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Legal Information: Federal


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Laws current as of
August 15, 2022

What are the benefits of having refugee status?

If your application is approved, you will be able to travel to the U.S. and enter the country legally. Also, with refugee status, you will be able to:

  • work legally in the U.S;1 and
  • apply for lawful permanent residence (a “green card”) after one year of being in refugee status in the U.S.2

If you didn’t include your family in your refugee application, you can apply to bring your husband or wife and unmarried children under 21 to the U.S. within the first two years of entering the U.S. as a refugee.1 This can include step-children and adopted children, but the rules are complicated.3

1 See USCIS website Refugees page
2 8 CFR § 209.1
3 See INA § 101(b); 8 USC § 1101(b)