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Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2023

Report to the Congress submitted on behalf of
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
to the
COMMITTEES ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE and UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
in fulfillment of the requirements of sections 207(d)(1) AND (e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
United States Department of State
United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Health and Human Services

Table of Contents

LIST OF TABLES

Page

  1. Projected Refugee Admissions for FY 2022 and Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 2023 by Region
  2. Proposed FY 2023 Regional Ceilings by Priority
  3. USRAP Projected Arrivals by Region, FY 2022
  4. USRAP Admissions, FY 2021
  5. USRAP Admissions by Country of Origin, FY 2021
  6. Median Age and Gender of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2021
  7. Select Age Categories of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2021
  8. Refugee Arrivals by State of Initial Resettlement, FY 2021
  9. Estimated Funding of Refugee Processing, Movement, and Resettlement FY 2022 and FY 2023
  10. UNHCR Resettlement Statistics by Resettlement Country, CY 2021

INTRODUCTION

This Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2023 Report to the Congress is submitted in compliance with Sections 207(d)(1) and (e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This report provides the information required by those sections, including:

  1. A description of the nature of the refugee situation;
  2. A description of the number and allocation of the refugees to be admitted, and an analysis of conditions within the countries from which they came;
  3. A description of the proposed plans for their movement and resettlement and the estimated cost of their movement and resettlement;
  4. An analysis of the anticipated social, economic, and demographic impact of their admission to the United States;
  5. A description of the extent to which other countries will admit and assist in the resettlement of such efugees;
  6. An analysis of the impact of the participation of the United States in the resettlement of such refugees on the foreign policy interests of the United States; and
  7. Such additional information as may be appropriate or requested by such members.

This report also contains information as required by Section 602(d) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292, October 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2787) (IRFA), as amended, 22 U.S.C. 6472(d), about religious persecution of refugee populations eligible for consideration for admission to the United States.

This report also meets the reporting requirements of Section 305(b) of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-333, October 18, 2004, 118 Stat. 1287), as amended, (22 U.S.C. 7845(b), by providing information about specific measures taken to facilitate access to the United States refugee admissions program for individuals who have fled “countries of particular concern” for violations of religious freedoms, identified pursuant to Section 402(b) of the IRFA (22 U.S.C. 6442(b)).

FOREWORD

President Biden affirmed the United States’ commitment to welcoming refugees by increasing the total admissions number in the FY 2022 Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions to 125,000, the highest target in several decades. His decision reflects the United States’ long-standing leadership on refugee resettlement in the face of an unprecedented global displacement crisis as record numbers of people around the world have been forced to flee war, persecution, and instability. Over 100 million people are now forcibly displaced, more than at any other time in history. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than two million refugees are now in need of protection through third-country resettlement. For these refugees, resettlement in the United States represents the opportunity to start anew to pursue a life of safety and dignity without fear of violence or persecution.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) reflects our history as a nation welcoming of immigrants, exemplifying a U.S. values-based foreign policy and serving as a beacon of hope for persecuted people around the world. It is an important, enduring, and ongoing expression of our commitment to international humanitarian principles to save lives and alleviate human suffering as well as of our commitment to human rights, including freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. Critically, it remains a powerful demonstration of the United States’ continued solidarity with refugees and the countries hosting them.

The USRAP is a vital foreign policy tool that advances U.S. interests and national security objectives, including rebuilding a system that promotes safe, orderly, and humane lawful immigration. Alongside robust humanitarian aid and diplomacy, resettlement helps promote stability in regions experiencing crisis, demonstrates U.S. responsibility-sharing with affected countries, and facilitates U.S. negotiations on additional humanitarian conditions with host countries – such as granting access to legal work, education, and lawful status for the vast majority of refugees who remain in countries of first asylum and will never be resettled. Cooperation among U.S. government agencies, U.S. states and localities, private resettlement partners, the American public, foreign governments, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) make the USRAP possible.

The Administration has undertaken urgent initiatives to restore, strengthen, and modernize the USRAP, and we are beginning to make progress towards fulfilling President Biden’s ambitious admissions target. However, the heavy cuts to operational capacity made in previous years and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have hampered the program’s rebound. Additionally, the Administration’s robust response to humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, prompting unprecedented emergency resettlement and relocation efforts, required a significant reallocation of time and resources as detailed below. As the end of the fiscal year approaches, we anticipate that refugee arrivals in FY 2022 will be more than double FY 2021 arrivals but still fall far short of the 125,000 target established by President Biden. Despite these challenges, when taking into account the historic Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) effort to resettle Afghans, which relied on the same domestic resettlement infrastructure as the USRAP, the United States will have supported the resettlement of well over 105,000 individuals this fiscal year.

In FY 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue our efforts to rebuild, strengthen, and modernize the USRAP, including by implementing actions stemming from a major review of USRAP processing across the interagency being led by a new White House-appointed Special Advisor for Refugee Admissions. Looking ahead, we expect the innovations and efficiencies gained through this intensive effort will provide new hope and opportunities to all refugees in our program, including Afghans fleeing the Taliban’s repression, Venezuelans in need of protection, and Burmese Rohingya, among many others. The Administration remains focused on expanding the resettlement of key populations of concern, including Central Americans, Afghans at risk due to their affiliation with the United States, LGBTQI+ refugees, at-risk Uyghurs, Hong Kong refugees, Ukrainian refugees, and individuals persecuted for their religious beliefs.

In addition to these efforts on the USRAP, the Administration is reinvigorating U.S. global leadership in refugee resettlement. In FY 2022, the U.S. government co-led the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement, alongside Refugee Council USA, to strengthen global resettlement practices and expand resettlement spaces worldwide. The State Department will lead a meeting with key resettlement country partners during the UN General Assembly high level week to discuss how to invest strategically in the global system and expand resettlement as a tool to unlock other durable solutions globally.

The USRAP in FY 2023: Rebuilding, Strengthening, and Modernizing the Program

The Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, alongside other U.S. government agencies involved in refugee resettlement, have taken concrete steps to implement the President’s vision in Executive Order 14013 to rebuild and enhance the USRAP. The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized rebuilding USRAP’s global infrastructure to welcome significantly greater numbers of refugees, and to strengthen its policies, processes, and procedures. This section highlights priority objectives and innovations planned for FY 2023.

Security Vetting: The safety and security of the American people remain at the forefront of all U.S. government initiatives, including efforts to rebuild the USRAP. The integration of refugee vetting into the National Vetting Center this year both expanded security scrutiny of refugee applicants and significantly improved vetting efficiency and response times. As interested agencies continue to use new technologies and innovations to support vetting, the National Vetting Center will maintain and enhance thorough vetting regime for all refugee applicants and realize greater efficiencies in vetting.

Domestic Resettlement Capacity: With the fall of the Afghan government in 2021 and U.S. efforts to relocate vulnerable Afghan allies and others through Operation Allies Refuge (OAR) and OAW, the U.S. government launched a new program, the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program, modeled on the USRAP, to provide a safe and supportive landing in America for all of those brought from Afghanistan and granted parole. The urgency of Afghan resettlement this year drove an extraordinary burst of innovation in processing and resettlement for those fleeing persecution. Thanks to the historic effort of the domestic resettlement network and new partners of Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)’s and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR), we have significantly strengthened our domestic infrastructure for future refugees and eligible Special Immigrant Visa holders. This effort not only provided safety and a new beginning for tens of thousands of people, but also paved the way for further innovation to make the USRAP more effective and better able to welcome many more refugees. As part of OAW, the State Department also established a groundbreaking new public-private partnership with Welcome.US, a national non-profit initiative, to channel private sector and public support for Afghans to local resettlement partners for staffing, housing, and other needs. In FY 2023, PRM and ORR will continue to pursue a variety of funding initiatives and program strategies to support the capacity of domestic partners to welcome and support refugee arrivals, including several capacity-building measures to support new partners.

Private Sponsorship: Tens of thousands of Americans across the country directly welcomed and supported newcomers this year because of new initiatives that leveraged private sponsorship models to harness the outpouring of support for our Afghan allies as well as those who fled Ukraine following Putin’s brutal further invasion in February. In October 2021, the State Department entered into a public-private partnership with the Community Sponsorship Hub, a non-profit organization with expertise in community sponsorship, to collaborate on the establishment of the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans in October 2021 as an emergency private sponsorship-based initiative to facilitate community members’ direct support for the resettlement of Afghan newcomers. Since the launch of the program, thousands of Americans have been involved in sponsor circles across 33 states that have welcomed and generously supported hundreds of Afghan families. In April 2022, the Department of Homeland Security launched Uniting for Ukraine, a process for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate relatives to seek humanitarian parole in the United States linked in part to a sponsorship model. These initiatives enabled a broad and diverse swath of the American public, including new partners, to support newcomers. Established as distinct emergency responses, they also will inform the broader private sponsorship pilot program for refugees that will be launched later in 2022. The private sponsorship pilot program will incorporate lessons learned from these initiatives to grow opportunities for Americans to participate directly in welcoming refugees and facilitating their successful integration.

Afghan Resettlement: We are continuing to fulfill our special obligation to the brave Afghans who supported the United States mission in Afghanistan over the past two decades, serving alongside American diplomats, aid workers, and soldiers. We remain committed to reunify Afghans in America with their qualifying Afghanistan-based family members, and to process expeditiously Priority 1 and Priority 2 refugee referrals to USRAP. We will draw on all durable immigration pathways available to bring these Afghan allies to safety.

