What We Do

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides new populations with the opportunity to maximize their potential in the United States. Our programs provide people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.

In FY 2010, ORR implemented a number of new initiatives and programs to improve its response and strengthen existing programs and practices.  Foremost among them was the release of ORR’s Six Guiding Principles, outlining ORR’s approach to service.  These guidelines inform ORR’s commitment to the populations it serves, and the partners with which it works. 

Six Guiding Principles

  • Appropriate Placement and Services.  Appropriate placement and services are essential to successful resettlement. ORR increased interagency coordination with the Department of State to ensure refugees are placed in locations where there are appropriate services and resettlement conditions. Appropriate placement and services from the onset is seen as a preventative measure against the challenges brought by secondary migration.
  • Client-Centered Case Management. Resettlement services must be client-centered and responsive to the individual needs of the refugees. The resettlement program would be most effective if it assessed the diverse strengths, needs and goals of each person. By increasing case management, ORR will ensure that refugees are receiving the hands-on care that is critical to their chances of success.
  • Newly Arriving Refugees. ORR wants to front-load resettlement services so that refugees are empowered through early employment, reach self-sufficiency as soon as possible and become active, contributing participants in their communities.
  • Health and Mental Health Services. Refugee health and mental health play an integral role in the resettlement process. It is critical for refugees to receive expanded health screenings overseas so that we have better information on the types and level of care they will need upon arrival in the United States, and ensure that refugees are aware of and have access to the benefits of the new health care reform laws.
  • Outreach. Outreach across all levels of government, the private sector, and non-profit, faith-based, and ethnic community-based organizations is paramount to cultivating productive relationships between the refugee resettlement community, our partners, and the public at large.
  • Data Informed Decision-Making. ORR plans to increase the use of technology to develop data-informed programs and to improve knowledge and communication amongst all stakeholders. ORR intends to develop a data system that can track initial placements, secondary migration, resettlement services rendered, and performance indicators; automate some case management functions; and interface with ORR’s many data sources.

ORR benefits and services are available to eligible persons from the following groups:

We have 6 divisions:

Our office provides social services that help refugees become self-sufficient as quickly as possible after their arrival in the United States. To address specific health challenges of refugees, ORR also provides guidance, resources and oversight for medical assistance, initial medical screening and health and mental health consultation.