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Title 8

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Title 8

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Editorial codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register.


8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1151, 1157, 1159, 1182; 8 CFR part 2.


46 FR 45118, Sept. 10, 1981, unless otherwise noted.

§ 207.1 Eligibility.

(a) Filing. Any alien who believes he or she is a refugee as defined in section 101(a)(42) of the Act, and is included in a refugee group identified in section 207(a) of the Act, may apply for admission to the United States by submitting an application, including biometric information, in accordance with the form instructions, as defined in 8 CFR 1.2.

(b) Firmly resettled. Any applicant (other than an applicant for derivative refugee status under 8 CFR 207.7) who has become firmly resettled in a foreign country is not eligible for refugee status under this chapter I. A refugee is considered to be “firmly resettled” if he or she has been offered resident status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement by a country other than the United States and has traveled to and entered that country as a consequence of his or her flight from persecution. Any applicant who claims not to be firmly resettled in a foreign country must establish that the conditions of his or her residence in that country are so restrictive as to deny resettlement. In determining whether or not an applicant is firmly resettled in a foreign country, the officer reviewing the matter shall consider the conditions under which other residents of the country live:

(1) Whether permanent or temporary housing is available to the refugee in the foreign country;

(2) Nature of employment available to the refugee in the foreign country; and

(3) Other benefits offered or denied to the refugee by the foreign country which are available to other residents, such as right to property ownership, travel documentation, education, public welfare, and citizenship.

(c) Immediate relatives and special immigrants. Any applicant for refugee status who qualifies as an immediate relative or as a special immigrant shall not be processed as a refugee unless it is in the public interest. The alien shall be advised to obtain an immediate relative or special immigrant visa and shall be provided with the proper petition forms to send to any prospective petitioners. An applicant who may be eligible for classification under sections 203(a) or 203(b) of the Act, and for whom a visa number is now available, shall be advised of such eligibility but is not required to apply.

[76 FR 53782, Aug. 29, 2011]

§ 207.2 Applicant processing.

(a) Interview. Each applicant 14 years old or older shall appear in person before an immigration officer for inquiry under oath to determine his or her eligibility for admission as a refugee.

(b) Medical examination. Each applicant shall submit to a medical examination as required by sections 221(d) and 232(b) of the Act.

(c) Sponsorship. Each applicant must be sponsored by a responsible person or organization. Transportation for the applicant from his or her present abode to the place of resettlement in the United States must be guaranteed by the sponsor.

[76 FR 53783, Aug. 29, 2011]

§ 207.3 Waivers of inadmissibility.

(a) Authority. Section 207(c)(3) of the Act sets forth grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a) of the Act which are not applicable and those which may be waived in the case of an otherwise qualified refugee and the conditions under which such waivers may be approved.

(b) Filing requirements. An applicant may request a waiver by submitting an application for a waiver in accordance with the form instructions. The burden is on the applicant to show that the waiver should be granted based upon humanitarian grounds, family unity, or the public interest. The applicant shall be notified in writing of the decision, including the reasons for denial if the application is denied. There is no appeal from such decision.

[76 FR 53783, Aug. 29, 2011]

§ 207.4 Approved application.

Approval of a refugee application by USCIS outside the United States authorizes CBP to admit the applicant conditionally as a refugee upon arrival at the port within four months of the date the refugee application was approved. There is no appeal from a denial of refugee status under this chapter.

[76 FR 53783, Aug. 29, 2011]

§ 207.5 Waiting lists and priority handling.

Waiting lists are maintained for each designated refugee group of special humanitarian concern. Each applicant whose application is accepted for filing by USCIS shall be registered as of the date of filing. The date of filing is the priority date for purposes of case control. Refugees or groups of refugees may be selected from these lists in a manner that will best support the policies and interests of the United States. The Secretary may adopt appropriate criteria for selecting the refugees and assignment of processing priorities for each designated group based upon such considerations as reuniting families, close association with the United States, compelling humanitarian concerns, and public interest factors.

[76 FR 53783, Aug. 29, 2011]

§ 207.6 Control over approved refugee numbers.

Current numerical accounting of approved refugees is maintained for each special group designated by the President. As refugee status is authorized for each applicant, the total count is reduced correspondingly from the appropriate group so that information is readily available to indicate how many refugee numbers remain available for issuance.

§ 207.7 Derivatives of refugees.

(a) Eligibility. A spouse, as defined in section 101(a)(35) of the Act, and/or child(ren), as defined in section 101(b)(1)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of the Act, shall be granted refugee status if accompanying or following-to-join the principal alien. An accompanying derivative is a spouse or child of a refugee who is in the physical company of the principal refugee when he or she is admitted to the United States, or a spouse or child of a refugee who is admitted within 4 months following the principal refugee's admission. A following-to-join derivative, on the other hand, is a spouse or child of a refugee who seeks admission more than 4 months after the principal refugee's admission to the United States.