Crisis in Ukraine: The Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services continue to support President Biden’s commitment to welcome displaced Ukrainian citizens and others fleeing Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. In April 2022, the United States announced a series of measures to provide people displaced from Ukraine with legal pathways to come to the United States, notably the Uniting for Ukraine program managed by the Department of Homeland Security. Uniting for Ukraine is a temporary pathway that complements permanent resettlement of other Ukrainians through USRAP. Resettlement from Ukraine to the United States over the last three decades has primarily been accomplished through the Lautenberg program, which reunites members of certain religious minority groups from former Soviet Union countries with family members in the United States through the USRAP. In March 2022, PRM’s Resettlement Support Center (RSC) rapidly relocated from Kyiv to its sub-office in Chisinau, Moldova, and the RSC has since opened a second temporary office in Warsaw, Poland. The Department of State has also taken significant steps to increase refugee resettlement processing in Europe, especially for Ukrainian Lautenberg Program applicants. In FY 2022, we resettled Ukrainian Lautenberg refugees from Germany, Moldova, Poland, and Romania

LGBTQI+ Populations: The State Department is working with existing and new NGO referral partners to provide LGBTQI+ refugees around the world with access to resettlement as a durable solution. These efforts prioritize refugee populations that have been historically neglected, marginalized, or otherwise difficult to access through traditional resettlement services. These non-profit partners will provide greater access to durable solutions and a new life for LGBTQI+ refugees who are unable to integrate in their current country of asylum and face marginalization, discrimination, or worse, in their current location. Alongside this, we will redouble our advocacy with UNHCR to provide a welcoming and inclusive approach to LGBTQI+ refugees, so they feel safe accessing its services.

Resettlement Diplomacy: The United States continued to leverage its humanitarian leadership to expand this resettlement as a durable solution for refugees globally. The Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement, which spanned from June 2021 through June 2022 and were co-chaired by the United States, were an important part of the larger effort to expand resettlement spaces worldwide and increase the number of durable solutions available to refugees around the world. This multilateral event drew 28 states and 52 non-governmental organizations. The United States also continued to encourage other countries to do more to protect stateless people and prevent new situations of statelessness, including by implementing universal birth registration and reforming nationality laws. For many stateless people, resettlement can provide a path to naturalization or citizenship, resolving their stateless status and providing access to rights.

In the fall of 2022, the U.S. government will launch a new high-level multilateral platform, the Resettlement Diplomacy Network, to advance strategic, shared policy priorities for increasing third country solutions for refugees through collective action with other countries. Through this platform, the United States will engage other resettlement countries to drive an ambitious shared agenda around the global expansion of resettlement programs, modernization of global resettlement infrastructure, cultivation of new resettlement countries, and growth of additional innovative pathways to support refugees, including complementary pathways and humanitarian admissions programs. The network will also build on the rapid response mechanisms and coordination initiatives created around responses to the Afghanistan evacuation and the Ukraine crisis.

OVERVIEW OF U.S. REFUGEE POLICY

Who is a Refugee?

Under Section 101(a)(42) of the INA, a refugee is a person who, generally, has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Individuals who meet the statutory definition may be considered for either refugee status under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the United States, or asylum status under Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States or present themselves at a U.S. port of entry. Both refugee and asylum status are forms of humanitarian protection offered by the United States.

Additionally, under INA §101(a)(42)(B), the President may specify circumstances under which individuals who are within their countries of nationality or last habitual residence may be considered a refugee for purposes of admission to the United States. Persons for whom resettlement is requested by a U.S. ambassador in any location in the world may also be considered, with the understanding that those within their countries of nationality or last habitual residence will only be referred to the USRAP following Department of State consultation with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Individuals outside the United States seeking admission as a refugee under Section 207 of the INA are processed through the USRAP, which is managed by the Department of State in cooperation with DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Those admitted as refugees are eligible for U.S. government-funded resettlement assistance, which is discussed below in the Office of Refugee Resettlement section. Individuals in the United States seeking asylum status under Section 208 of the INA are processed by DHS and, in certain cases, by the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR, also known as the immigration court system). Asylum applicants are not eligible for resettlement assistance through USRAP but are eligible for certain other forms of assistance and services run by state, private, and non-profit agencies, and they may apply for discretionary employment authorization under certain conditions.

Since the passage of the Refugee Act in 1980, which incorporated this definition of refugee into the INA, the United States has welcomed more than 3.1 million refugees through the USRAP.

PROPOSED CEILINGS FOR FY 2023

Table I: Projected Refugee Admissions for FY 2022 and Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 2023 by Region
Region Revised FY 2022 Ceiling FY 2022 Projected Arrivals Proposed FY 2023 Allocation
Africa 40,000 10,000 40,000
East Asia 15,000 2,000 15,000
Europe and Central Asia 10,000 2,000 15,000
Latin America/Caribbean 15,000 2,000 15,000
Near East/South Asia 35,000 8,000 35,000
Regional Subtotal 115,000 120,000
Unallocated Reserve 10,000 5,000
Total 125,000 23,000-25,000 125,000

The proposed FY 2023 allocations are based on refugee resettlement needs and humanitarian policy priorities. Areas of particular focus in FY 2023 include higher expected arrivals of Afghan refugees with the July 2021 P-2 designation (defined below) and increased safe and legal pathways, including resettlement, for vulnerable individuals in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. More detail about each region is provided below in the Regional and Refugee Admissions section. Furthermore, it is expected that the President Determination will, as in the past, authorize the Secretary of State, upon notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress, to transfer unused admissions allocated to a particular region to one or more other regions if there is such a need for greater admissions. The only change in regional allocation in FY 2023 is the increase from 10,000 to 15,000 in Europe and Central Asia as a result of the war in Ukraine. This change shifted our unallocated reserve from 10,000 to 5,000 for FY 2023.

Unallocated Reserve

This proposal includes 5,000 unallocated admissions numbers to be used if needed for additional refugee admissions from any region. The unallocated numbers would only be used following notification to Congress.

ADMISSIONS PROCEDURES

Eligibility Criteria

PRM is responsible for coordinating and managing the USRAP. A critical part of this responsibility is determining which individuals or groups from among the millions of refugees worldwide will have access to the USRAP. PRM coordinates within the Department of State, as well as with USCIS and other agencies, in carrying out this responsibility.

Section 207(a)(3) of the INA provides that “admissions shall be allocated among refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States in accordance with a determination made by the President after appropriate consultation.” Which individuals are “of special humanitarian concern” to the United States for the purpose of refugee resettlement consideration is determined through the USRAP priority system. There will be four priority categories in FY 2023.

  • Priority 1: Individual cases referred by designated entities to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement.
  • Priority 2: Groups of special concern designated by the Department of State as having access to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement.
  • Priority 3: Individual cases granted access for purposes of reunification with family members already in the United States.
  • Priority 4: Individual cases from all nationalities who have been referred by private sponsors in the United States, and who receive post-arrival support and services from those sponsors.

(Note: Refugees resettled in the United States may also seek the admission of spouses and unmarried children under 21 who are still abroad or are located domestically but did not accompany the principal refugee by filing a “following-to-join” petition, which does not require a separate refugee adjudication for these family members overseas. This option is described in more detail in the discussion of following-to-join cases below.)

Access to the USRAP under one of the above-listed processing priorities does not necessarily mean an applicant meets the statutory definition of a “refugee” or is admissible to the United States under the INA. Applicants granted access to the USRAP within the established priorities are presented to USCIS officers for interview and adjudication. The determination as to whether an applicant can be admitted as a refugee is made by USCIS in accordance with criteria set forth in the INA and various security protocols.

Although the access categories to the USRAP are referred to as “processing priorities,” it is important to note that entering the program under a certain priority does not establish precedence in the order in which cases will be processed or the likelihood of success of the claim. Once cases are established as eligible for access under one of the processing priorities, they all undergo the same processing steps.

Priority 1 (P-1) – Individual Referrals

Priority 1 (P-1) allows the USRAP to consider refugee claims from persons of any or no nationality, usually with compelling protection needs, for whom resettlement appears to be the appropriate durable solution. P-1 cases are identified and referred to the program by UNHCR, a U.S. embassy or U.S. government agency, or a designated non-governmental organization (NGO). In certain cases, other U.S. government and U.S. military officials are permitted to provide P-1 referrals for Afghan individuals who worked with the United States in Afghanistan.

UNHCR, which has the international mandate to provide protection to refugees worldwide, has historically referred the vast majority of cases to the United States under this priority. A U.S. ambassador or designated embassy representative may also make a P-1 referral for vulnerable individuals and are encouraged to do so. Such referrals include those still in their country of origin, if the ambassador or designate determines that such persons warrant exceptional treatment and PRM and USCIS concur.

In August 2021, PRM announced a P-1 referral specific to Afghan nationals and their eligible family members. Any U.S. government federal employee, with Senior Executive Service/Senior Foreign Service certification, may submit a P-1 referral for Afghan nationals known to U.S. government officials through channels other than employment on/for a U.S. government-funded project, who have imminent and compelling protection concerns and who do not qualify for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) or P-2 referral based on their past employment. U.S. government agencies may also submit a P-1 referral for any Afghan national and their eligible family member(s) who arrived in a third country between August 14 and 31, 2021, and fit into eligible categories for U.S.-assisted relocation developed for OAW. Finally, Afghan nationals who are manifested by the Department’s Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts (SCA/CARE) on a relocation flight from Afghanistan or other locations to Camp al-Saliyah in Qatar may also be referred to the USRAP as P-1 referrals.

PRM has designated some NGOs that assist refugees as eligible to provide P-1 referrals directly. As directed in Executive Order 14013, PRM is working to expand NGO referrals to the USRAP, to provide greater access to refugees in need of resettlement.

Priority 2 (P-2) – Group Referrals

Priority 2 (P-2) includes specific groups whose members warrant resettlement as identified by the Department of State in consultation with USCIS, NGOs, UNHCR, and other experts. P-2 designations reflect the determination that a group is of special humanitarian concern to the United States and that individual members of the group will likely qualify for admission as refugees under U.S. law.

