Arrival in the United States
Every refugee approved for resettlement in the United States will be assigned to a voluntary resettlement agency to sponsor and assist them during the initial resettlement period. These agencies offer a variety of support services to assist refugees as they adjust to their new lives in the United States. These services include assistance with housing, employment, medical care, enrollment of children in school and community orientation. The agencies also provide assistance with enrollment in longer term integration services offered in the community, including English as a Second Language (ESL) and other training.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program will attempt to place refugees in the same community as their family members living in the United States, if that is the refugees' desire. To do this, it is the essential that during processing in Havana, refugees provide the Refugee Office with correct contact information (name, address and telephone number) for any relative(s) they have in the United States near whom they wish to be resettled. The earlier in the process this information is provided, the easier it will be to ensure placement close to family members. Note: Family members will not be required to serve as sponsors or pay for a refugee’s support in the United States.
If a refugee is unable or chooses not to provide contact information for family members in the United States, it is likely the refugee will not be placed in a community near them or even the same state. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program will not honor requests to redirect travel or change the placement location after refugees have arrived in the United States. If arriving refugees choose not to travel to the assigned resettlement location, they may not receive U.S. government-funded services provided by the sponsoring resettlement agency.