Who Gets Resettled?

Generally, the decision that a population of people should be resettled is made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and/or the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. Department of State determines the number of refugees to be admitted into the U.S., and from what region of the world they are from.


The UNHCR

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees leads and coordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. UNCHR’s main purpose is to protect the rights and well-being of refugees, while working to ensure that all refugees have the opportunity to find a safe haven in another country with the option to return home voluntarily, resettle locally, or resettle in a third country. Resettlement is seen as the best option for individuals or groups who would face continued persecution in their host countries and cannot permanently live in the country to which they fled. In 2006, the largest groups to benefit from resettlement to a third country were peoples from Burma, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Role in Refugee Resettlement

The U.S. Department of State determines how many refugees shall be admitted into the U.S., and from what region of the world they originate. These numbers are issued each year in the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admission.

The U.S. Department of State determines processing priorities for refugees every year, in the Report to Congress.