Persons of special humanitarian concern who can establish persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be considered for admission to the United States as refugees.
RSCMENA provides processing services to refugees who are eligible for resettlement to the United States under the USRAP.
Access to USRAP
Refugee applicants may be eligible to access the program through one of the following designated priorities:
Priority One: Individual Referrals
UNHCR, designated non-governmental agency (NGO) or Embassy-identified -referred individuals with compelling protection needs or those for whom no other durable solution exists.
Priority Two: Group Referrals
Groups of special concern to the U.S. identified by the Department of State in consultation with USCIS, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UNHCR, and other experts.
Priority Three: Family Reunification Cases
The Priority 3 category is family-based and is now open to all nationalities admitted to the United States as refugees or granted asylum, as well as SIV recipients from Iraq and Afghanistan.
All other criteria and guidelines still apply. Individuals who are at least 18 years of age and who have been admitted into the United States for fewer than five years are eligible to file a P-3 AOR.
All Qualifying Family Members (QFMs) and derivatives must still be located outside their country of origin, and be registered by either UNHCR or the country of asylum, to be processed and considered for refugee status via P-3, with the following exceptions:
- U.S.-based family members may file an Affidavit or Relationship (AOR) for QFMs who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and have not left their country of origin. These QFMs may be processed within their country of nationality. All other criteria and guidance related to eligibility for the P-3 program stand. If QFMs are outside their country of origin, they must be registered by UNHCR or the country of asylum.
- U.S.-based Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients may file P-3 AORs for their QFMs and derivatives who are within or outside their country of origin.
- U.S.-based Afghan SIV recipients may file P-3 AORs for their QFMs and derivatives who are outside their country of origin only.
USRAP Eligibility Criteria
Applicants for refugee admission to the United States must meet all of the following criteria:
- Meet the definition of a refugee contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act in Sec. 101(a) (42);
Any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
- Be among those refugees determined by the President to be of special humanitarian concern to the U.S.;
- Be otherwise admissible under U.S. law; and
Although a refugee may meet the above criteria, the existence of the USRAP does not create any entitlement for that person to be admitted to the United States. Applicants who meet the criteria above and who fall within the priorities established for the relevant nationalities or region are presented to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for determination of eligibility for admission under Section 101(a)(42) of the INA.