Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
October 17, 2011


The U.S. government emphasizes early economic self-sufficiency through employment to speed the integration of refugees into American society.


“Welcoming more refugee men, women, and children than any other country, the United States has provided a home to some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals, enriching our own country and advancing our leadership in the world.”

-President Barack Obama
World Refugee Day, June 20, 2010


The resettlement agencies participating in the Refugee Admissions Reception and Placement Program in FY2012 are:

  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Ethiopian Community Development Council
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • World Relief

Each refugee approved for admission to the United States is sponsored by one of nine resettlement agencies participating in the Reception & Placement (R&P) Program under a cooperative agreement with the Department of State. The sponsoring agency is responsible for placing refugees with one of its affiliated offices and for providing initial services, which include housing, essential furnishings, food, clothing, community orientation, and assistance with access to other social, medical and employment services, for the refugees’ first 30-90 days in the United States. The R&P Program is a public-private partnership, which anticipates that sponsoring agencies will contribute significant cash and/or in-kind resources to supplement U.S. Government funding for the program.

Although refugees are eligible for public assistance when they first arrive, the U.S. Government emphasizes early economic self-sufficiency through employment to speed their integration into American society. During the refugees’ initial transition period, programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement and administered either by the states or resettlement agencies provide cash and medical assistance, employment services, English language training, and other support services.

Refugees are admitted to the United States by the Department of Homeland Security. After twelve months of residency, refugees are required to apply for adjustment of status to that of permanent resident alien. After five years in the United States, refugees may apply for citizenship.