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Refugee- Frequently Asked Questions


What are the reasons for which a Refugee may not be admitted to the U.S.?

It is important to keep in mind that eligibility for refugee status is not a guarantee to resettlement in the U.S. The following are examples of reasons for which you may not be admitted to the U.S. as a refugee:

  • You have a communicable disease of public health significance
  • You have certain serious physical or mental disorders
  • You are a drug abuser or addict
  • You are a former U.S. citizen who renounced citizenship for tax purposes
  • You have committed a crime of moral turpitude
  • You have violated laws pertaining to controlled substances
  • You have been convicted of two or more criminal offenses
  • You have engaged in prostitution within the past ten years
  • You have committed serious crimes and have been granted immunity from prosecution
  • You intend to practice polygamy in the U.S.
  • You are attempting to enter the U.S. in violation of U.S. immigration laws, or have assisted another person to do so
  • You have been involved in international child abduction
  • You intend to enter the U.S. to conduct illegal activities
  • Your admission to the U.S. would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences to the U.S.

Some, but not all, of the grounds listed above may be waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Waivers may be granted for humanitarian or public interest reasons, or to assume family unity. Ineligibility for the U.S. refugee program does not necessarily preclude eligibility for UNHCR protection or resettlement in other countries.

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