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About the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate

The Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations (RAIO) Directorate within USCIS is responsible for overseeing, planning, and implementing policies and activities related to asylum and refugee issues as well as immigration services overseas.


RAIO’s primary focus is to secure America's promise by assuring in the overseas environment that the right benefit is provided to the right applicant and offer protection to refugees, both in and outside the United States, in accordance to our laws and international obligations.


RAIO Divisions:


The Refugee Affairs Division, a principal partner in the United States Refugee Admissions Program, is responsible for providing the humanitarian benefit of refugee resettlement to applicants in need of protection throughout the world while diligently protecting the U.S. homeland through careful national security screening.


The Asylum Division manages the U.S. affirmative asylum process, which permits individuals already in the U.S. or at a port of entry, who are not in immigration proceedings, to request asylum if they are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution.


The International Operations Division, with 30 international field offices around the world, is the face of USCIS overseas.  Our international offices play a critical role in extending immigration benefits to eligible individuals and exercising vigilance in matters of fraud detection and national security, thereby supporting the mission of USCIS in Securing America's Promise.



Last updated:09/22/2008

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