There are two distinct models of P-2 access to the program: predefined group access and direct access. Under both models, P-2 designations are made based on shared characteristics that define the group. In general, these characteristics are the reason that members of the group have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution in the future.

A predefined group designation is usually based on a UNHCR recommendation that lays out eligibility criteria for individuals in a specific location. In recent years, predefined groups have included certain Burmese in Thailand, certain Bhutanese in Nepal, and certain Congolese in Tanzania and Rwanda. In August 2021, PRM announced a P-2 designation for certain Afghan nationals and their eligible family members.

Once PRM, in consultation with USCIS, establishes the access eligibility criteria for the group, the referring entity (usually UNHCR) provides the biographical data of eligible refugee applicants for processing. This type of group enables efficient processing because it identifies groups of people with very similar persecution claims, can avoid labor-intensive individual referrals, and prevents delays to applicants.

In special circumstances, the direct access model for P-2 group referrals enables individuals to apply for access to the program based on meeting designated criteria. The direct access model has operated largely for in-country programs, historically including refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Eurasia and the Baltics, and Vietnam. To establish a direct access P-2 group, PRM, in consultation with USCIS, defines the specific criteria and procedures for access. Applicants may then apply according to that process. Applicants who clearly do not meet the access requirements do not proceed to USCIS interviews.

Once an individual gains access to processing via a P-2 designation, all other processing steps are the same as for those referred by P-1, including individual pre-screening and USCIS interviews, and all security and medical checks.

IN-COUNTRY PROCESSING PROGRAMS

P-1 UNHCR referrals inside their country of origin:

Persons in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: In El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, UNHCR refers to the USRAP cases of vulnerable individuals identified by a consortium of NGOs. Cases with the most extreme protection needs may be transferred to Costa Rica for refugee processing under a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Costa Rica, UNHCR, and IOM; all other cases are eligible for in-country processing for resettlement to the United States.

Direct Access P-2s inside their country of origin:

Lautenberg Program for Certain Members of Religious Minority Groups in Eurasia and the Baltics: This group includes Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious adherents identified in the Lautenberg Amendment, Section 599D of Title V, P.L. 101-167, as amended (the Lautenberg Amendment), with close family in the United States. With annual statutory renewal of the Lautenberg Amendment, these individuals are considered under a reduced evidentiary standard for establishing a well-founded fear of persecution.

Certain Iraqis Associated with the United States: Under various P-2 designations, including those set forth in Section 1243(a) of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007, Title XII, Div. A, P. L. 110-181, as amended, employees of the U.S. government, a U.S. government-funded contractor or grantee, U.S. media or U.S. NGOs working in Iraq, and certain family members of such employees, as well as beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions for immigrant visas, are eligible for refugee processing in Iraq. After a 13-month suspension, the program was restarted on March 1, 2022.

Persons in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: The P-2 designated Central American Minors (CAM) program allows certain parents lawfully present in the United States to request access to the USRAP for their unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21. In some instances, other in-country relatives may be eligible when accompanying the qualifying child.

An expansion of eligibility for those who can request access to the CAM was announced on June 15, 2021. Implementation began in September 2021, at which point eligibility was extended to include legal guardians (in addition to parents) who are in the United States pursuant to any of the following qualifying categories: lawful permanent residence; temporary protected status; parole; deferred action; deferred enforced departure; or withholding of removal. The expansion of eligibility also includes certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021.

Certain Persons in Cuba: Included in this Cuba P-2 program are human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts, and persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs. As of September 2022, this program remains suspended.

GROUPS OF HUMANITARIAN CONCERN OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Pre-defined Group Access P-2s:

Ethnic Minorities and Others from Burma in Camps in Thailand: Under this P-2 designation, individuals who fled Burma and who were registered in one of nine refugee camps along the Thailand/Burma border, were identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement, and expressed interest in third-country resettlement prior to January 2014 (depending on the location), are eligible for processing.

Ethnic Minorities from Burma in Malaysia: Under this P-2 designation, members of ethnic minorities from Burma who were recognized by UNHCR as refugees in Malaysia, registered by August 17, 2010, and identified as needing resettlement, are eligible for resettlement processing.

Congolese in the Great Lakes: We will be undertaking an expansion of the two existing P-2 categories in Rwanda and Tanzania and creating a similar P-2 category for Congolese refugees in Burundi.

Congolese in Rwanda: Certain Congolese refugees in Rwanda who arrived between 1994 and 2011 and who were verifiably registered by UNHCR and identified as in need of resettlement, are eligible for processing. This is an expansion of the previous P-2 group, which was limited to 1994 – 2005 arrivals who were verifiably registered by UNHCR in 2011 or 2012 and identified as in need of resettlement.

Congolese in Tanzania: Certain Congolese refugees in Tanzania registered by UNHCR, who arrived between 1994 – 2005. This is an expansion from the previous P-2 which included 1994 – 1999 arrivals.

Congolese in Burundi: We anticipate a new P-2 designation for certain Congolese refugees in Burundi, registered by UNHCR who arrived in between 1994-2011.

Eritreans in Ethiopia: We are expecting a UNHCR proposed P-2 designation for a group of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia who were affected by the conflict in the Northern Ethiopian camps.

Afghan Nationals: Certain Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a Special Immigrant Visa but who work/worked as employees of contractors*, Locally Employed Staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government including United States Forces Afghanistan, International Security Assistance Force, or Resolute Support; certain Afghans who work/worked for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement*; and certain Afghans who are/were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization.  U.S.-based media organizations may also refer Afghan nationals who worked for them under stringer, freelance, and comparable arrangements.

Afghan nationals eligible for a P-2 referral must be referred by an American citizen who works for a U.S. government agency or by the senior-most U.S. citizen employee of a U.S.-based NGO or media organization. Afghan nationals cannot submit self-referrals.

*Note: Afghans who work/worked for sub-contractors and sub-grantees do not qualify for the P-2 designation, though they may qualify for P-1 referrals.

Direct Access Model P-2s:

Lautenberg Program for Certain Members of Religious Minority Groups in Iran: Iranian members of certain religious minorities are eligible for processing and are considered under a reduced evidentiary standard for establishing a well-founded fear of persecution pursuant to the annual renewal of the Lautenberg Amendment, as amended in 2004 by Section 213 of Title II, Division E, of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, P.L. 108-199. 118 Stat. 3 (“the Specter Amendment”).

Certain Iraqis Associated with the United States: Under various P-2 designations, including those set forth in Section 1243(a) of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007, Title XII, Div. A, P. L. 110-181, as amended, employees of the U.S. government, a U.S. government-funded contractor or grantee, U.S. media, or U.S. NGOs working in Iraq, and certain family members of such employees, as well as beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions for immigrant visas, are eligible for refugee processing in several countries in the region, including Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon, in addition to the in-country program in Iraq. After a 13-month suspension, the program was restarted on March 1, 2022.

Syrian Beneficiaries of Approved Form I-130 petitions: Under this P-2 designation, Syrian beneficiaries of approved Form I-130 petitions for whom immigrant visas have not yet been issued, are eligible for refugee processing.

OTHER POPULATIONS FOR PRIORITY CONSIDERATION

In addition, the following populations were priorities in FY 2022 and PRM will continue efforts in FY 2023 to enhance and expand USRAP access opportunities for individuals in these populations, including through expanding NGO referrals and encouraging greater use of Embassy referrals:

  • At-Risk Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim refugees who are nationals or habitual residents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC);
  • Refugees who are activists, journalists, and political dissidents and who are permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, or who last habitually resided therein;
  • Rohingya refugees who are nationals or habitual residents of Burma;
  • Individuals persecuted based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics;
  • Iraqi and Syrian nationals who are members of a religious or ethnic minority; and
  • At-risk individuals in Northern Central America.

Priority 3 (P-3) – Family Reunification

P-3 provides USRAP access to individuals of special humanitarian concern who have immediate family members in the United States who were admitted in certain humanitarian immigrant statuses. The immediate family members in the United States can initiate an application for their relatives even if they subsequently gained lawful permanent resident status or naturalized as U.S. citizens. Parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of the U.S.-based relative can benefit from P-3 referrals.

To qualify for access under the P-3 program, an applicant must generally be outside of their country of origin, be registered or have legal status in the country of asylum, have had an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) filed on their behalf by an eligible family member in the United States, and have been cleared for onward processing by USCIS.

PRM designates which U.S.-based relatives can initiate P-3 processing based on their admission status. For FY 2023, AOR filers can include those admitted as asylees, refugees, or Afghan and Iraqi special immigrants (admitted under Section 1059 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (P.L. 109-163; 8 U.S.C. 1101 note), Section 1244 of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007 (8 U.S.C. 1157 note), and Section 602 of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note)). This includes persons who are lawful permanent residents of the United States or U.S. citizens who initially were admitted to the United States in the designated status. The U.S.-based filer must be at least 18 years of age at the time the AOR is filed. The filer must file the AOR within five years of the date they were admitted as an asylee, refugee, or special immigrant and the USRAP may reject any AOR for a relationship that does not comport with U.S. law, such as under-age or plural marriages.

The USRAP recognizes that many refugee families face legal and practical obstacles to legal marriage or marriage registration. The United States will allow a qualifying individual to file for P-3 access for a partner of any gender if the filer considers that person to be their spouse or life partner and can provide evidence of an ongoing relationship with the partner for at least one year overseas prior to the submission of the AOR and evidence that legal marriage could not be obtained due to social and/or legal prohibitions.

