U.S. Repatriation Program FAQs

Publication Date: September 14, 2021

Current Status of Repatriation Operations 

ACF OHSEPR concluded emergency repatriation operations on September 10, 2021. OHSEPR is coordinating with states to support eligible repatriates through routine repatriation operations.

U.S. Repatriation Program Update  Afghanistan

On April 27, 2021, the Department of State ordered the departure from U.S. Embassy Kabul of U.S. government employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere due to increasing violence and threat reports in Kabul. The Travel Advisory for Afghanistan remains Level 4-Do Not Travel due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and COVID-19. Please refer to U.S Embassy Afghanistan for additional updates. 

On August 29, 2021, President Biden directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to lead implementation of ongoing efforts across the federal government to support vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked alongside us in Afghanistan for the past two decades, as they safely resettle in the United States. Please refer to Operation Allies Welcome for additional information on these coordinated efforts.

I am currently overseas and there is a crisis. How can I receive assistance to return to the United States?

Please review the Department of State’s “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis” for additional information.

How can I receive alerts from the Department of State?

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens travelling abroad to enroll in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP Visit disclaimer page ), which provides information as a crisis develops.

What is the U.S. Repatriation Program (Program)?

The Program was established in 1935 under Section 1113 of the Social Security Act to provide temporary assistance to private U.S. citizens and their dependents identified by the Department of State as having returned from a foreign country to the United States because of destitution, illness, war, threat of war, or a similar crisis, and are without available resources.

Who administers this Program?

The Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) within the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the lead for the Program.

Who is eligible for this Program?

Eligible repatriates are U.S. citizens or their dependents identified by the Department of State as having returned or been brought from a foreign country to the United States due to destitution, illness, war, the threat of war or similar crisis, and do not have resources immediately accessible.

Are lawful permanent residents eligible for this Program?

Lawful permanent residents that are dependents of U.S. citizens may be eligible.

Are refugees and asylees eligible for this Program?

Refugees and asylees who need assistance should refer to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Who do I contact for eligibility determinations and assistance for this Program?

U.S. citizens who would like to inquire about eligibility or need assistance may email RepatriationEvac@iss-usa.org or call 1-800-370-0936.

When can I receive temporary assistance from this Program?

Eligible repatriates may receive assistance upon arrival in the United States.

What services can I receive upon arrival in the United States?

Temporary assistance is defined by Section 1113 of the Social Security Act as money payments, medical care, temporary shelter, transportation, and other goods and services necessary for the health or welfare of individuals provided to eligible repatriates within the United States.

Do I have to pay for temporary assistance?

Yes. Temporary assistance is provided in the form of a loan repayable to the U.S. government.

Where can I find the repayment agreement?

All repatriation forms, including the repayment form (RR-05), are available on the OHSEPR Repatriation page.

What role do states play during an emergency repatriation operation?

When requested by OHSEPR for an emergency repatriation incident, a state will execute its state emergency repatriation plan to receive and provide temporary assistance to returning eligible citizens at designated ports of entry.

How does OHSEPR identify ports of entry during emergency repatriation operation?

OHSEPR considers various factors specific to the incident when selecting ports of entry. When OHSEPR selects a port of entry, it will notify states via established processes.

When will OHSEPR provide information to selected states about the number of individuals evacuated by the Department of State for a specific emergency repatriation incident?

OHSEPR will provide information to the selected state as it becomes available.

Where can states, federal, and non-governmental partners find more information about emergency repatriation operations?

The 2021 National Emergency Repatriation Framework contains the most current guidance on emergency repatriation operations.

Where can states find repatriation forms for reimbursement?

Repatriation forms are available on the OHSEPR Repatriation page

Is technical assistance available to states?

OHSEPR provides technical assistance and support. For additional assistance, states may email OHSEPR-Repatriation@acf.hhs.gov.

What costs for emergency repatriation are reimbursable?

ACF determines which costs are reasonable, allowable, and allocable and will provide reimbursement contingent upon the availability of funds. Any state activities in preparation for activating a State Emergency Repatriation Plan are not reimbursable unless specifically authorized by OHSEPR. 

How are states reimbursed for emergency repatriation activities?

OHSEPR will provide information regarding the reimbursement process after a state is selected.

Are states reimbursed under the Stafford Act?

No. Emergency repatriation operations are non-Stafford Act incidents. More information is available on FEMA’s Stafford Act Visit disclaimer page  web page.