(b) Ineligibility. The following relatives of refugees are ineligible for accompanying or following-to-join benefits:

(1) A spouse or child who has previously been granted asylee or refugee status;

(2) An adopted child, if the adoption took place after the child became 16 years old, or if the child has not been in the legal custody and living with the parent(s) for at least 2 years;

(3) A stepchild, if the marriage that created this relationship took place after the child became 18 years old;

(4) A husband or wife if each/both were not physically present at the marriage ceremony, and the marriage was not consummated (section 101(a)(35) of the Act);

(5) A husband or wife if the Secretary has determined that such alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws; and

(6) A parent, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, cousin or in-law.

(c) Relationship. The relationship of a spouse and child as defined in sections 101(a)(35) and 101(b) (1)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E), respectively, of the Act, must have existed prior to the refugee's admission to the United States and must continue to exist at the time of filing for accompanying or following-to-join benefits and at the time of the spouse or child's subsequent admission to the United States. If the refugee proves that the refugee is the parent of a child who was born after the refugee's admission as a refugee, but who was in utero on the date of the refugee's admission as a refugee, the child shall be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the refugee. The child's mother, if not the principal refugee, shall not be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the principal refugee unless the child's mother was the principal refugee's spouse on the date of the principal refugee's admission as a refugee.

(d) Filing. A refugee may request accompanying or following-to-join benefits for his or her spouse and unmarried, minor child(ren) (whether the spouse and children are inside or outside the United States) by filing a separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative in accordance with the form instructions for each qualifying family member. The request may only be filed by the principal refugee. Family members who derived their refugee status are not eligible to request derivative benefits on behalf of their spouse and child(ren). A separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative must be filed for each qualifying family member within two years of the refugee's admission to the United States unless USCIS determines that the filing period should be extended for humanitarian reasons. There is no time limit imposed on a family member's travel to the United States once the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative has been approved, provided that the relationship of spouse or child continues to exist and approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative has not been subsequently revoked. There is no fee for this benefit request.

(e) Evidence. Documentary evidence consists of those documents which establish that the petitioner is a refugee, and evidence of the claimed relationship of the petitioner to the beneficiary. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that any person on whose behalf he/she is making a request under this section is an eligible spouse or unmarried, minor child. Evidence to establish the claimed relationship for a spouse or unmarried, minor child as set forth in 8 CFR part 204 must be submitted with the request for accompanying or following-to-join benefits. Where possible this will consist of the documents specified in § 204.2(a)(1)(i)(B), (a)(1)(iii)(B), (a)(2), (d)(2), and (d)(5) of this chapter.

(f) Approvals -

(1) Spouse or child in the United States. When a spouse or child of a refugee is in the United States and the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative is approved, USCIS will notify the refugee of such approval. Employment will be authorized incident to status.

(2) Spouse or child outside the United States. When a spouse or child of a refugee is outside the United States and the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative is approved, USCIS will notify the refugee of such approval. USCIS will send the approved request to the Department of State for transmission to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the refugee's spouse or child is located.

(3) Benefits. The approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the refugee and, in the case of a child, while the child is under 21 years of age and unmarried, provided also that the principal's status has not been revoked. However, the approved Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will cease to confer immigration benefits after it has been used by the beneficiary for admission to the United States as a derivative of a refugee. For a derivative inside or arriving in the United States, USCIS will issue a document reflecting the derivative's current status as a refugee to demonstrate employment authorization, or the derivative may apply, under 8 CFR 274a.12(a), for evidence of employment authorization.

(g) Denials. If the spouse or child of a refugee is found to be ineligible for derivative status, a written notice explaining the basis for denial shall be forwarded to the principal refugee. There shall be no appeal from this decision. However, the denial shall be without prejudice to the consideration of a new petition or motion to reopen the refugee or asylee relative petition proceeding, if the refugee establishes eligibility for the accompanying or following-to-join benefits contained in this part.

[63 FR 3795, Jan. 27, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 53783, Aug. 29, 2011; 76 FR 73476, Nov. 29, 2011]

§ 207.8 Physical presence in the United States.

For the purpose of adjustment of status under section 209(a)(1) of the Act, the required one year physical presence of the applicant in the United States is computed from the date the applicant entered the United States as a refugee.

[46 FR 45118, Sept. 10, 1981. Redesignated at 63 FR 3795, Jan. 27, 1998]

§ 207.9 Termination of refugee status.

The refugee status of any alien (and of the spouse or child of the alien) admitted to the United States under section 207 of the Act will be terminated by USCIS if the alien was not a refugee within the meaning of section 101(a)(42) of the Act at the time of admission. USCIS will notify the alien in writing of its intent to terminate the alien's refugee status. The alien will have 30 days from the date notice is served upon him or her in accordance with 8 CFR 103.8, to present written or oral evidence to show why the alien's refugee status should not be terminated. There is no appeal under this chapter I from the termination of refugee status by USCIS. Upon termination of refugee status, USCIS will process the alien under sections 235, 240, and 241 of the Act.

[76 FR 53784, Aug. 29, 2011]