On a case-by-case basis, an individual may be added to a qualifying family member’s P-3 case if that individual:

  • Lived in the same household as the qualifying family member in the country of nationality or, if stateless, last habitual residence; AND
  • Was part of the same economic unit as the qualifying family member in the country of nationality or, if stateless, last habitual residence; AND
  • Demonstrates exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances that justify inclusion on the qualifying family member’s case.

These individuals are not “spouses” or “children”, under INA Section 207(c)(2)(A) and thus cannot derive their refugee status from the Principal Applicant. They must, therefore, independently establish that they qualify as a refugee.

Because of the importance of reuniting immediate refugee families who have been separated while fleeing from persecution, the USRAP will continue to make P-3 processing available to individuals of all nationalities, including stateless individuals.

Priority 4 (P-4) – Privately sponsored refugees

The Department of State, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, is developing a private sponsorship pilot program for refugees admitted through the USRAP that it anticipates launching in late calendar year 2022 as part of efforts to expand community participation in refugee resettlement.

Private sponsorship is a specific form of community sponsorship whereby private sponsors work independently of resettlement agency partners to welcome refugees, accepting primary responsibility to provide core services and other basic supports to newly arrived refugees to facilitate their resettlement.

The purpose of the program is to increase and deepen the involvement of local communities in effective refugee resettlement, recognizing the significant and impactful role that local community actors have long played in supporting the welcome and integration of refugees admitted to the United States through the USRAP. The program is intended to complement the Reception and Placement Program by creating new, additional opportunities for individuals and organizations nationwide to be directly engaged in supporting refugee resettlement.

Refugee applicants will be assigned to private sponsors through two distinct components of the private sponsorship pilot program that will be launched sequentially and eventually operate in parallel: a matching component and an identification component linked to the Priority 4 (P-4) category. The program is being designed so that it can eventually support refugees of all nationalities.

The program will launch with the matching component, where private sponsors will be matched with refugees who already have access to the USRAP through another priority category and whose cases are already being processed. As the program is rolled out, we will later introduce the identification component, whereby certified private sponsors will be able to identify and refer refugee applicants to the USRAP through the Priority 4 (P-4) category, subject to access criteria established by PRM, and apply to support their resettlement.

For instance, this mechanism could enable sponsors to identify and sponsor extended family members of refugees who have already been resettled in the United States; U.S. community-based ethnic/affinity organizations to identify and sponsor refugees that align with the group’s area of service or support (e.g., LGBTQI+ refugees, refugees of a specific ethnicity or nationality, refugees with links to U.S.-based community groups or veterans’ organizations); or U.S. higher education institutions to identify and sponsor refugee students.

The program is being launched as a pilot to enable the Department of State to test and evaluate these different components, learn from what is working well, and identify the successful elements of the pilot that will form the basis of an effective, sustainable private sponsorship that becomes a foundational part of U.S. refugee resettlement.

Following-to-Join Family Reunification Petitions

Under 8 U.S.C. Section 207(c)(2), a principal refugee admitted to the United States may request following-to-join benefits for their spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 who were not previously granted refugee status. Once in the United States, and within two years of admission, the principal refugee may file a Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition[1] with USCIS for each eligible family member[2]. Follow-to-join refugee petitions are initially processed domestically by USCIS’ Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate. Once USCIS has completed initial processing of the Form I-730 petition, if the beneficiary appears eligible, the case is sent to the appropriate office depending on the beneficiary’s location to interview the qualifying spouse or child and to complete processing. If the beneficiary is located within the United States, the petition is forwarded to the USCIS domestic field office with jurisdiction over the beneficiary’s residence. If the beneficiary is located outside of the United States, the petition is forwarded through the Department of State’s National Visa Center to either the USCIS office, international field office, embassy, or consulate with jurisdiction over the beneficiary’s location. By regulation, all Form I-730 petitions must be filed with and adjudicated by USCIS. However, in locations where USCIS does not have a presence, USCIS partners with the Department of State to have consular officers conduct interviews and determine the beneficiary’s eligibility to travel to the United States.

Individuals who gain access to the USRAP through the Form I-730 petition are interviewed by USCIS or consular officers to verify the relationship claimed in the petition, as well as to examine any applicable bars to status and admissibility to the United States. Beneficiaries are not required to establish past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution, as they derive their status from the refugee relative in the United States who filed the petition. Beneficiaries of Form I-730 petitions may be processed within their country of origin or in other locations.

Certain relatives in the United States may file a Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition and seek P-3 access for their qualifying family members (if eligible) simultaneously. In some cases, the Form I-730 petition will be the only option, as the family members are still in their country of origin. It is also important to note that unlike the P-3 process, the Form I-730 or following-to-join process does not allow the relative in the United States to petition for parents.

DHS/USCIS REFUGEE ADJUDICATIONS

Section 207(c) of the INA grants the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security authority to admit, at his or her discretion, any refugee who is not firmly resettled in a third country, who is determined to be of special humanitarian concern, and who is admissible to the United States. The authority to determine eligibility for refugee status has been delegated to USCIS. USCIS also devotes substantial resources to security vetting, anti-fraud, and training related to refugee processing, and it has strong partnerships with the law enforcement, national security, and intelligence communities to maintain and promote the integrity of the USRAP.

The Eligibility Determination

To be approved for classification as a refugee, an applicant must meet the refugee definition contained in Section 101(a)(42) of the INA. That section provides that a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or, if stateless, last habitual residence and is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group[3], or political opinion. As mentioned above, the President may specify special circumstances under which a person can meet the refugee definition when he or she is still within his or her country of origin or, if stateless, last habitual residence. The refugee definition excludes a person who has ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Further, an applicant who has been “firmly resettled” in a third country may not be admitted as a refugee under INA Section 207. Applicants are also subject to various statutory grounds of inadmissibility, including criminal, security, and public health grounds, some of which may be waived or from which applicants may be exempted. Finally, an applicant must establish that a positive exercise of discretion is merited.

A USCIS officer conducts an interview of each refugee applicant designed to elicit information about the applicant’s claim for refugee status, any grounds of ineligibility, and factors related to the exercise of discretion. The officer asks questions about the applicant’s experiences in the country of origin, including problems and fears about returning (or remaining), as well as questions concerning the applicant’s activities, background, and criminal history. The officer also considers evidence about conditions in the country of origin and assesses the applicant’s credibility and claim. For derivative applicants, the officer also asks questions to inform the decision of eligibility based on family relationships.

Background Security Checks

The safety and security of the American people remains the first and foremost consideration in refugee admissions processing. Refugees are among the most thoroughly screened and vetted groups to enter the United States. Refugee applicants of all nationalities are required to undergo background security checks. Security checks include biographic name checks for all refugee applicants and biometric (fingerprint) checks for refugee applicants within certain age limits. PRM, through its overseas Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs), initiates required biographic name checks, while USCIS is responsible for collecting biometric data for screening. Biographic and biometric information is vetted against a broad array of law enforcement, intelligence community, and other relevant databases to help confirm identity, to check for any national security, criminal or other derogatory information (including watchlist information), and to identify information that could inform lines of questioning during the interview. Refugee applicants must have all required security checks resolved and cleared prior to admission to the United States as a refugee.

In addition, PRM and USCIS work continually with interagency partners to identify opportunities to enhance and refine security screening for refugee applicants. This includes increasing the efficacy, efficiency, and fairness of security screening without sacrificing the rigorous security measures that ensure the safety and security of the American people.

PROCESSING ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Overseas Processing Services

In most processing locations, PRM funds an NGO or an international organization (IO) to manage a Resettlement Support Center (RSC) that assists in the processing of refugee applicants for admission to the United States. RSC staff pre-screen applicants for eligibility for one of the applicable processing priorities and prepare cases for USCIS adjudication. The RSCs assist applicants in completing documentary requirements and schedule USCIS refugee eligibility interviews. If an applicant is conditionally approved for resettlement by USCIS, RSC staff guide the refugee through post-adjudication steps, including completing medical screening exams and attending cultural orientation programs. The RSC obtains domestic sponsorship assurances and, once all required steps are completed, including all necessary security clearances, refers the case to IOM for transportation to the United States.

In FY 2022, four NGOs (HIAS, Church World Service, the International Catholic Migration Commission, and the International Rescue Committee) worked under cooperative agreements with PRM to operate RSCs at locations in Austria (covering Austria and Israel), Kenya (covering sub-Saharan Africa), Turkey (covering Turkey and Lebanon), and Thailand (covering Asia). The Department of State funded IOM to support refugee processing activities based in El Salvador, Jordan, and Ukraine which cover Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Central Asia, respectively.

Cultural Orientation

PRM strives to ensure that refugees who are accepted for admission to the United States are prepared for the profound life changes they will experience as part of the resettlement process. This is accomplished through pre-departure and post-arrival cultural orientation which aims to provide refugees with the vital knowledge, skills, and insights they need to adapt to their new lives and be well positioned to achieve self-sufficiency.

PRM supports a robust technical assistance program, the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (https://coresourceexchange.org/ ), which works to ensure that refugees receive consistent messages in pre-departure and post-arrival cultural orientation and trains resettlement staff to deliver effective cultural orientation. In addition, the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) helps providers respond to unforeseen events that impact resettlement and require rapid adaptation and critical communication to resettling refugees, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. CORE also develops and manages refugee-facing resources and digital channels to augment instructor-led classes, support refugee self-learning, and build the digital skills that will help them achieve self-sufficiency.

RSCs offer pre-departure cultural orientation, usually one week to three months before departure. The orientation generally lasts from one to five days and is provided by trained educators using appropriate teaching methodologies.

