USA Resources: Next Steps

If possible, one of the first appointments you should make and attend would be with a local Refugee center that is listed with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). They can help with many of the items listed below, such as applying for Work Authorization, benefits, cash assistance, English classes, scheduling physicals and TB tests, and more!

  1. Each member of the sponsored family will need to take a required physical once they arrive. 
  2. Schedule an appointment to receive a TB Blood test, which must be submitted to the federal government via your portal. 
  3. When crossing the border, the border officer issues an I-94 form with Paroled status or this status is printed in a foreign passport. The status itself does not give grounds for automatically obtaining a work permit and/or social security number (SSN).
    1. Click here for more information on applying for Work Authorization, SSN, and Driver’s License. 
    2. Click here to check the status of current processing times for Work Authorization.
  4. Most often you will be asked for your passport to verify your identity, but sometimes agencies may ask for your I-94.  You may obtain a copy online. At this link, click on “Get Most Recent I-94” from the top menu bar and use your Alien Number (found on your Travel Authorization) as your Document Number.  
  5. Apply for Health Insurance. Click here for more information.
  6. Many housing rentals will require credit checks to show good credit history. This article explains how to build credit for immigrants.
  7. Acquire cell phone service.  This is the connection to friends and family all over the world. Mint Mobile is a common option.  Most phones are compatible.  You can purchase the SIM card digitally, or at Target or Best Buy, and activate in the store or online.
  8. Open a bank account.  Some banks will allow you to open an account without a SSN, such as Bank of America.  Beneficiaries will need two forms of identification (for example, passport and credit card) and proof of residency (an official piece of mail with name and address such as a notification from USCIS or the I-134 form).
  9. Address updates: If you reside in the United States for more than 30 days and you move, you must provide Immigration with your most recent address. This can be done using the system: USCIS online address changes. You must report a change of address within 10 days of the move. This method of changing your address will update the address in the USCIS file for any pending applications, petitions, or requests.
  10. Terminating Your Parole: If you have already been paroled into the United States, your parole will automatically be terminated if:
    1. You depart the United States without obtaining advance authorization to travel (Form I-131); or
    2. Your parole period expires.
    3. DHS may also decide to terminate your parole for other reasons, such as violating any laws of the United States. Individuals with expired parole are expected to depart the country of their own accord. Individuals in the United States encountered after their parole has terminated may be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for immigration proceedings.