiative supported by UNHCR. The system was officially launched at the end of January 2019. Initially, the server capacity was overwhelmed by a large number of people trying to complete their pre-registration at the same time.
To ensure full implementation and operation of the software, in March 2019 UNHCR supported an upgrade of the platform. The improvements significantly reduced the delivery time for asylum applicant identification cards, including new functions that include: applicants can obtain a work permit online; decentralization of the national registration system (CEPR Lima + 12 decentralized offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs + northern border); and the issuing of ID cards across the country.
To avoid the duplication of records and delays with processing asylum applications, 18 Excel spreadsheets administered by CEPR and other entities were migrated to QII.
The new QII is a registration and case management system that streamlines the consideration of specific needs and vulnerabilities. It incorporates the facility of uploading information that contributes to refugee status determination for automatic prioritization and assignment of cases to certain Protection Officers. It also includes nationwide biometric enrollment and the issuing of an Asylum Seeker Identification Card. This card is fraud-proof and does not contain an expiry date. Its validity can be verified through a QR code and it can be renewed online.
- QII Database Design (2018)
- First launch of QII (end of January 2019)
- Design of QII improvements (March 2019): migration of application records from QI to QII, possibility of applying asylum online 24 hours a day, etc.).
- Second launch of QII (August 2019). QII Decentralization (late 2019-early 2020)
- Digitization of the asylum system at the northern border
- QII modifications (September 2020): classification module for Eligibility Officers, prioritization and automatic assignment of cases for certain Protection Officers, and uploading of virtual documentation.
- Migration of existing information from 18 Excel spreadsheets.
- Training for civil servants.
- Recruitment of additional staff for the registration of applications.
- Design of a quick guide to inform asylum seekers on how to obtain a virtual work permit. This can be downloaded from the CEPR website.
- Development of a QII User Manual.
Results / Impact:
The system allows:
- Online pre-registration and citation.
- Online self-documentation and document renewal: the digital work permit is issued with a digital signature from the Executive Secretariat of the CEPR and has a QR code that can be scanned to verify the validity of the document and to produce a certificate of validity, which provides greater security. This practice also simplified the processes for renewing asylum-seeker cards, making it possible to do this online and without having to travel to Lima.
- Removal of the expiry date from the physical identification card (QR Code). This document has a QR code that can be scanned to verify its validity and can be renewed online by the asylum seekers themselves.
- Decentralization. By decentralizing access to QII, asylum applicant cards can be printed at each of the 12 decentralized offices. This practice helps increase the accessibility and efficiency of the system.
- Local integration for health professionals. With support from UNHCR, the Ministry of Health worked on identifying health professionals among the refugee, asylum-seeker and migrant population registered in the UNHCR and CEPR databases. The new database proved effective in strengthening the local integration of asylum seekers and refugees by making it possible to easily extract and analyse data.
- Remote Registration Interviews. As of July 2020, CEPR is conducting remote registration interviews through Zoom for the 12 decentralized offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs across the country.
- Prioritization of the most vulnerable cases. The CEPR registration software can be used to enhance refugee status determination outcomes by enabling the identification of the most vulnerable asylum-seeker cases in order to prioritize them for refugee status determination purposes. QII is used to categorize, allocate and prioritize cases based on applicant profiles and vulnerabilities.
- Interoperability with the registration system of the Migration Office. The project to achieve interoperability between the CERP registration system and the Migration Office registration system has been implemented. This means that the Migration Office can access a list of asylum seekers and refugees in the country, protecting them from deportation.
- The system faced technical difficulties due to the fact that a large number of pre-registrations were received simultaneously.
- Recruitment of staff was required for the Registration Units. There was significant support from UNHCR during the selection and recruitment process.
- The implementation of the system required the training of dozens of public officials.
Special Commission for Refugees / UNHCR
- By allowing asylum seekers to directly access the government’s online registration system to obtain a work permit authorization in .pdf format and renew their asylum seeker ID card or work permit, the overall process for issuing documentation was expedited.
- Replacing the expiration date on the identification card with a QR Code and remote interviews gave the Peruvian government more capacity and flexibility to respond to contingencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, during which in-person contact had to be avoided.
Impact of the COVID pandemic on implementation:
- The pandemic highlighted the advantages of the system. The lack of an expiration date on the card, coupled with the ability to renew the cards online, has had a significant impact on both authorities and applicants.
- These practices significantly reduced CEPR’s backlogs with document renewal and the issuing of new asylum application cards.
Use of the Asylum Capacity Support Group mechanism:
«The registration system to apply for asylum in Peru». Presentation by Silvia Di Gaetano, Registration Officer, UNHCR Peru. Costa Rica, October 2020.