Cultural Orientation programming is guided by objectives and indicators that cover 14 topics. Each RSC over many years has established its own curriculum that is customized as needed to the populations receiving it, based on these objectives and indicators. RSCs regularly review and update their curriculum and incorporate new materials and activities from the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) as needed. The RSCs have specific Cultural Orientation trainers that deliver the sessions. Resettlement Agencies (RAs) have available through CORE’s website  Making Your Way, supplemental lesson plans, and additional activities from an activity bank , which can be used to create their curriculum.

Staff at local resettlement agencies provide the post-arrival cultural orientation, beginning right after arrival in the United States. As part of the resettlement cultural orientation continuum, post-arrival cultural orientation reviews and builds upon pre-departure cultural orientation by grounding lessons in the local context. For example, state health care coverage is explained as refugees learn how to access and pay for health services; refugees are introduced to the local public school system and learn about customary student behavior and expectations of parental involvement; and refugees learn about the amenities and services available in their new communities. Cultural adjustment is also addressed including gender dynamics, child rearing, and changing family roles. Laws and responsibilities are also a focus. In many locations, local partners, such as representatives from health care facilities, banks, and local police stations, are invited to attend cultural orientation to break down barriers and build trust. Volunteers in many communities also help with cultural orientation by, for example, accompanying refugees to neighborhood grocery stores or the library, or by showing them how public transportation works in their cities.

Transportation

The cost of transportation to the United States is provided to refugees in the form of an interest-free loan from PRM in a program administered by IOM. Refugees are responsible for repaying these loans over time, beginning six months after their arrival, although it is possible to request a deferral based on inability to begin paying at that time. The underlying principle of the IOM Travel Loan Program is that refugees’ financial participation in making repayments against their debt will not only defray U.S. resettlement costs, but also strengthen the refugees’ determination to make a success of their migration. IOM billing and credit reporting policies are designed to encourage repayment of these interest-free loans without placing undue hardship on refugees as they adjust to their new lives in the United States.

Reception and Placement (R&P)

In FY 2022, PRM funded cooperative agreements with nine non-profit resettlement agencies to provide initial resettlement services to refugees arriving in the United States pursuant to the authority in 8 U.S.C. 1522(b). The R&P agencies are responsible for providing initial reception and core services (including housing, furnishings, clothing, and food, as well as assistance with access to medical, employment, educational, and social services) to arriving refugees. These services are provided according to standards of care within a framework of outcomes and indicators developed jointly by the NGO community, state refugee coordinators, and U.S. government agencies. These national resettlement organizations maintain a nationwide network of 272 affiliated offices in 184 communities to provide services. Two of the organizations also maintain a network of 30 affiliated offices through which they place unaccompanied refugee minors into foster care, a program administered and funded by HHS/ORR.

Using R&P funds from PRM, supplemented by funds and in-kind contributions from private and other sources, the participating agencies provide the following services, consistent with the terms of the R&P cooperative agreement:

  • Agreement to accept cases for management by local resettlement affiliates (a process known as “assurance”);
  • Pre-arrival resettlement planning, including placement;
  • Reception on arrival;
  • Basic needs support (including housing, furnishings, food, and clothing) for at least 30 days;
  • Cultural orientation;
  • Assistance with access to health, employment, education, and other services, as needed; and
  • Development and implementation of an initial service plan for each refugee.

In FY 2023, PRM hopes to expand the number of organizations participating in the R&P program, as well as to support additional partners to help build domestic capacity to welcome refugees nationally.

OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT (ORR)

Through the Refugee Act, Congress directed HHS/ORR to provide refugees with resettlement assistance that includes employment training, English language training, cash assistance (in a manner that promotes early self-sufficiency), and job placement – including providing women with equal opportunities to employment as men. ORR’s mission is to help refugees transition into the United States by providing benefits and assistance to achieve integration as soon as possible. To this end, ORR funds and administers various programs, some of which are highlighted below.

Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance

Refugees not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or those pending receipt of Supplemental Security Income are eligible to receive Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) upon arrival. Refugees not eligible for Medicaid are eligible to receive Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) upon arrival. While refugees are statutorily authorized to receive RCA and RMA for up to 36 months from arrival, funding limitations have historically limited RCA and RMA to eight months of benefits. This year, ORR announced an expansion of RCA and RMA to up to 12 months of assistance for those whose date of eligibility for ORR benefits is on or after October 1, 2021. ORR is exploring options to better support refugees during this timeframe given rising housing costs and the desire to better match employment with skill level. RCA and RMA are administered by states and Replacement Designees, who are private entities designated by ORR to administer the refugee program in a state that has withdrawn from administration of the program. In state-administered programs that operate a publicly administered RCA program, RCA benefits are based on cash benefit levels established by state TANF programs. In states that operate their RCA program through a Public-Private Program (PPP) model, the RCA benefit is based on the higher of the RCA rates outlined in the ORR regulations or the state TANF rates. Effective October 1, 2021, ORR announced an increase in the PPP rates using the 2021 HHS Poverty Guidelines.

Refugee Support Services

ORR also provides states and Replacement Designees with Refugee Support Services (RSS) funds. ORR distributes this funding by formula based on the arrived and served ORR-eligible populations for up to the previous three years. Funding is time-limited, and refugees can only access RSS services up to five years after arrival. These services include employment services, on-the-job training, English language instruction, vocational training, case management, translation/interpreter services, social adjustment services, health-related services, home management, childcare, and transportation.

Additionally, to assist specific groups of refugees or to target specific needs, ORR administers specialized RSS “set-aside” programs that include Services to Older Refugees (SOR), Refugee School Impact (RSI), Youth Mentoring (YM), and Refugee Health Promotion (RHP). In 2022, ORR expanded the RSI program to include “Early RSI” to promote access to childcare, to ensure that ORR-eligible children are prepared to succeed in formal schooling, and to holistically serve families of eligible children. Children from birth to age 18, and their families, are now eligible to receive services through the RSI program. Additionally, this year, ORR launched the Refugee Mental Health Initiative within the RHP program to build capacity within communities to address the mental health needs of refugee populations, including help overcoming stigmas associated with mental health care and creating opportunities for social engagement to reduce isolation. Mental health services under RHP are client-centered, trauma-informed, strengths-based, and culturally and linguistically appropriate.

ORR Matching Grant Program

The ORR Matching Grant program (MG) is provided through the nine national resettlement agencies that provide R&P services and their resettlement affiliates in 43 states. The objective of MG is to guide newly arrived refugee households toward economic self-sufficiency through employment within eight months of program eligibility (which usually begins on the date of arrival in the United States). In MG, self-sufficiency is defined as total household income from employment that (1) would exceed the established state income threshold for TANF eligibility, and (2) enables a family unit to support itself without relying on cash assistance. For each MG participant, ORR awards a per capita grant to participating national resettlement agencies, which then allocate funds to their networks of local affiliates for direct services and administrative expenses. Agencies provide a 50% match to every federal dollar awarded.

Through the ORR MG Program, local service providers ensure core support services for a minimum of 240 days which include housing, transportation, food, and a cash allowance. Clients also receive intensive case management and employment services throughout the 240-day service period. Refugees who are unable to attain self-sufficiency by day 240 may access RCA for the remainder of the eligibility period, which is now up to 12 months.

ORR Refugee Health

ORR services focus on providing technical assistance on domestic medical screening guidelines and refugee medical assistance, assessment, and follow-up for contagious or communicable diseases, mental health awareness and linkages, suicide prevention, emergency preparedness and other health and mental health initiatives. Specifically, ORR funds RMA, refugee medical screening, and refugee health promotion to support refugee populations. ORR also funds the Survivors of Torture program to provide culturally competent and strengths-based services, as well as client-centered treatment plans to restore dignity, enhance resilience, and rebuild the lives of all survivors of torture, regardless of immigration status. ORR also conducts mental-health first aid trainings to refugee-serving program staff and refugee community leaders to help them identify and assist refugees in emotional distress.

ORR Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program

ORR provides funding to 15 states, including the District of Columbia, and Replacement Designees to administer 26 Unaccompanied Refugee Minors programs (URM). The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program is separate and distinct from ORR’s Unaccompanied Children Program, although children who become eligible for the URM while in the care and custody of ORR may be referred for placement into the URM program. States and Replacement Designees contract with local licensed foster care agencies that provide specialized placements and services to unaccompanied refugee minors. Unaccompanied refugee minors live in various placements including traditional and therapeutic foster homes, group homes, semi-independent and independent living, and residential treatment centers. The youth receive various services including English language training, educational and vocational training, cultural preservation, social integration, family tracing, permanency planning, independent living, medical care, and mental health care. ORR regulations require states to provide services to unaccompanied refugee minors in parity with the state’s Title IV-B and Title IV-E foster care plans.

Wilson-Fish TANF Coordination Program

The Wilson-Fish TANF Coordination Program supports the development and implementation of new or innovative programs throughout a state. These programs facilitate access to relevant, customized, and culturally and linguistically appropriate integrated services and resources that harness refugees’ specific strengths and address the challenges they face post-resettlement. Refugee families with children under the age of 18, or generally those refugees who may be eligible for TANF, are eligible for the Wilson-Fish TANF Coordination Program. Administered through a discretionary award to both state and non-profit grantees, services provided under this program are available for up to five years after a refugee’s arrival to the U.S.

Preferred Communities Program

ORR’s Preferred Communities (PC) program provides intensive case management to particularly vulnerable refugees. PC supports a network of sites nationwide specializing in a variety of programs supporting particularly vulnerable populations. The program builds resettlement agencies’ capacity for placement of the most vulnerable refugees and provides long-term intensive case management to those with acute vulnerabilities such as health or mental health needs, family strengthening needs, and single-headed households. It also helps meet the unmet needs of unexpected arrivals.

