Refugee Admissions

Refugee Resettlement in the United States

The United States is proud of its history of welcoming immigrants and refugees. The U.S. refugee resettlement program reflects the United States’ highest values and aspirations to compassion, generosity and leadership. Since 1975, the United States has accepted more than 3.3 million refugees for permanent resettlement – more than any other country in the world. The United States will continue to prioritize the admission of the most vulnerable refugees while upholding the safety and security of the American people.

Resettlement: The Solution for Only a Few

A refugee is someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. The first step for most refugees is to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country to which s/he has fled. UNHCR has the mandate to provide international protection to refugees. UNHCR determines if an individual qualifies as a refugee and, if so, works toward the best possible durable solution for each refugee: safe return to the home country, local integration, or third-country resettlement.

According to UNHCR’s latest statistics, there are approximately 25.4 million refugees in the world. The vast majority of these refugees will receive support in the country to which they fled until they can voluntarily and safely return to their home country. A small number of refugees will be allowed to become citizens in the country to which they fled, and an even smaller number — primarily those who are at the highest risk — will be resettled in a third country.

Information on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program»
Information on the Reception and Placement Program»