Determining whether a potential client is eligible for Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)-funded services can sometimes be a challenge. This blog post gathers some key resources for service providers who are new to the work of navigating ORR eligibility requirements and documentation.
Clients with many different immigration statuses are eligible to participate in services from ORR. These groups are sometimes called ORR-eligible populations. They include refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian Entrants, Amerasians, Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants (Special Immigrant Visa, or SIV, clients), Afghan Humanitarian Parolees (AHPs), Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees (UHPs), Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs), Victims of Human Trafficking, and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who previously held status as a refugee, asylee, or Cuban/Haitian Entrant. See ORR’s Policy Letter 16-01 for a complete list of ORR-eligible populations.
- ORR’s Policy Letter 16-01, documentation guide – This policy letter provides a list of documents that show statuses conferring eligibility for ORR programs.
- ORR’s Policy Letter 16-01 FAQ – These FAQs address complex Cuban and Haitian Entrant eligibility scenarios.
- ORR fact sheets – These fact sheets provide information on ORR eligibility for selected populations.
For Ukrainian Clients:
- Policy Letter 22-13: Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees Eligible for ORR Benefits and Services – This ORR policy letter, published in May 2022, describes eligibility of Ukrainian clients for ORR services.
For Afghan Clients:
- Policy Letter 22-01: Afghan Humanitarian Parolees and Unaccompanied Afghan Minors Eligible for ORR Benefits and Services; ASA-Eligible Afghan Populations – This ORR policy letter, most recently updated in January 2023, describes eligibility of Afghan clients for ORR services.
- Policy Letter 22-02: Additional ORR-Eligible Statuses and Categories and Acceptable Documentation Requirements for Afghan Nationals – This ORR policy letter, last revised in February 2022, provides updates on the eligibility of Afghan nationals and guidance on accessing their documentation.
- Afghan Eligibility for Selected Benefits Based on Immigration Status: In Brief – This resource, updated by the Congressional Research Service in January 2023, gives an overview of Afghan eligibility for both ORR and mainstream benefits and services. It also discusses work authorization and the prescribed path to legal permanent resident (LPR) status.
Do you have detailed questions about ORR eligibility? ORR’s Refugee Policy Division can help! Email RefugeeEligibility@acf.hhs.gov.
Resources from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- The Refugee Program Eligibility Guide for Refugee Service Providers was last updated in June 2022. Within this resource, providers can find a chapter on immigrant status documents for information on how to read and interpret documents such as passports, I-94s, asylum applications, reentry permits, and notices to appear. Note: This guide is for general reference only and should be used in conjunction with relevant federal and state laws, regulations, and rules. Providers should verify clients’ status as necessary with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages:
- Refugee FAQs
- Asylee FAQ
- Cuban/Haitian Entrant FAQs
- Parolee FAQs
- Cuban Adjustment Act FAQs
- Miscellaneous FAQs, Part I
- Miscellaneous FAQs, Part II
- Employment Authorization FAQs
- Video Trainings: Eligibility Determination Training for Refugee Services Providers – This four-part video training series discusses common DHS documents, status codes and categories for eligible clients, examples and scenarios for eligibility determination, use of Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Resources from Switchboard
- Public Benefits Overview for Refugees and Other Humanitarian Immigrants – This tool provides a summary of the ORR and mainstream benefits typically available to families with children, single adults or couples with no minor children, and disabled individuals and adults over 65.
- Eligibility for Matching Grant (MG) Flow Chart – This resource includes a flow chart for service providers that can be used during the Matching Grant (MG) intake or assessment process to determine eligibility. This flow chart is intended as a quick reference tool and is accurate as of July 18, 2022. It is available in two formats: a one-page 11×17 document and a two-page 8.5×11 document.