Specialty Programs

ORR administers several specialty programs that promote economic mobility and pathways to self-sufficiency. Funded through grants to ethnic and community-based organizations these programs help refugees with recertification and career advancement, open small businesses, build community gardens, and save to purchase homes, cars, or to pay for tuition. An Ethnic Community Self-Help program helps build the capacity of local ECBOs to offer ongoing support and services in a culturally competent manner.

ORR Technical Assistance

ORR’s Refugee Technical Assistance Program provides technical assistance to resettlement stakeholders to enhance services, strengthen organizational capacity, and increase community engagement. Switchboard, a project of the International Rescue Committee, is funded by ORR and makes its resources, trainings, and expertise available to all ORR grantees and sub-grantees.

ORR also funds a technical assistance provider to support grantees in its Survivors of Torture program. The Center for Victims of Torture’s National Capacity Building project supports ORR Survivor of Torture grantees by building capacity to provide holistic, sustainable, and integrated services and evaluating and strengthening the quality and sustainability of these programs and organizations.

Table II: Proposed FY 2023 Regional Ceilings by Priority
Africa
Priority 1 Individual Referrals 19,000
Priority 2 Groups 20,000
Priority 3 Family Reunification Refugees 1,000
Total Proposed: 40,000
East Asia
Priority 1 Individual Referrals 9,500
Priority 2 Groups 5,000
Priority 3 Family Reunification Refugees 500
Total Proposed: 15,000
Europe / Central Asia
Priority 1 Individual Referrals 5,000
Priority 2 Groups 9,950
Priority 3 Family Reunification Refugees 50
Total Proposed: 15,000
Latin America / Caribbean
Priority 1 Individual Referrals 10,000
Priority 2 Groups 5,000
Priority 3 Family Reunification Refugees 0
Total Proposed: 15,000
Near East / South Asia
Priority 1 Individual Referrals 14,500
Priority 2 Groups 20,000
Priority 3 Family Reunification Refugees 500
Total Proposed: 35,000
Grand Total Proposed: 120,000
Unallocated Reserve 5,000
TOTAL PROPOSED CEILING: 125,000

REGIONAL REFUGEE ADMISSIONS[4]

Africa

The proposed FY 2023 ceiling for African refugees is 40,000 individuals.

There are currently more than 6.8 million refugees across the African continent, constituting roughly 26 percent of the global refugee population. Refugee numbers in Africa increased in 2021 due to new or intensified conflicts across the continent, extreme weather, and economic fallout of COVID-19. According to UNHCR, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia alone hosted over two-thirds of the refugees in the region. The East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region hosted 4.5 million refugees at the end of 2021. As of June 2022, there were more than 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries.

Over the past year, the outbreak and expansion of conflict in northern Ethiopia has sparked a widespread humanitarian crisis and conflict-induced famine. More than 5.2 million people there need humanitarian assistance. The Tigray conflict in Ethiopia has led to the displacement of more than 50,000 Ethiopians into neighboring Sudan. The deepening crisis in the Sahel region of Africa, including violence in Burkina Faso and Mali, and continued violence by armed groups in northern Nigeria caused the largest increase in the number of new refugees on the continent in 2022.

The estimated resettlement needs in the Africa region in 2023 continue to be the highest globally. While voluntary repatriation and local integration may be possible in small numbers, resettlement remains an important durable solution for refugees across the continent. UNHCR estimates that over 600,000 refugees in sub-Saharan Africa need resettlement. To address these needs, the United States plans to increase resettlement activities in Africa significantly in the coming years. This growth will come from the continued processing of Congolese, Eritrean, and Sudanese refugees, as well as through building resettlement programs for populations that the USRAP has so far only processed in small numbers, including refugees from South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Due to the continued conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNHCR intends to refer increased numbers of Congolese from the Great Lakes region and Southern Africa to the USRAP. There also continues to be a sizable number of Congolese refugees in the USRAP pipeline. Congolese refugees will continue to constitute one of the largest arrival populations. In response to the crisis in northern Ethiopia, the United States will also increase the Ethiopian refugee admissions target for FY 2023 to provide urgent resettlement to displaced Eritrean and other refugees within Ethiopia and those Ethiopians who have fled as refugees to neighboring countries. UNHCR has indicated an urgent need to increase Eritrean referrals in Ethiopia and Sudan, and we expect a UNHCR proposed P-2 designation for Eritreans.

The United States intends to increase South Sudanese resettlement in the coming years in conjunction with UNHCR and to lay the foundation for a sizable resettlement program for refugees from the Central African Republic who are located throughout West Africa but primarily in Chad and Cameroon. Additionally, the United States expects a renewed focus on resettlement for Sudanese refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, including in Chad.

The United States will continue to be a key partner in the resettlement of unaccompanied refugee minors from Africa.  As one of the few countries with the domestic capacity to resettle unaccompanied minors, the United States plans to increase the number of emergency unaccompanied refugee minor cases processed throughout the continent. PRM will continue to focus on unaccompanied refugee minors who have been evacuated from Libya by UNHCR to transit points in Niger and Rwanda, as well as minors facing persecution in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

PRM seeks to increase referrals of LGBTQI + individuals in the region, particularly West Africa and in Southern Africa.

East Asia

The proposed FY 2023 ceiling for refugees from East Asia is 15,000 individuals.

According to UNHCR, there are 9.2 million people of concern across Asia, including 4.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers.  Several countries in East Asia host large and diverse refugee and asylum-seeker populations.  Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia continue to host large numbers of Burmese refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, Somali, Sri Lankan, Sudanese, and Syrian refugees.  Tens of thousands of refugees are in the capital cities of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta.  Over 700,000 Rohingya were forced to seek refuge in Bangladesh after the Burmese military launched violent attacks against them in 2017, following years of brutality and egregious human rights abuses. Malaysia and Bangladesh currently host 90 percent of all Rohingya refugees.

Over 1 million stateless Rohingya refugees have fled Burma since the Burmese military committed genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing against them in 2017. The United States considers Rohingya refugees as a priority refugee population as an essential component of an international, comprehensive humanitarian response to Rohingya in need. In FY 2023 we are increasing resettlement of certain Rohingya refugees from the region, including from Bangladesh, so they can start new lives in the United States and elsewhere.

The three primary countries for UNHCR referrals from East Asia are Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, with a smaller number of referrals from other countries in the region.  More than 9,800 Rohingya have resettled to the United States since 2009, primarily from Malaysia.  In Thailand and Malaysia, PRM continues to work through the residual caseload of the P-2 camp-based Burmese refugees and the P-2 urban Burmese, respectively.  UNHCR’s focus for new referrals will be from these diverse urban refugee populations.

For members of ethnic and religious minority groups and others from Burma in camps in Thailand, there is a P-2 designation for individuals who fled Burma, were registered in one of nine refugee camps along the Thailand/Burma border, were identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement, and expressed interest in third-country resettlement prior to January 2014 (depending on the location). These individuals are eligible for resettlement consideration.  In addition, for members of ethnic and religious minority groups from Burma who are in Malaysia, there is a P-2 designation for members of ethnic minority groups from Burma who were recognized by UNHCR as refugees in Malaysia, registered by August 17, 2010, and identified as needing resettlement. Such individuals are eligible for resettlement processing.

Europe and Central Asia

The proposed FY 2023 ceiling for refugees from Europe and Central Asia is 15,000 individuals. This regional allocation is the only one under the proposed FY 2023 ceiling that is larger than the previous year’s, a reflection of the conflict in Ukraine that worsened since the previous Presidential Determination.

Europe hosts large refugee populations, particularly now as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as significant numbers of asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons, and stateless persons. According to UNHCR, there have been over seven million border crossings from Ukraine to Europe since the start of the war. UNHCR estimates that nearly five million refugees from Ukraine have remained in European countries. Many other refugees arrived in Europe by fleeing from conflicts outside the region, particularly in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The estimate also includes persons claiming persecution within Eurasia, including hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs in the Balkans and Caucasus. There are also Russians seeking protection who are fleeing the increased crackdown on dissent inside Russia since the war began.

Turkey continues to host the largest refugee population in the world. According to UNHCR, there were over four million refugees in Turkey in 2022, the vast majority of whom are Syrians (3.7 million), with smaller numbers of Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, and other nationalities. Refugees from a wide array of nationalities are processed in Turkey and are counted against the corresponding regional allocation.

Much of the refugee caseload within Eurasia falls under the direct access P-2 Lautenberg Program, whereby citizens of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) are eligible for the USRAP if they belong to certain religious categories and can show a qualifying relationship with individuals legally residing in the United States. P-2 applicants include individuals who will be processed under Lautenberg guidelines who are (or were) residents in the states of the former Soviet Union, including Ukrainians who fled Russia’s invasion. Afghan P-1/P-2 referrals also have begun to make up a significant portion of the refugee pipeline in FY 2022 and are present in 36 countries in Eurasia.

We have long accomplished the resettlement of Iranian refugees suffering religious persecution through a unique partnership with the Government of Austria as a component of the P-2 Lautenberg Program. While this program has been suspended since 2017, the United States hopes to resume processing in FY 2023. These refugees are counted against the Near East/South Asia regional allocation.

Latin America and the Caribbean

The proposed FY 2023 allocation for refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean is 15,000 individuals.

According to UNHCR, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean host close to 15.4 million people of concern to UNHCR, including asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons, and internally displaced persons, representing around 18 percent of the world’s forcibly displaced population.  The political, economic, and human rights crisis in Venezuela has continued to deteriorate.  The number of Venezuelans displaced grew by eight percent in 2020, reaching 6.1 million by the end of 2020.  UNHCR has warned that the displacement of Venezuelans may soon eclipse the displacement of Syrians.  Dramatic increases in violence by organized criminal gangs in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador led to almost 900,000 people being forcibly displaced from those three countries since 2015.  Violence in Colombia among armed groups seeking to fill the power vacuum left by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) led to thousands of displaced Colombians fleeing to Ecuador, while Colombia itself hosted more than 1.9 million refugees from the crisis in Venezuela.  Since nationwide protests and subsequent government crackdowns began in April 2018 in Nicaragua, over 100,000 Nicaraguans have fled to neighboring countries; in Costa Rica alone Nicaraguans make up more than 90 percent of the more than 120,000 asylum applications in the country’s backlogged and overwhelmed migration authority.

