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The Latest Refugee Settlement News

The United States Resettlement Program (USRP) is a joint effort involving the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and State Department.  Its purpose is to manage refugees seeking a life in the United States.  Candidates for participation in this program are sponsored by U.S. embassies.  The President is responsible for determining the annual number of refugees to be placed in the United States.

The Declining Number of Refugees Allowed to Relocate

From 2016 to 2018 the number of refugees allowed to participate in this program were:

  • 2016 – 85,000
  • 2017 – 54,000
  • 2018 – 45,000

45,000 is the lowest number of refugees allowed to participate in this program since its inception.

The Process of Resettlement

The process of resettlement typically takes 2.5 years and typically follows this path:


  • Pre-screening by the Resettlement Support Center.
  • On-site interview by the Refugee Corps.
  • Security clearance and fingerprinting.

Placement (30-90 days in the U.S.)

  • Placement allocations utilizing each of the 9 national voluntary agencies.
  • Cultural orientation and departure processing.
  • Initial reception and placement.


  • Cash and medical assistance.
  • Employment services and medical screening.
  • Beginning specialized programs to cope with transition.

Do You Need A Lawyer to Navigate This Process?

If you or your family are considering resettlement utilizing this program, it is possible to do it without the services of a lawyer.  All of the paper work and process are outlined here on the Office of Refugee Settlement website.  However, resettlement is becoming increasingly competitive and complex.  The number of refugees allowed to resettle has dropped over 50% and the number of global refugees has risen over 50%.

While the resources are available to work through immigration without a lawyer, you should understand that this could lead to costly errors and confusion.  Resettlement is complicated, competitive, and important.  If you or your family is trying to navigate legal immigration to the United States, consider contacting Elias Dsouza at Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group for a free consultation.  For over 15 years, Elias has been guiding families through the complex process of legal immigration.

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