The Welcome Corps One Year In

By USCRI February 22, 2024

In January 2023, the U.S. government launched the Welcome Corps program for the private sponsorship of refugees in the United States. Through the Welcome Corps, community organizations, universities or colleges, and individual Americans can apply to sponsor refugees to relocate and resettle in the United States through the existing U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

The Welcome Corps program began by matching refugees already in the USRAP system with sponsors ready to welcome individuals they did not previously know. The first refugees arrived in the United States through this process in June 2023.

At the end of 2023, the Welcome Corps expanded by opening applications to refer specific refugees to USRAP for resettlement. This “Sponsor A Refugee You Know” process represents the second phase of the  program for “naming” specific refugees for resettlement, which in part resembles the Canadian model for private sponsorship.

Access to application materials is completely free—and the Welcome Corps itself does not collect funds from private sponsor groups or refugees. Refugees should never pay money to be resettled and private sponsors should never solicit or accept money from refugees to submit applications on their behalf. The Welcome Corps encourages refugees to beware of scams and anyone who asks for or offers money for applications or expedited processing related to Welcome Corps. Incidents of fraud can be reported at fraud@welcomcorps.org.

As it has for much of the last year, the Welcome Corps website contains the most up-to-date information on the program’s rollout and continued expansion. A webpage on the “Sponsor A Refugee You Know” process contains the latest information on qualifying criteria for refugees to be referred to the program and resettled by a Private Sponsor Group.


Click here to access USCRI’s updated one-pager on the Welcome Corps program.

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