State Letter 12-03

ORR Annual Survey of Refugees

Publication Date: March 29, 2012



FROM: Eskinder Negash
             Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: ORR Annual Survey of Refugees

Section 413(b)(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to submit a report to Congress each year which contains an updated profile of employment, labor force participation, and welfare utilization for refugees who have entered the U.S. within the previous five years.

To fulfill this requirement, ORR contracts with a private organization to conduct the Annual Survey of Refugees. Each year a random sample of newly arriving refugees and entrants is selected from the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS). Our contractor, currently A VAR Consulting Inc of Rockville, Maryland, then traces the selected families. In order to trace selected  households, AVAR Consulting will be contacting Voluntary Agencies and  their affiliates  to obtain  necessary contact information.  ORR strongly encourages all Voluntary Agencies and their  affiliates  to cooperate fully with AVAR Consulting in providing contact information for refugees  in this survey.

When a refugee is traced and contacted, a telephone interview is scheduled in the refugee's native language and conducted over the telephone. In addition, refugees who had been included in the previous year's survey-but have not resided in the U.S. for more than five years-are again contacted and interviewed for the new survey. Thus, the survey continuously tracks the progress of a randomly selected sample of refugees over their initial five years in this country. This permits comparison of refugees arriving in different years, as well as the relative influence of experiential and environmental factors on refugee progress toward self-sufficiency across five years.

ORR greatly appreciates your cooperation in this endeavor.  Survey results may be found in the next Report to Congress.

Eskinder Negash
Office of Refugee Resettlement

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