The Vermont refugee placement and resettlement process

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Nov 21, 2015 No Comments ›› maxinegrad

Vermont State HouseBelow please find some information and statistics on the Vermont refugee placement and resettlement process. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.


Annually the Vermont office receives 300-350 refugees.

  • FY15: 314
  • FY16 PROJECTION: 325

The center has seen families come in from all over the world – the Congo, Malaysia, India, Iraq, Somalia, and Nepal.

Employment statistics:

  • Out of the approximate 300 refugees Vermont accepts a year, on average 200 of them have been employable adults – this has been consistent for 5 years.
  • The refugee center has an 80% placement rate for employment – and works with numerous businesses in Chittenden County to train and employ refugees.
  • The refugee center has 13 full time employees; 11 of them are former refugees.

How Refugees are vetted 

First, the UN (takes a month to years):

  • Refugee registers in UN office
  • UN adds personal info to database and compares it to other ID info
  • Certain refugees get priority (e.g. tortured)
  • Resettlement agent 1 on 1 meeting to determine if they qualify
  • UN determines country placement
  • If UN thinks US is good fit, they send all the paperwork to US officials

Next, the US (takes up to two years):

  • Case received by US
  • Homeland Security does security checks and interviews refugees overseas
  • Conduct health screenings
  • More, high-level security checks against all US law-enforcement databases
  • If approved, US passes along info to non-governmental resettlement agency to facilitate entry

Placement and Resettlement:

  • 9 domestic resettlement agencies meet and review biographic information and other case records from overseas Resettlement Support Centers (RSC) weekly.
  • These agencies match local communities (about 109 across the country) with specific resources to incoming refugee.
  • Communities must have: interpreters, available housing, English classes, employment services, medical care, and schools that can accommodate, etc.
  • Refugees are met at airport, taken to the provided housing, receive employment authorization, and are in touch with the Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program for 3 months after arrival.

Reception and Placement overview: