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Expanded Refugee Resettlement Program for Iraqis in Jordan and Egypt with U.S. Affiliations


Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
February 3, 2009

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Due to recent changes in legislation, new categories of Iraqis in Jordan and Egypt are eligible for resettlement consideration under the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Iraqis in Jordan and Egypt who meet one of the criteria below may contact the U.S. Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) in Amman, Jordan, or Cairo, Egypt operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and seek direct access to the USRAP without a referral from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or a U.S. embassy. The following individuals (and their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) may seek access through this direct program:

  1. Iraqis who work/worked on a full-time basis as interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government or Multi-National Forces (MNF-I) in Iraq;
  2. Iraqis who were engaged as Locally Employed Staff (LES) by the U.S. Government in Iraq;
  3. Iraqis who are/were direct-hire employees of an organization or entity closely associated with the U.S. mission in Iraq that has received U.S. Government funding through an official and documented contract, award, grant or cooperative agreement;
  4. Iraqis who are/were employed in Iraq by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization;
  5. Spouses, sons, daughters, parents and siblings of individuals described in the four categories above, or of an individual eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa as a result of his/her employment by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq, including if the individual is no longer alive, provided that the relationship is verified;
  6. Iraqis who are the spouses, sons, daughters, parents, brothers or sisters of a citizen of the United States, or who are the spouses or unmarried sons or daughters of a Permanent Resident Alien of the United States, as established by their being or becoming beneficiaries of approved family-based I-130 Immigrant Visa Petitions.

Individuals in the first five categories above who believe they are at risk or have experienced serious harm as a result of association with the United States since March 20, 2003, as described above, and who wish to be considered for resettlement as refugees in the United States may initiate the process with the USRAP by scheduling an appointment with IOM. Appointments can be made in Jordan by calling the OPE at + 962-6-562-5080 (new phone number) or by sending an email to AmmanInfoCenter@iom.int. Appointments can be made in Egypt by calling +20 22 735 7053 or by sending an email to CairoInfoCenter@iom.int.

When sending an email to the OPE, please include the following required information:

  • Full name and date of birth of individual claiming association with the U.S. as described above;
  • Full names and dates of birth of any spouse or minor (under 21 years old) children of individual claiming association with the U.S.;
  • Company name, applicant’s job title, name of immediate supervisor, and dates and location(s) of service. (Note: This is not required of persons in the sixth category above.);
  • Current location and contact information; and
  • UNHCR registration number if available (not required).

We hope to expand this program to other countries in the region at a future date. If Iraqi individuals who meet the first five criteria above are interested in being considered for resettlement as refugees in the United States but are not physically present in Jordan or Egypt, please send an email to CairoInfoCenter@iom.int with the information requested above. IOM will contact you at a later date if/when direct access processing is available in the country in which you are located.

Initiating the process with the USRAP does not guarantee access to the program or an interview for resettlement in the United States. The first step in the process will be verification of the claimed association. Applicants will be notified by OPE once this verification has been completed to arrange the next steps in the process. The U.S. refugee resettlement program is free of charge to applicants. There is no need to contact a third party, such as an attorney or advocacy organization, regarding access.

Regarding persons in the sixth category above, the U.S.-based relative who filed an approved I-130 immigrant visa petition on behalf of his/her Iraqi relatives should have received a letter from the Department of State informing them of their relative’s eligibility for a refugee interview. If an Iraqi’s U.S.-based relative has not received this letter, or if the U.S.-based relative has not yet filed an I-130 petition but he/she or the potential beneficiary is interested in learning more about this option, please check the following website for “I-130 P-2 Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)”: http://www.wrapsnet.org/RPCWRAPS/FAQ/tabid/75/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Contacting a non-governmental organization or U.S. based associate does not expedite access to this program. Initiating the process with the USRAP should not be considered a substitute for registration with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is strongly recommended that all Iraqi asylum seekers register with UNHCR in their country of refuge.

Please note that this program is separate from the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. See http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1323.html#8 for SIV information.



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