FY2021 APPROPRIATIONS REPORTING REQUIREMENT REFUGEE DATA – FY2018 TO FY2021

The Department is directed to continue to submit to the Committees and make available on a publicly accessible website, by not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the following information for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2021:

  1. the number of USCIS staff assigned to the Refugee Corps at the Refugee Affairs Division of USCIS;
  2. the number of refugee processing circuit rides conducted;
  3. the number of USCIS Refugee Corps officers assigned to each circuit ride;
  4. the destination region and country for each circuit ride;
  5. the number of refugee interviews conducted by USCIS; and
  6. the number of approvals and denials issued by USCIS.
Number of USCIS staff assigned to the Refugee Corps at the International and Refugee Affairs Division of USCIS¹
Fiscal Year Authorized Refugee Corps Staff2
FY 20183 196
FY 20194 193
FY 2020 192
FY 2021 (through end of Quarter 1) 189
Number of refugee processing circuit rides conducted
Fiscal Year Number of Circuit Rides
FY 2018 67
FY 2019 97
FY 20205 7
FY 2021 (through end of Quarter 1) 0
Number of USCIS Refugee Corps officers assigned to each circuit ride; the destination region and country for each circuit ride

The information for FY 2016-2020 is located at Refugee Processing Circuit Rides.

No refugee processing circuit rides took place during Quarter 1 of FY 2020.

In mid-March 2020, USCIS curtailed six of the seven circuit rides that were underway in Quarter 2 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was unable to complete any refugee processing circuit rides the rest of the fiscal year. However, USCIS was able to conduct a small number of re-interviews via video-teleconferencing.

USCIS has not conducted any refugee processing circuit rides in FY 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 situation improves, refugee processing circuit rides may resume. This will depend on movement restrictions issued by local governments, other post-by-post restrictions issued by the Department of State, and the ability to safely conduct in-person interviews, to protect the health of officers, Resettlement Support Center staff, refugee applicants, and interpreters.

Number of refugee interviews conducted by USCIS⁶
Fiscal Year Number of Refugee Interviews Conducted by USCIS
FY 2018 26,598
FY 2019 44,538
FY 2020 1,373
FY 2021 (through the end of Quarter 1) 0

 

Number of approvals and denials issued by USCIS⁷
Fiscal Year8 Approvals Denials
FY 2018 22,000 7,539
FY 2019 37,154 5,002
FY 2020 10,435 1,039
FY 2021 (through end of Quarter 1)9 451 100

1In FY 2020, the Refugee Affairs Division and the International Operations Division merged to form the International and Refugee Affairs Division (IRAD), which includes the Refugee and International Operations (RIO) component responsible for domestic and international operations. RIO is composed of the Refugee Corps, the Humanitarian Affairs Branch (responsible for certain parole adjudications), and seven international field offices. The staffing numbers provided represent the total authorized staffing level assigned to the Refugee Corps, comprising supervisory and refugee officers within the Refugee Corps each fiscal year.

2Authorized staffing refers to the annual number of positions approved by the Agency for any given workload, including adjudications, administrative, and support personnel. Authorized staffing levels take into account a variety of factors such as the volume of work, lifecycle and processing time targets/requirements, and fiscal considerations for the agency’s operating budget.

3Note that the data for FY 2018 above is slightly lower than the staffing numbers for FY2020's previously Reported Refugee Processing Data. The numbers reported previously included headquarters refugee officers and mission support. The FY 2018 data above has been corrected to only include refugee officers and first- and second-line supervisory refugee officers in the Refugee Corps.

4Note that the data for FY 2019 above is slightly lower than the staffing numbers for FY2020's previously Reported Refugee Processing Data. The numbers reported previously included headquarters refugee officers and mission support. The FY 2019 data above has been corrected to only include refugee officers and first-and second-line supervisory refugee officers in the Refugee Corps.

5Six of the seven circuit rides were curtailed before to completion due to COVID-19.

6Interview numbers reported in this section reflect initial Form I-590, Registration for Classification as Refugee, and Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Petition, interviews conducted by USCIS officers. They do not include re-interviews. Data extracted from WRAPS on Feb. 2, 2021. Note that the interview data for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are slightly higher than the numbers we previously reported for those years. There are common delays in capturing and cleaning data. Additionally, we periodically refine methodology, resulting in slight numerical variations.

7Decision numbers reported in this section reflect final Form I-590 decisions adjudicated by USCIS officers.

8Note that the decision data for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are slightly lower than the staffing numbers for FY2020's previously Reported Refugee Processing Data. There are common delays in capturing and cleaning data. Additionally, we periodically refine methodology, resulting in slight numerical variations.

9The processing of a refugee case can span across fiscal years. Therefore, we may conduct interviews in a particular fiscal year for refugee cases that we do not approve or deny in that same fiscal year. Data extracted from WRAPS on Feb. 2, 2021.

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