Individuals cannot apply directly to the United States for refugee entry. Individuals who are designated by UNHCR as refugees in need of resettlement in the U.S. are referred to the U.S. Department of State to determine whether they can seek entry through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. For some categories of refugee entry, you must receive a referral directly from the U.S. Embassy located in the country where you currently reside.

If you receive a referral, you will receive help filling out your application and then be interviewed abroad by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who will determine whether you are eligible for refugee resettlement. Each applicant will be screened to determine if they meet one of three U.S. priority designations for refugee entry:

Priority One: Individuals with compelling protection needs or those for whom no other durable solution exists. Note: This priority class is rarely granted.

Priority Two: Groups specifically selected by the Department of State for group referral. These include persons from certain designated countries which have been identified as having “special concern” to the United States, as well as persons belonging to certain religious groups which have traditionally been persecuted in their home countries. Currently, Ukraine is not designated as a Priority Two country.  

Priority Three: The relatives (parents, spouses, or unmarried children under 21) of refugees who are already resettled in the United States.