Letter to Petitioners of Approved I-130s for Iraqis
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Dear Sir or Madame:
We are writing to inform you about a new program that may make your relative(s) who is the beneficiary of your approved Petition For Alien Relative (Form I 130) eligible to apply for refugee resettlement in the United States. Recently, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), designated Iraqi beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions as individuals “of special humanitarian concern” for the purpose of U.S. refugee resettlement consideration. The designation grants these individuals access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
In order to qualify for resettlement as a refugee under this new program, your relative(s) will need to be interviewed by DHS and demonstrate that your relative is a refugee and is otherwise admissible to the United States. In particular, your relative must establish that he/she meets the U.S. refugee definition, namely that he/she is outside of Iraq and is unable or unwilling to return to Iraq because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; is not firmly resettled in a foreign country; and is otherwise admissible to the United States. It is important to emphasize that, should your relative(s) choose to apply, there is no guarantee that your relative(s) will be approved for admission to the United States as refugees under this program.
Please request your relative(s) to fill in the attached “Beneficiary Contact Information Form” and return it to the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) if he/she wishes to apply for consideration for refugee admission to the United States under this program. One form per beneficiary should be submitted. In addition to requesting that your relative(s) inform us directly of their interest in this new program, please forward RPC updated contact information both for yourself and for your relative(s) by reviewing and revising, as necessary, the attached “Petitioner Contact Information Form”. This will facilitate our efforts to contact them regarding their interest in this new program. Please forward the information requested above to the RPC at the address listed on the forms.
Based on the information your relative(s) provide in the attached form, your relative(s) will be contacted directly with information on processing applications for refugee status under this program. As we begin implementation of this program, refugee processing will be available in either Egypt or Jordan. On the attached form, your relative(s) have the option of selecting either country. If processing in either Egypt or Jordan is not a possibility, your relative(s) may indicate another country in the region (other than Iraq) where your relative(s) is currently residing and where we will endeavor to arrange processing at some later date. You should be aware that if your relative(s) chooses to travel to a country for refugee processing, the U.S. government will not be in a position to assist them with obtaining a visa nor providing assistance relating to their stay. Similarly, if your relatives are subsequently denied resettlement, the U.S. government can neither assist them in their return to the country from which they came nor assist them in obtaining legal status in their current location.
We are unable to predict whether it would be faster to process the I-130 petition for an immigrant visa or an application for refugee status. If you have questions about the processing of your I-130 petition or how long it might take to schedule a visa interview, we encourage you to contact the National Visa Center at: NVCinquiry@state.gov or (1)(603) 334-0700. If your relative(s) chooses not to be considered for resettlement as refugees under this designation, your approved immigrant visa petition for your relative(s) will continue to be processed at NVC. Additionally, if your relative(s) is denied refugee resettlement, he or she would still be eligible for I-130 processing provided that they were not found to be permanently inadmissible to the United States.
If you would like additional information about this program, please contact the Refugee Processing Center at: email@example.com.
Director, Office of Refugee Admissions