Resettlement in the United States


Raising awareness and understanding in the U.S. about refugees in need of resettlement around the world

The United States resettlement program is the largest in the world. UNHCR works closely with U.S. governmental agencies and NGOs responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S. We provide information to partners and the general public about refugees around the world who are in need of resettlement, and promote their acceptance by the U.S. resettlement program. Main governmental partners are the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Refugee Admissions program, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Refugee Affairs Division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security.

We also work with NGOs in the US who are responsible for providing a wide range of resettlement services to refugees overseas and across the U.S. There are currently nine national resettlement agencies with over 350 local affiliates located throughout the U.S.  

Coordinating resettlement of refugees located in the Caribbean region

UNHCR's Regional Representation in Washington covers 27 countries and territories in the Caribbean and in Latin America. UNHCR interviews refugees in need of resettlement in the region, and prepare the necessary documentation for submission to resettlement countries. Our staff provides counseling to refugees in the resettlement process and advises them about resettlement country procedures and requirements. We work with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and with resettlement countries to arrange the movement of approved cases.

Collecting and organizing UNHCR’s global statistics on resettlement

UNHCR coordinates global resettlement statistics by producing quarterly and annual statistical reports on all resettlement submissions, approvals, denials, and departures for cases of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR also maintains historical resettlement data and produces specialized reports on global resettlement activities to governments, NGOs, and researchers upon request.

Providing information to individuals about UNHCR resettlement policies and programs abroad or who have specific concerns about refugees overseas

UNHCR responds to a broad spectrum of questions relating to resettlement procedures and programs outside the US. We provide advice and guidance on resettlement policies, procedures, and programs, to U.S. governmental agencies, Congressional offices, US resettlement NGOs, and attorneys. In some circumstances we work with our offices in the field to ascertain the status of an individual’s case abroad.

Due to confidentiality reasons, UNHCR is not able to provide confidential case information to individuals in the United States or overseas. All individuals in the United States must direct their inquiries through a resettlement agency, congressional office, or legal service provider. All individuals overseas must contact their nearest UNHCR office.