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Legal Information: Federal


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March 25, 2019

Who is eligible for refugee status? Where is refugee status granted?

You may be eligible for refugee status if you are:

  • outside of your country of nationality and outside of the U.S.;
  • of special humanitarian concern to the U.S.;
  • not firmly resettled in another country;
  • admissible to the U.S.; and
  • unable or unwilling to return to, or to get protection from, your country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on:
    • race;
    • religion;
    • nationality;
    • membership in a particular social group; or
    • political opinion.1

Refugee status is granted in an American consulate or Embassy outside of the U.S. The refugee enters the U.S. with a “Refugee status” in his/her I-94 card (Arrival/Departure Record).

1 INA §101(a)(42)(A); see USCIS website Refugees page