Since FY 2017 the majority of arrivals from Latin America have originated from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where displacement is driven by widespread violence and compounded by limited economic opportunities, poverty, poor governance, corruption, and the effects of a changing climate that exacerbates food insecurity and extreme weather events that can result in displacement.  In addition to processing in the countries of Northern Central America (NCA), and as announced by President Biden in connection with the adoption of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, the U.S. Government is working to expand refugee resettlement more broadly out of the Western Hemisphere. In FY 2022 PRM received the first UNHCR P-1 referrals of Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, as well as P-1 referrals of Venezuelans in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and throughout the Caribbean.  Refugee resettlement from the Western Hemisphere will also include expanded numbers of Haitian individuals, as well as members of the LGBTQI+ community, from various countries in the Caribbean.

Near East and South Asia

The proposed FY 2023 ceiling for refugees from the Near East and South Asia is 35,000 individuals.

The Near East and South Asia region continues to host more than 8 million refugees, primarily Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis, Palestinians, Sri Lankans, Tibetans, and Syrians.  The humanitarian situation in Syria remains volatile.  Over the past 10 years more than 13 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes and more than 5.6 million of them are now refugees hosted in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Within Syria, inflation, food insecurity, water scarcity and armed clashes are expected to continue contributing to vulnerabilities in 2022.  Across the region, Syrian refugees remain highly vulnerable. Although Syria is experiencing the longest period of relative military calm since the conflict began, the economic situation is at its worst and humanitarian needs have vastly increased. UNHCR reports that Syrian nationals have the highest resettlement needs globally and estimates that more than 610,000 Syrians will need resettlement as part of an ongoing multi-year targeted program. In Iraq, the political and security environment is likely to remain challenging, while the situation in Libya is expected to continue to have a wider impact in North Africa. In Yemen, the enduring civil conflict risks further deepening the humanitarian crisis in 2022. In Iraq and Yemen, violence and instability triggered new waves of displacement.

The situation in Afghanistan deteriorated throughout 2021, resulting in the displacement of 774,400 Afghan nationals due to increasing instability and violence. By the end of 2021, there were 3.5 million Afghan refugees in neighboring countries in addition to the 3.5 million internally displaced since the Taliban takeover. Thousands more are attempting to leave.

During the first phase of Operation Allies Welcome, PRM and its network of resettlement agencies, affiliates, and community partners resettled nearly 80,000 Afghan refugees, SIVs and parolees between August 2021 and August 2022. As of August 18, 2022, PRM has accepted 23,639 P-1 and P-2 referrals for Afghan principal applicants and continues to process refugee cases for Afghan nationals in third countries around the globe.  The United States remains committed to providing refuge, through a range of legal pathways, for those Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Poor conditions in Iraq continue to lead to protracted displacement in the region.  Over 6 million Iraqis were displaced following the emergence of ISIS in early 2014.  While the majority have since been able to return to their communities, UNHCR estimates nearly 1.2 million Iraqis remain internally displaced and unable to return to their homes due to limited employment opportunities, lack of basic services, destruction of housing, violence, and insecurity. Involuntary returns due to IDP camp closures in Iraq between October 2020 and January 2021 resulted in secondary displacement for many Iraqis.  While all but one IDP camp in federal Iraq have closed, 25 IDP camps in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region remain open.  According to UNOCHA, less than one percent of IDPs see themselves returning home in 2022.  UNHCR reports an additional 287,000 Iraqi refugees were registered with UNHCR in neighboring countries in 2021.

International Religious Freedom Act and North Korean Human Rights Act Reporting

FY 2022 Countries of Particular Concern

The USRAP continues to be available through P-1 referrals to persons of any or no nationality who have been persecuted or fear persecution due to religion. In addition, P-3 provides USRAP access to individuals of special humanitarian concern who have immediate family members in the United States who were admitted in certain humanitarian immigrant statuses. At present, the following countries have been designated by the Secretary of State as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Africa: Eritrea

In Eritrea, the government is engaging in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.

East Asia: DPRK, PRC, and Burma

The DPRK severely restricts religious freedom, including organized religious activity, except for that which is supervised tightly by officially recognized groups linked to the government. While the constitutions of the PRC and Burma provide for freedom of religion, in practice these governments restrict or repress religious activities and freedom. Furthermore, the Burmese military coup in February 2021 has abrogated those human rights enshrined in the constitution and laws, with resultant further repression of religious freedom and related rights.

Europe and Central Asia: Tajikistan and Turkmenistan

Tajikistan law prohibits persons under the age of 18 from participating in public religious activities, and the government-supported highest Islamic religious body bans Hanafi Sunni women from attending mosques. The government of Turkmenistan has imprisoned an unknown number of Muslims for their religious beliefs, as well as conscientious objectors, primarily Jehovah’s Witnesses. Turkmenistan law prohibits all activity by unregistered religious groups and the grounds for approval of registration remain arbitrary.

Near East and South Asia: Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia

In Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, the governments use blasphemy and defamation of religion laws to restrict religious freedom, constrain the rights of religious minorities, and limit freedom of expression, and those accused face prison sentences and threats of violence.

North Korean Human Rights Act

As reflected in the North Korean Human Rights Act, the United States remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation of North Koreans both inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and in various countries in the region. The United States began resettling interested, eligible North Korean refugees and their family members in 2006 and remains committed to continuing this program.

DOMESTIC REFUGEE ADMISSIONS

In FY 2021, the USRAP admitted 11,411 refugees from 50 countries. More than half were originally from either the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Syria. (See Table V.)

The demographic characteristics of refugee arrivals from the 20 largest source countries (representing close to 100 percent of total arrivals) in FY 2021 illustrate the variation among refugee groups. The median age of all FY 2021 arrivals was 22 years, ranging from a median age of 18 years for arrivals from Eritrea to 37 years of age for arrivals from Armenia. In FY 2021, 48.9 percent of all arriving refugees were female, and 51.1 percent of all arriving refugees were male. Males predominated most among refugees from Rwanda (59.1 percent), Pakistan (58 percent), and Eritrea (57 percent). (See Table VI.)

Of the total arrivals in FY 2021, roughly 8.5 percent were under the age of five, 31 percent were of school age, 57.9 percent were of working age, and 2.7 percent were of retirement age. (See Table VII.) Considerable variation among refugee groups can be seen among specific age categories. During FY 2021, 54 percent of all arriving refugees resettled in 12 states. The majority were placed in California (8.6 percent), followed by Texas (8.1 percent), New York (6.2 percent), Michigan (4.7 percent), and Washington (4.2 percent). The states of Ohio (4 percent), Arizona (3.7 percent), Pennsylvania (3.4 percent), Illinois (3.2 percent), Georgia (3.2 percent), Minnesota (2.4 percent), and Florida (1.9 percent) also were in the top twelve states where refugees were resettled. (See Table VIII.)

ADMISSIONS TABLES AND STATISTICS

Table III: USRAP Projected Arrivals by Region, FY 2022
Region FY 2022 Ceiling FY 2022 Projected Arrivals
Africa 40,000 10,000
East Asia 15,000 2,000
Europe and Central Asia 10,000 2,000
Latin America/Caribbean 15,000 2,000
Near East/South Asia 35,000 8,000
Regional Subtotal 115,000 23,000-25,000
Unallocated Reserve 10,000
Total 125,000 23,000-25,000
Table IV: USRAP Admissions, FY 2021
Region Revised FY 2021 Ceiling FY 2021 Actual Arrivals
Africa 22,000 6,219
East Asia 6,000 776
Europe and Central Asia 4,000 983
Latin America/Caribbean 5,000 400
Near East/South Asia 13,000 3,033
Regional Subtotal 50,000 11,411
Unallocated Reserve 12,500
Total 62,500 11,411
Table V: USRAP Admissions by Country of Origin, FY 2021
Country of Origin Individual Arrivals Percentage of Total Arrivals
Dem. Rep. Congo 4,891 42.86%
Syria 1,246 10.92%
Afghanistan 872 7.64%
Ukraine 803 7.04%
Burma 772 6.77%
Sudan 513 4.50%
Iraq 497 4.36%
El Salvador 200 1.75%
Iran 184 1.61%
Eritrea 184 1.61%
Somalia 174 1.52%
Pakistan 131 1.15%
Burundi 124 1.09%
Republic of South Sudan 93 0.82%
Honduras 83 0.73%
Moldova 78 0.68%
Ethiopia 72 0.63%
Guatemala 64 0.56%
Colombia 48 0.42%
Rwanda 44 0.39%
Russia 40 0.35%
West Bank and Gaza 35 0.31%
Armenia 34 0.30%
Ivory Coast 30 0.26%
Uganda 29 0.25%
Liberia 25 0.22%
Nepal 23 0.20%
Kazakhstan 23 0.20%
Central African Republic 22 0.19%
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 20 0.18%
Morocco 9 0.08%
Yemen 7 0.06%
Bangladesh 5 0.04%
Kenya 4 0.04%
Venezuela 3 0.03%
Gambia 3 0.03%
Djibouti 3 0.03%
Congo 3 0.03%
Belarus 3 0.03%
Vietnam 2 0.02%
Uzbekistan 2 0.02%
Sierra Leone 2 0.02%
India 2 0.02%
Cuba 2 0.02%
Cambodia 2 0.02%
Namibia 1 0.01%
Mali 1 0.01%
Guinea 1 0.01%
Bhutan 1 0.01%
Bahrain 1 0.01%
TOTAL 11,411 100.00%

