Resettlement Process

Steps of the US Refugee Admissions Program

There are three pathways for refugees once they flee their country of origin: repatriation, or moving back to their country of origin once it’s safe; local integration to the country that they fled to; or resettlement into a third country. The US Refugee Admissions Program helps refugees resettle in the United States.

Since the passage of the Refugee Act in 1980, the United States has admitted more than 3.1 million refugees through the US Refugee Admissions Program. Refugees go through an extensive process before they finally arrive at their final destination.

Pre Arrival Processing

Post Arrival Resettlement Services

Reception and Placement (up to 90 days after arrival in the United States)

All 10 Resettlement Agencies have the Reception and Placement grant. This grant provides core services to newly arrived refugees to ensure they have baseline support established in the United States. These services include access to initial housing and healthcare, cultural orientation, referral to employment services, English language classes, and public benefits, and applications for social security cards. 

Matching Grant (up to 240 days after arrival in the United States)

The Matching Grant program is an employment program that helps eligible refugees become employed as quickly as possible so that they can be economically self-sufficient within 240 days of arrival without accessing public cash assistance programs. Services of this program include case management, employment skills training, and financial assistance.

Preferred Communities (up to 5 years after arrival in the United States)

The Preferred Communities (PC) program supports refugee and ORR-eligible populations facing special challenges including serious medical conditions, women at risk, and elderly refugees.

State-Funded Programs (generally up to 5 years after arrival in the United States)

Each state and each resettlement agency has programs specifically designed to help refugees with integration into the US. These programs focus on topics such as employment, health, refugee youth, elderly refugees, and microenterprise projects.

What is Asylum?

Whereas refugees seek to secure their safety by being resettled in a third country, asylum seekers ask for protection directly from within the country, or border of the country, where they hope to remain. Learn the steps individuals must navigate to be resettled as an asylee in the United States