US | New Private Refugee Resettlement Pilot Program

On January 19, the Biden administration announced the Welcome Corps, a new pilot program allowing U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor an individual to enter the United States as a formal refugee.

The big picture: The program is similar to a model used in about 15 countries, including Canada, where it has been in place for many years and is deemed widely successful by resettlement experts.

How it works: This program complements the traditional U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by permitting people to join together in minimum groups of five to apply to sponsor a new refugee. As part of this process, they must raise $2,750 per refugee, pass background checks, and create a support plan.

Go deeper: Unlike parole programs such as Uniting for Ukraine, individuals who enter through this program will have formal refugee status and be eligible for a green card within a short period. The Biden administration hopes to admit at least 5,000 refugees through this new process during the rest of Fiscal Year 2023 and to bring the first privately sponsored refugees in April 2023.

Erickson Insights

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