The Resettlement Process

Refugees are carefully and rigorously vetted before they are admitted to the U.S.

When they enter the U.S., they are assigned to a resettlement agency. You can locate the refugee resettlement agencies in your area here.

The resettlement agency assigns case managers who handle the Reception and Placement (R&P) of the refugees. These case managers attend to every aspect of the resettlement process. This includes finding and furnishing affordable housing, airport pick up, and culturally appropriate welcome. Case managers provide refugees with a thorough orientation to life in the United States, especially housing, employment, U.S. and state laws, etc.

For the first 90 days, the case managers also provide the refugees with important services including health screening referrals, social security card applications, social services applications, English Language Training referrals etc.

Each refugee is provided with a specific dollar amount (in Greensboro, North Carolina, for example, this is $1,100) for all of their expenses which include rent, food, transportation, etc. After 90 days, the refugees are expected to become self-sufficient. This includes becoming financially self-sufficient through employment.

Many resettlement agencies struggle with finding affordable and appropriate housing and many are always in need of volunteers to help refugees with daily activities (transportation to appointments, shopping, schooling, tutoring, filling out forms etc.) and with navigating the resettlement process.

Refugee resettlement agencies also always need “cultural brokers” — people who facilitate the transition of the refugees from their home culture to that of the U.S. Typically, cultural brokers have knowledge of the refugee’s native culture (which might include the refugee’s language) as well as the local culture where the refugees are resettling.