Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their homelands due to persecution – harassment, threats, abduction, or torture, because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group such as LGBT persons, or political opinion.
An “asylum seeker” is anyone who has fled persecution in his/her home country and is seeking safe haven in a different country, but has not yet received any legal recognition or status. A “refugee” is a person who has been recognized in the new country as having fled due to persecution, and has been afforded some sort of legal protection, either by the new country’s government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or both. In the United States, a “refugee” is someone who has been provided with legal status by the U.S. government overseas, and then brought to this country to reside permanently. An “asylee” is someone who came to the U.S. without official refugee status, (an “asylum seeker”) who has since been granted legal status by the U.S. government.
We were founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. As we expanded our mission to protect and assist refugees of all faiths and ethnicities, we realized our name no longer represented the organization. We are now known as HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees.
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If you provide your personal information on our website, we do collect it and if you opt in or sign up, we will use your information to communicate with you in the future. The website does place cookies on your computer. However we do not sell or rent this information to third parties. Please see our privacy policies for more information.
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HIAS is pleased to provide you with these documents if we can. Click here to find the correct form to download to request these documents.
HIAS is committed to finding durable solutions for Jews who face persecution, discrimination, or violations of religious freedom and whose safety and security is at risk. For more information Click Here.