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THE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROCESS

 

 
 
A refugee flees his/her home to escape war and/or persecution.

 


The refugee seeks protection in a country of asylum.  He/she registers with the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
 

 

 
 
In order to be considered for resettlement to the United States and begin the application
process, the refugee must first be referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
(USRAP) by the UNHCR or the U.S. Embassy.

 

 
If the refugee meets the referral criteria, he/she then submits an application and interviews
with an officer from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS).


  

The officer determines whether the applicant is eligible for refugee resettlement. 
According to U.S. law, a refugee: 

*  Is located outside of the United States

*  Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States

*  Demonstrates that he/she was persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion,
    nationality,
political opinion, or membership in a particular social group 
*  Is not firmly resettled in another country 
*  Is admissible to the United States

A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise
participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion,
nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

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If the applicant is approved as a refugee, he/she will receive a medical exam,
cultural orientation, and a loan (which must be repaid) for travel to the United States.

 

 
 The refugee is matched with one of ten voluntary resettlement agencies in the
United States that receive and place refugees in their new homes.

 

 
When the refugee arrives in the U.S., he/she is met at the airport by members from the assigned resettlement agency and taken to his/her new apartment.  The resettlement agency assists with initial needs, such as applying for a Social Security Number, school registration, and medical evaluation.