U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) Direct Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 11, 2016

Certain categories of Iraqis with U.S. affiliations may apply directly for consideration under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) without the need for a referral by UNHCR. Persons described in the categories below who believe they are at risk or have experienced serious harm as a result of association with the U.S. government since March 20, 2003, and who wish to be considered for resettlement as refugees in the United States may initiate a case by contacting the relevant Department of State Resettlement Support Center (RSC) using contact information provided below. This program has been in effect since 2007; this Fact Sheet has been updated to reflect a recent expansion in available processing locations.

The following individuals and their derivatives (spouse and unmarried children under age 21), with verifiable proof of U.S.-affiliated employment, may seek access through this program:

1. Iraqis who work/worked on a full-time basis as interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government (USG) or Multi-National Forces (MNF-I) in Iraq;

2. Iraqis who are/were employed by the USG in Iraq;

3. Iraqis who are/were employees of an organization or entity closely associated with the U.S. mission in Iraq that has received USG funding through an official and documented contract, award, grant or cooperative agreement;

4. Iraqis who are/were employed in Iraq by a U.S.-based media organization or nongovernmental organization;

5. Spouses, sons, daughters, parents and siblings of individuals described in the four categories above, or of an individual eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa as a result of his/her employment by or on behalf of the USG in Iraq, including if the individual is no longer alive, provided that the relationship is verified;

6. Iraqis who are beneficiaries of an approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Please note that applicants who qualify for direct access under this 6th category will be automatically contacted by the Department of State about initiating an application, and should not contact an RSC directly.

As of February 2016, processing is available in the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

Individuals in categories 1-5 above who reside in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or United Arab Emirates may initiate a case by contacting RSC MENA, which is operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at IC@iom.int.

Individuals in categories 1-5 above who reside in Lebanon may initiate a case by contacting RSC TuME, which is operated by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), at info.rsc@icmc.net.

Please note that while individuals in Lebanon do not need to be referred to the USRAP by UNHCR, Government of Lebanon exit permit procedures require that all refugees being resettled to the U.S. be registered with UNHCR.

Initiating this process does not guarantee access to the USRAP or an interview for resettlement to the United States. The first step in the process will be verification of the claimed U.S. association. Applicants will be notified by RSC MENA regarding any documentation they are required to submit to confirm their U.S. affiliated employment in Iraq. Once any required documentation has been submitted and verification has been completed, RSC MENA or RSC TuME will contact applicants directly regarding the next steps in the process.

Please note that this program is separate from the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program that was available to U.S.-affiliated Iraqis from 2007 to 2014.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is free of charge to applicants. There is no need to contact a third party, such as an attorney or advocacy organization, regarding access.