Immigration Information for Refugees

If you came to the United States as a refugee under § 207 of the I.N.A., then please read the following information below.

Green Cards After 1 Year:
Refugees must file for Adjustment of Status (apply for a green card) after being present in the United States for one year. The one-year timeline starts from your date of arrival (which is stamped in red in on your I-94 Departure Record).

There is no cost for filing the application with USCIS, however Journey's End Immigration Legal Services charges a nominal fee to prepare the application.

Citizenship After 5 Years:
Refugees who have their green cards can apply to become United States citizens after they have lived in the U.S. for five years. The five-year timeline starts from your date of arrival (which is stamped in red on your I-94 Departure Record).

There is a USCIS filing fee for this application and Journey's End Immigration Legal Services also charges a nominal fee to prepare the application.

Citizenship applicants are required to take a test that covers:

  • English Language (speaking, reading, writing)
  • U.S. Civics & History

There are citizenship classes offered in the Buffalo area that can help you prepare for this test. There are also study materials available online at the USCIS website. Please go to: www.uscis.gov to download the study materials.

Please note: Citizenship applicants can waive the test requirement if they suffer from a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment.

Family Reunification
Refugees and asylees can petition for their spouses and children (who are unmarried and under the age of 21) to come join them here in the United States. Please contact Journey's End Immigration Legal Services to find out more information about this process.

Housing, Employment, Medical, ESL Classes & School Enrollment Information
Please call Journey's End Refugee Services' main telephone line at (716) 882-4963. Our staff can assist you with these non-immigration related matters.

Refugees Waiting Overseas
If you are living outside of the United States and want to apply for refugee status, please note that our agency cannot assist you.

For more information on how to become a refugee, please contact your nearest overseas refugee processing office.

For further information, please visit the UNHCR homepage: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home

© 2011 Journey's End Refugee Services, inc.
Where Home Begins Again
2495 Main Street - Suite 317 - Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 882-4963 | Fax: (716) 882-4977