The United States (USA) seeks to enable the safe and voluntary return of refugees to their home countries – the solution that most refugees prefer.
This reflects the U.S. commitment (Refugee Policy) to achieving the best humanitarian outcomes while advancing the foreign policy interests of the United States.
Again, in Fiscal Year 2022, the United States was the largest single-country donor, providing more than $17 billion in humanitarian assistance to support crisis responses globally.
This assistance reached tens of millions of people in need worldwide, providing international protection, urgent, life-saving support, and services, including food, shelter, healthcare, education, and access to safe drinking water.
U.S. support for host countries, provided through contributions to humanitarian organizations, encourages host countries to continue sheltering those fleeing persecution and increases their access to work, education, and public services. That increases their self-reliance, encourages them to stay close to home, and facilitates their return when conditions allow.
In turn, enables them to participate in rebuilding their homelands, promoting recovery and long-term stability of those countries and their neighbors – which also serves long-run U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.
Permanent resettlement of refugees in a third country is an option for certain refugees who cannot return to their home countries or remain in the countries of first asylum.
Resettlement in the United States is accomplished through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The is managed by the Department of State in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In Fiscal Year 2022, 25,465 refugees were resettled permanently in the United States and given a path to U.S. citizenship through USRAP.
Now this included refugees who had experienced past persecution or had a well-founded fear of persecution on account of religion, as well as individuals from Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs) and Special Watch List countries, according to the following “Priorities”(1):
(1) Priority 1, Individual Referrals: Nationals of any country, including CPCs and Special Watch List countries, could be referred to the USRAP through a Priority 1 referral for reasons of religious persecution.
(2) Priority 2, Groups of Special Concern: Under the Lautenberg Amendment (2) and Specter Amendment (3), members of certain religious minority groups from the former Soviet Union (including CPCs Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and Special Watch List country Russia). Iran designated as Priority 2 had access to USRAP and could be considered under a reduced evidentiary standard for establishing a well-founded fear of persecution.
(3) Priority 3, Family Reunification: Refugees of all nationalities who had certain refugee, asylee, or Afghan or Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa holder family members in the United States had access to the USRAP through Priority 3.
Commitment of President Biden
President Biden affirmed the United States’ commitment to welcoming refugees by increasing the total admissions ceilings in the FY 2022 and FY 2023. Presidential Determinations on Refugee Admissions to 125,000, the highest target in several decades.
His decision reflects the United States’ long-standing leadership on refugee resettlement in the face of an unprecedented global displacement crisis. Record numbers of people around the world have been forced to flee war, persecution, and instability. Over 100 million people are now forcibly displaced, more than at any other time in history.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than two million refugees are now in need of protection through third-country resettlement.
For these refugees, resettlement in the United States represents the opportunity to start anew to pursue a life of safety and dignity without fear of violence or persecution. Read more
 Entering USRAP under a certain “priority” does not establish precedence in the order in which cases will be processed. So once cases are established as eligible for access under one of the three processing priorities, they all undergo the same processing steps.
 Section 599D of Title V, P.L. 101-167, as amended.
 Section 213 of Title II, Division E, of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, P.L. 108-199, as amended.