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Refugee

Introduction

Every year, millions of people around the world are displaced by war, famine, and civil and political unrest. The United States considers persons for resettlement to the U.S. as refugees. Each year, the U.S. President consults with Congress and establishes the proposed ceilings for refugee admissions for the fiscal year.

Refugee definition

A refugee is defined as a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinions.

Under U.S. law, a person who has committed or assisted in the commission of persecution in any way on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion is not eligible for classification as a refugee.

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Insurance Overview

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CasePresent

The steps that refugee applicants follow before their eligibility interviews with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers vary.

  • Many applicants are referred to the United States Refugee Program (USRP) for a resettlement consideration by officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  • A smaller number are referred to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Other applicants are eligible to apply for the USRP directly because they are of nationalities designated as being of special humanitarian concern and in processing priorities eligible for resettlement consideration.

Generally, voluntary agencies or the Joint Voluntary Agency (JVA) representatives conduct pre-screening interviews and prepare cases for submission to the USCIS; they complete the required forms and compile any necessary documents.

Eligibility for refugee status is decided on an individual, or case-by-case, basis. A personal interview of the applicant is held by a USCIS officer. The interview is non-adversarial and is designed to elicit information about the applicant’s claim for refugee status.

Post USCIS Interview Processing

After the USCIS interview, applicants who are found eligible for refugee status must satisfy medical and security criteria and must be assigned a sponsor assurance. A refugee admission number is allocated to the applicant. Transportation arrangements are made through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). If the refugee is unable to finance his or her transportation costs, the refugee may be eligible for a travel loan, whereby he or she must agree to repay the cost of airfare.

At the port of entry, the USCIS admits the refugee to the United States and authorizes employment. After one year, a refugee is eligible for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. Five years after admission, a refugee is eligible for naturalization to a U.S. citizenship.

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Medicare Eligibility

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Eligibility for Resettlement in the United States

Each year, the U.S. resettles a limited number of refugees. Refugees may be eligible for a USCIS interview for resettlement in the U.S. if:

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the U.S. Embassy refers them to the U.S. for resettlement, or
  • They are members of specified groups with special characteristics in certain countries as determined periodically by the United States government. (For some groups, only those with relatives in the U.S. are eligible.)

Generally, refugees must be outside their homelands to be eligible for the U.S. Refugee Program, though the U.S. processes application from refugees in their home countries in a few places. (Currently, the U.S. has such programs in Cuba, Vietnam, and the former Soviet Union).

Humanitarian

The U.S. admits a few refugees from other countries each year under special circumstances. For further information, contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the possibility of obtaining a referral to the U.S. Refugee Program.

Processing

Non-governmental processing agencies carry out most of the preparation case-work for USCIS interviews. These agencies

  • interview applicants,
  • help prepare the applications for the USCIS, and
  • arrange medical examinations and background checks (for security purposes) for refugees approved by the USCIS.

Following USCIS approval, the processing agency also asks for

  • the names and addresses of any relatives in the U.S.,
  • details on the person’s work history and job skills, and
  • details on any special educational or medical needs of the refugee and accompanying family members, in order to determine the best resettlement arrangements for the refugee.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) generally arranges transportation to the U.S. on a loan basis. Refugees are expected to repay the cost of their transportation once they are established in the U.S.

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Family

Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are with the applicant at the refugee interview will be given refugee status. If the spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 are not with the applicant at the time of the USCIS interview, the applicant would have to file a Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, Form I-730, for each family members. Other relatives may qualify for resettlement in the U.S. if they meet the U.S. refugee criteria with their own claims.

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For visitors, travel, student and other international travel medical insurance.

Visit insubuy.com or call +1 (866) INSUBUY or +1 (972) 985-4400