What are the benefits of having refugee status?
If the application is approved, the refugee will be able to travel to the U.S. and enter the country with a valid visa. Also, the refugee will have the following benefits - s/he will be:
- Immediately able to work in the US, based on his/her Form I-94, which contains a refugee admission stamp. Also, s/he will later be granted work authorization through an Employment Authorization Document (EAD);1
- Eligible for adjustment of status (applying for legal permanent residency/green card) after one year of being granted the refugee status. (Note: In fact, the law says that refugees are required to submit an application for permanent residence one year after entry2 - please talk to a lawyer for more information on this); and
- Able to sponsor her/his spouse and unmarried minor children within the first two years of being granted refugee status.3Note: Unmarried minor children (under the age of 21) could include an adopted child (if the adoption meets the requirements in INA § 101(b)(1)(E)) and a step-child who became your step-child before s/he turned 18.4