Refugee Admissions Program for Africa

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
May 23, 2014


Since 1975, more than 280,000 African refugees have been admitted to the United States for permanent resettlement. The largest groups have been Somali (more than 100,000) and Ethiopian (nearly 50,000), but also included are Sudanese, Liberians, Congolese, Eritreans, Rwandans, Sierra Leoneans, Burundians, and others. In recent years, the program has grown more diverse both in terms of nationalities admitted to the United States and processing locations. In FY 2013, 15,988 refugees from Africa were admitted to the United States.

Two Regional Refugee Coordinators, posted to U.S. Embassy Nairobi and U.S. Embassy Kampala, oversee refugee admissions from sub-Saharan Africa. Most refugees considered for U.S. resettlement from Africa are referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). PRM has established a Resettlement Support Center (RSC) based in Nairobi to coordinate refugee case preparation, post-adjudication processing, and cultural orientation in sub-Saharan Africa. The Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) conducts regular refugee adjudication “circuit rides” throughout the region. Transportation to the United States is arranged by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

FY 2014 Admissions Program

The FY 2014 ceiling for refugee arrivals from Africa is 15,000. We expect to continue to admit significant numbers of Somalis from Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa; as well as Congolese in Rwanda, Uganda, and Southern Africa; Eritreans in Ethiopia, and smaller numbers of Sudanese, Ethiopians, Central African Republicans, and other nationalities