Syrian refugees wait in line as they arrive to settle their residency status in Sidon, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Syrian refugees across Lebanon flocked to General Security centers for the second day Wednesday to settle their residency status, as the Interior Ministry sought to reorganize the country's refugee file.Faten, a refugee living in Arsal, said she had been planning to go the closest General Security center in the Bekaa Valley, but opted not to when she heard that others had gone and come back empty-handed because there were too many people.Refugees have until the end of the year, Dec. 31, to settle their paperwork.General Security issued a circular on Sept. 15, clarifying that the new decision would not apply to Palestinian refugees from Syria, and that though Syrian refugees who crossed into Lebanon illegally would be eligible for a onetime six-month stay, they would be handed a departure order after this time. "The interior minister knows that there are a lot of Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. who cannot go back to Syria and cannot afford to pay for the renewal," he said. A refugee must pay $200 to renew their legal stay, a sum too large for the typical Syrian refugee, who earns an average of $250 per month.
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