People come to the United States for many reasons. Some people come for an education. Others enter the country to reunite with family members. A small number of immigrants enter the country to escape persecution.
Some of them will claim asylum status after entering the country to avoid being sent back to their country of origin, while others will apply to enter the country as refugees. If you currently live outside of the U.S., requesting refugee status could let you immigrate without family or a job offer. Who can qualify for refugee status?
Only those of special humanitarian concern can be refugees
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has strict rules about entry into the U.S. and maintaining residence here. All immigrants will need to undergo background checks and medical exams.
For someone to qualify as a refugee, they cannot have played a role in the persecution of a group in their country of origin. They also have to meet the USCIS standards for admission into the country. More importantly, they need to be a special humanitarian concern to the U.S.
Typically, those facing persecution will qualify under these criteria. Refugee applicants will need proof that they faced persecution or fear persecution based on their religion, nationality, political affiliations, race or membership in a social group. An applicant from a country that regularly discriminates against a particular group would have a stronger claim than someone from a country with a democratic government or progressive policies.
Learning about refugee status can help you determine the best way for you or a loved one to enter the United States.