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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > What We Are Saying > Fact Sheets and Newsletters > 2005
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
April 4, 2005

Refugee Admissions Program for Africa

Background

Since 1980, over 169,000 African refugees have been admitted to the United States for permanent resettlement. Most were Somali (over 58,000) or Ethiopian (over 39,000), but the number also includes Sudanese, Liberians, Congolese, Rwandans, Sierra Leoneans, and Angolans, among others. In recent years, the program has grown more diverse both in terms of nationalities admitted to the United States and processing locations. In FY 2004, a total of 29,125 refugees from 21 African countries were admitted to the United States -- the largest number of African refugees resettled in a single year.

Refugee admissions processing in Africa is coordinated by the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Accra, and Cairo. Operations based in Nairobi and Accra cover much of sub-Saharan Africa on a circuit-ride basis. The U.S. program in Africa remains very active and coordinates closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify individuals and groups for whom resettlement is the appropriate durable solution.

FY 2005 Admissions Program

The U.S. admissions program for FY 2005 includes a ceiling of 20,000 admissions from Africa. Refugees of any nationality in Africa are eligible for referral to the program by UNHCR or a U.S. Embassy. The United States also identifies and designates as eligible for resettlement processing specific groups of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Such groups are defined through coordination with the UNHCR, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), NGOs, and other experts.

The family reunification element of the Africa program for FY 2005 applies to spouses, unmarried sons and daughters under age 21, and parents of persons who were admitted to the United States as refugees or asylees and who are nationals of the following countries: Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan. A qualified relative in the United States may file an Affidavit of Relationship with one of the affiliate offices of participating resettlement organizations to begin the process of family reunification.


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