Refugee School Impact Program eligibility guidelines

The United Nations (UN) defines a refugee as “a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country.”

The Office of Refugee Resettlement defines “refugee children” as those who are eligible for refugee social services. This category includes:

  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Certified Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking
  • Amerasians
  • Cuban-Haitian Entrants
  • Certain eligible minors with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) who are receiving services as Unaccompanied Refugee Minors
  • Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrants Visa (SIV) Holders
  • Afghan parolees with “SI/SQ” coding
  • Afghan humanitarian parolees

For convenience, the term “refugee” is used to encompass all such eligible persons. All State Letters issued by the ORR are found in the Policy Guidance section of their website.


Contact our Refugee School Impact Program Project Director, Pang Chang, at