I was accepted to resettle in the U.S. as a refugee and I have a sponsor but I’m worried he will change his mind. What will happen if I don’t have a sponsor?

Some background about this question:

  • The Department of State works with 10 domestic resettlement agencies to resettle refugees.
    • Every week, representatives of each of these agencies meet to review the biographic information and other case records to determine where a refugee will be resettled in the United States. During this meeting, the resettlement agencies match the particular needs of each incoming refugee with the specific resources available.
      • SPONSORSHIP: The voluntary agencies often work with relatives or friends of the refugee who have filed sponsorship papers (normally affidavits of relationship and other supporting documents).  Sponsors are responsible for assisting the agency with a refugee’s resettlement.
        • Voluntary agencies DO accept refugees who don’t have a sponsoring relative or friend.
        • If a refugee does not have a sponsor, a resettlement agency will either find one or the agency will act as the sponsor itself.
      • For more information on Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. read this USRAP fact sheet in English and Arabic.
  • If a refugee discovers prior to his departure that his sponsor has changed his mind and will no longer serve as his sponsor, the refugee should inform his Overseas Processing Entity (OPE).
    • OPE’s assist the State Department in preparing the necessary casework for people eligible to be  interviewed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and, for those approved, to provide assistance in completing the additional requirements for refugee admission. In addition, the OPE forwards the necessary data on all approved cases to the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) in the U.S. for distribution to the refugee resettlement agencies.
      • For example, the OPE in Istanbul, Turkey (the regional headquarters for programs in Turkey, Lebanon and others) is the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), their e-mail is info@icmcturkey.org, (0.212) 219 20 55
      • The OPE in Amman, Jordan (regional headquarters for programs in Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq)  is the International Organization for Migration (IOM), e-mail is IC@iom.int
  • One downside for a refugee of informing his OPE that he no longer has a sponsor is that it will delay his departure (the refugee might assigned to a different resettlement agency and resettled in a different city/state than originally planned).


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  • I needs your helps

    Answer shared by Moise kayembe — March 21, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    Great answer. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • I have filed priority 3 refugee reunification for my family in the US in 2011.My family were never called for interview due to the current unstable situation in Yemen.My question is can I transfer my family case files to Turkey? the agency processing for their case asked me to first check out whether ICMC in Turkey will accept the case files and will process it for the family before we transfer the case files. My family is from Somalia and resides in Yemen and have the UN identification cards and I was wondering if I bring them to Turkey will ICMC provides physical protection as well as other refugees services like housing and basic benefits until their process is complete and they can join me in the US? Please help me for God sake.

    MS. Ahmed

    Answer shared by MS.Ahmed — January 6, 2015 @ 8:30 am

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