Special program for Iraqi and Syrian family members

Last Updated

March 22, 2016

Beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions who are from Iraq or Syria are now able to qualify to apply for refugee resettlement. The new program is called Priority-2 (P-2) Direct Access Program for Iraqi and Syrian beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The benefit is that these family members would gain access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, but the applicant would still need to meet the definition of a “refugee” and be interviewed and screened.

A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner begins the process by filing the I-130 for the spouse, parent, child, or sibling and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approving the petition The Iraqi or Syrian family member could be either a principal or derivative (spouse or unmarried child) beneficiary, but they cannot be residing in the United States or Canada. The Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center would then mail the qualifying beneficiary a letter and Expression of Interest form, along with instructions for how to complete it. The beneficiary and applicant would then be interviewed by USCIS to confirm familial relationship, admissibility and eligibility for refugee status. All applicants would also need to clear security checks. Refugee processing under this program will take place in the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordon, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.