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US Refugee Admissions

Political Asylum and the United States Refugee Admissions Program

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Immigrant Visa Unit

Political Asylum

The United States does not grant asylum in its diplomatic premises abroad. Under U.S. law, the United States grants asylum only to aliens who are physically present in the United States. Furthermore, per the UN Refugee Convention, asylum claims should be made in the first safe country of arrival. Therefore, if you are a non-Swedish resident currently in Sweden and seeking asylum, Sweden would be the first country to consider your asylum claim. If you wish to apply for political asylum in Sweden, you must file an application with the Swedish Migration Board.

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, all initial applications for refugee processing must be made through the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR will identify individuals for resettlement referral based on an assessment of their vulnerability at the time of registration.

On the main UNHCR website you will find more information, as well as links to its regional offices.

Applicants for admission to the United States under the program are processed at certain USCIS offices abroad. Stockholm is not a refugee-processing post and no processing for the U.S. Refugee program takes place in Sweden. Persons seeking admission to the United States through the USRAP may be processed at United States diplomatic posts located in Athens, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, Manila, Mexico City, New Delhi, Rome and Vienna.

Please note that the United States government can not take responsibility for the movement of applicants to any of these locations, can offer no assistance to applicants seeking necessary permission or visas to effect such movement, and can offer no guarantee to another country that the applicant entering that country will be accepted for entry into the United States as a refugee.

For further information and USRAP processing criteria please see the USCIS website.

In general, a refugee is a person who has crossed an international border and is unwilling or unable to return home because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. In addition, he or she must be able to establish that he or she is not already resettled in a foreign country and must fall within certain refugee processing priorities. Therefore, if you have received permanent residence in Sweden, you do not qualify for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Iraqi Processing under USRAP

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is currently expanding its capacity to consider Iraqi refugees for resettlement in the United States. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has made a commitment to the U.S. to refer Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon to USRAP for consideration for resettlement.

Please refer to USCIS website for specific information and answers to commonly asked questions on Iraqi USRAP processing.

If you have questions that have not been answered here or you are a former employee of the U.S. Government who seeks protection in a third country, you may contact the Department of State by email. However, please remember that submission of information to the above address is not a substitute for registration with UNHCR. All Iraqi asylum seekers should register with UNHCR.

Other Useful Contact Information

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
Ynglingagatan 14, 6th Floor
S-11347 Stockholm, Sweden
Telephone: [46] 8 457 4880
Fax: [46] 8 457 4887

The Swedish Migration Board - Solna Office
Pyramidvägen 2A
169 29 Solna
Telephone: 08-470 97 00
Fax: 08-470 99 30

The Swedish Migration Board - Kållered Office
Streteredsvägen 90
428 80 Kållered
Telephone: 031-774 61 00.
Fax: 031-795 53 30

The Swedish Migration Board - Malmö Office
Östra Farmvägen 5
200 22 Malmö
Telephone: 040-28 40 00
Fax: 040-18 52 28
General information 0771-19 44 00