Through an empirical legal research approach, this thesis critically examines and analyzes the legal status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, in light of International Refugee Law, the applicable national legal framework in Pakistan and through the scholarly discussion on refugee labeling. Despite hosting millions of Afghan refugees, for more than four decades, Pakistan is a non-signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of refugees and the 1967 Protocol relation to the Status of Refugees. Establishing the legal status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan has therefore been an unresolved issue for decades. Yet, as argued within the scope of this thesis, refugee registration procedures have proved to be instrumental in terms of defining who is a refugee and who is not in the Afghan refugee context. By analyzing legal, contemporary and empirical materials, three core arguments are made. First, the legal status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan has mainly been determined through two bureaucratic, and at times unclear and arbitrary, registration procedures. Second, through and by registration, thousands of Afghans have effectively been re-labeled, from refugees to migrants. Third, the differentiated legal status derived from registration has created a status hierarchy, in which the recognized refugees are afforded the most privileged status, in terms of international protection and access to rights and entitlements, including protection against refoulement. In summary, this thesis offers a significant independent contribution to the field of refugee studies, as it sheds light on the legal and practical implications of refugee registration practices, particularly with regards to the rights, entitlements and legal status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.