Source: Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Refugee Processing Center

Table VI: Sex and Median Age of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2021
Rank (# of Arrivals) Country of Origin Refugees Admitted Median Age % Females % Males
1 Dem. Rep. Congo 4,891 20 49.34% 50.66%
2 Syria 1,246 19 46.31% 53.69%
3 Afghanistan 872 22 50.34% 49.66%
4 Ukraine 803 25 48.57% 51.43%
5 Burma 772 26 45.08% 54.92%
6 Sudan 513 25 43.27% 56.73%
7 Iraq 497 29 45.07% 54.93%
8 El Salvador 200 22 55.50% 44.50%
9 Iran 184 36 44.02% 55.98%
10 Eritrea 184 27 42.93% 57.07%
11 Somalia 174 26 44.83% 55.17%
12 Pakistan 131 26 41.98% 58.02%
13 Burundi 124 23 45.97% 54.03%
14 Republic of South Sudan 93 23 44.09% 55.91%
15 Honduras 83 25 51.81% 48.19%
16 Moldova 78 34 53.85% 46.15%
17 Ethiopia 72 25 47.22% 52.78%
18 Guatemala 64 25 43.75% 56.25%
19 Colombia 48 22 54.17% 45.83%
20 Rwanda 44 28 40.91% 59.09%
21 All Other Countries 338 30 46.45% 53.55%
TOTAL 11,411 22 47.87% 52.13%

Source: Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Refugee Processing Center

Table VII: Select Age Categories of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2021
Rank (# of Arrivals) Country of Origin Under 5 Years School Age
(5-17)
Working Age
(16-64)
Retirement Age
(=or > 65)
1 Dem. Rep. Congo 10.35% 33.45% 53.40% 2.80%
2 Syria 5.62% 41.33% 51.52% 1.52%
3 Afghanistan 7.00% 30.96% 59.63% 2.41%
4 Ukraine 10.71% 25.78% 58.66% 4.86%
5 Burma 11.01% 25.78% 60.10% 3.11%
6 Sudan 4.48% 31.19% 63.74% 0.58%
7 Iraq 3.62% 22.74% 69.42% 4.23%
8 El Salvador 12.50% 27.50% 59.50% 0.50%
9 Eritrea 3.80% 23.37% 70.11% 2.72%
10 Iran 4.35% 11.41% 83.15% 1.09%
11 Somalia 4.02% 22.99% 70.11% 2.87%
12 Pakistan 7.63% 29.77% 61.07% 1.53%
13 Burundi 5.65% 29.84% 63.71% 0.81%
14 Republic of South Sudan 6.45% 32.26% 61.29% 0%
15 Honduras 9.64% 25.30% 65.06% 0%
16 Moldova 11.54% 21.79% 61.54% 5.13%
17 Ethiopia 6.94% 29.17% 62.50% 1.39%
18 Guatemala 7.81% 28.13% 60.94% 3.13%
19 Colombia 10.42% 27.08% 62.50% 0%
20 Rwanda 0% 18.18% 79.55% 2.27%
21 All other countries 5.62% 21.01% 68.64% 4.73%
TOTAL 8.50% 30.97% 57.87% 2.66%

NOTE: Totals may exceed 100 percent due to overlapping age categories.

Source: Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Refugee Processing Center

Table VIII: Refugee Arrivals by State of Initial Resettlement, FY 2021
State Total Refugees Arrivals Percentage of Total Arrivals
California 986 8.64%
Texas 923 8.09%
New York 710 6.22%
Kentucky 665 5.83%
Michigan 534 4.68%
North Carolina 502 4.40%
Washington 477 4.18%
Ohio 453 3.97%
Arizona 419 3.67%
Pennsylvania 392 3.44%
Wisconsin 371 3.25%
Illinois 369 3.23%
Georgia 368 3.22%
Tennessee 311 2.73%
Missouri 287 2.52%
Maryland 282 2.47%
Virginia 272 2.38%
Minnesota 269 2.36%
Idaho 269 2.36%
Colorado 265 2.32%
Iowa 244 2.14%
Massachusetts 230 2.02%
Florida 222 1.95%
Indiana 202 1.77%
Utah 183 1.60%
Kansas 166 1.45%
Oregon 138 1.21%
Nebraska 125 1.10%
South Carolina 99 0.87%
Nevada 97 0.85%
New Jersey 72 0.63%
New Hampshire 59 0.52%
Connecticut 59 0.52%
South Dakota 52 0.46%
Vermont 47 0.41%
Rhode Island 47 0.41%
Arkansas 41 0.36%
Maine 40 0.35%
Montana 39 0.34%
New Mexico 36 0.32%
North Dakota 30 0.26%
Oklahoma 25 0.22%
Delaware 12 0.11%
Alaska 12 0.11%
Louisiana 7 0.06%
West Virginia 2 0.02%
District of Columbia 1 0.01%
TOTAL 11,411 100.00 %

Note: Arrival figures do not reflect secondary migration.

Source: Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Refugee Processing Center

Table IX: Funding for Refugee Processing and Resettlement, FY 2022 and FY 2023
Agency FY 2022 Availability (in millions) Estimated FY 2023 Availability (in millions)
Department of Homeland Security

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

     Refugee Processing 1   $70.8     $112.7
Department of State

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

     Refugee Admissions 2 3 5 $457.1   $864.4
Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement

     Refugee Resettlement 4   $871    $1,360
TOTALS          $1,398.9          $2,337.1

1 FY 2021 and 2022 figures include cost factors to reflect Headquarters facilities rent related to the refugee resettlement program, staffing, general expense, and following-to-join refugee processing, in addition to certain International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) and Capital Security Cost Sharing (CSCS) costs. FY 2022 availability has been adjusted to reflect appropriated funding received in FY 2022 and the approved operating budget to support refugee processing and resettlement. FY 2023 based on requested appropriated funding. FY 2023 figures also include funding to support opening international offices in Cuba and Honduras.

2FY 2022: Includes FY 2022 Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) appropriation of $373.3 million, $5 million from the FY 2022 MRA Afghan Supplemental, $31.8 million in MRA carryover from FY 2021, $38.5 million in projected IOM loan collections/carryover, and an estimate of $8.5 million in prior year MRA recoveries.  A small portion of FY 2022 funds will be carried forward into FY 2023.

3FY 2023: Includes FY 2023 MRA budget request of $822.5 million, $35.9 million in projected IOM loan collections/carryover, and an estimate of $6 million in prior year MRA recoveries.

4FY 2022 and FY 2023: HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) refugee benefits and services are also provided to asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians from Vietnam, victims of a severe form of trafficking who have received certification or eligibility letters from ORR, as well as Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders. However, only refugees are included in the refugee admissions ceiling; there is no admissions target for the other ORR-eligible populations. The estimated funding to provide cash and medical assistance, domestic medical screenings, and refugee social services for these populations, as well as services for unaccompanied refugee minors are included here. ORR’s appropriations for the Survivors of Torture and Unaccompanied Children’s Program are not included in this data. ORR also received special appropriations in FY 2022 to serve Afghan and Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees, which are not included in these figures. The Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 provided $1.680 billion to ORR and the Additional Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 provided $1.264 billion to ORR for a total of $2.944 billion for services to Afghan Humanitarian Parolees, including Unaccompanied Afghan Minors. The Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 provided $900 million to ORR to provide services to Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees. Funding estimates to support all ORR-eligible populations in mainstream services such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income are also not included, as they are not appropriated to ORR. These estimates do not include any prior year carryover funding. The estimated FY 2023 figures above reflect the President’s FY 2023 Budget request.

5 Funding in FY 2022 and FY 2023 does not include ERMA funding which was used to support Operation Allies Welcome (OAW).

Table X: UNHCR Resettlement Statistics by Resettlement Country CY 2021 Admissions
Resettlement Country Total Percent of Total Resettled
United States 11,554 29.42%
Canada 5,825 14.83%
Germany 5,363 13.66%
Sweden 5,036 12.83%
Norway 2,875 7.32%
France 1,827 4.65%
Great Britain 1,595 4.06%
Finland 997 2.54%
Belgium 960 2.44%
Switzerland 831 2.12%
Spain 521 1.33%
New Zealand 519 1.32%
Netherlands 448 1.14%
Australia 350 0.89%
Portugal 301 0.77%
Romania 80 0.20%
Iceland 57 0.15%
Denmark 57 0.15%
Ireland 55 0.14%
Lithuania 15 0.04%
Total 39,266 100.00%

Resettlement country figures (submissions and departures) may not match UNHCR reported figures as resettlement country figures may include submissions received outside of UNHCR auspices. UNHCR figures may also include cases in which UNHCR did not submit but assisted, i.e., obtaining exit permits for humanitarian admissions or family reunion.

  1. This petition is used to file for the relatives of both refugees and asylees, also known as Visa 93 and Visa 92 cases, respectively. The USRAP handles only Visa 93 cases, which are counted within the annual refugee admissions ceiling. Visa 92 cases are not considered to be refugee admissions cases and are not counted in the number of refugees admitted annually.
  2. USCIS may grant a waiver of the two-year filing deadline for humanitarian reasons.
  3. Under E.O. 14010, DHS and DOJ are engaging in a joint rulemaking to address the meaning of ‘particular social group’ as that term is used in the aforementioned section of the INA, and as derived from the 1951 Refugee Convention.
  4. Note that refugees count against a regional allocation based on nationality, not the processing location.

U.S. Department of State

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