Welcome to the International Catholic Migration Commission’s (ICMC) Resettlement Support Center in Turkey and Middle East (RSC TuME). The following information is to help you understand the resettlement process and all the stages your application must complete before you can travel to the United States.
THE UNITED STATES REFUGEE ADMISSIONS PROGRAM (USRAP)
Each year the United States admits refugees from all around the world through its Refugee Admissions Program. The President of the United States in consultation with Congress decides how many refugees from what regions of the world will be resettled. Under U.S. law, a person can be admitted as a refugee if he or she:
- Is located outside of the United States
- Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
- Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
- Is not firmly resettled in another country
- Is admissible to the United States
For the legal definition of refugee, see section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
'Your case may include your spouse, child (unmarried and under 21 years of age), and in some limited circumstances, other family members. You may include a same-sex spouse in your application provided that you and your spouse are legally married.’
'The Refugee Act’ of 1980 provides the legal basis for today’s Refugee Admissions Program and is administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State in conjunction with the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and offices in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
United States Refugee Admissions Program is comprised of:
- The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- International or non-governmental organizations operating Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs) around the world under the supervision and funding of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State.
- The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Nine domestic nongovernmental organizations with a total of about 350 affiliated offices across the United States.
- Thousands of private citizens who volunteer their time and skills to help refugees resettle in the United States
USRAP PROCESSING STAGES
USRAP processing starts once UNHCR refers a refugee to the program. A case is only accepted to the program once PRM has determined it is eligible to proceed. This is called Case Creation. Once your case is created you will be contacted by ICMC’s RSC and you will proceed through the following stages. The time between each of these stages can be many, many months. We appreciate your patience with the process.
Pre-screening Interview A caseworker at the RSC will interview you to collect biographic data, including your family history and ask you to tell your persecution claim. The information gathered during this interview is presented to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
USCIS Interview A specially trained officer from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will interview you. This USCIS officer will review the case file prepared by an ICMC’s RSC caseworker and determine, based on your in-person interview, whether you are eligible for admission to the United States as a refugee.
Medical Screening After your USCIS interview, the RSC may schedule you for a medical screening with an approved Panel Physician. These exams are required for admission to the United States. A medical screening appointment does not mean that your USCIS interview result has been determined. When a USCIS interview result has been determined, you will be notified by email or post.
Once you have completed these stages of processing, the RSC will submit your case to be assigned to a Resettlement Agency in the United States.This agency is responsible for assisting you with housing and access to services upon your arrival.
Cultural Orientation After your USCIS interview, the RSC may schedule you for cultural orientation training that will introduce you to life in the United States. You will be expected to attend this training. An invitation to cultural orientation training does not mean that your USCIS interview result has been determined. When a USCIS interview result has been determined, you will be notified by email or post.
Security Checks Before any refugee can be admitted to the United States there are multiple security checks conducted by the U.S. Government. It is impossible to estimate how long security checks will take. Some security checks are finalized only in the days and weeks prior to departure. In some cases, security clearance is never granted for travel.
Travel Once all security checks and processing stages are completed and you are found eligible for admission to the United States as a refugee, ICMC’s RSC will refer your case to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to arrange your travel.
ICMC RSC will reimburse you for travel from your city to attend scheduled appointments during processing stages. ICMC RSC only covers the expense of your return bus tickets based on ICMC’s standard rates. To learn the standard rate for your city please click HERE.