Accessibility Note: This site uses JavaScript menus, but not for animation. All menus should be accessible with JavaScript activated.

About Refugees

How does someone become a refugee?

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Refugee status is defined and protected in international law; individuals with refugee status must not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom are at risk. The international agency responsible for addressing their needs is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

What is the process for a refugee to come to the United States?

The United Nations works to identify durable solutions for the 20+ million refugees who have been displaced from their homes; these solutions include safe return to their home country, integration within the host community, and resettlement to a third country. Less than 1% of the world’s refugees are ever resettled and the United States is one of more than 30 countries that accept refugees for resettlement.

Click on the image below to get more information about the resettlement process.

  • Refugee Resettlement Facts

Twenty-six Step Security Screening Process

Click here to learn what happens before refugees are resettled to the United States.

How many refugees are resettled to the United States each year? How many of those refugees are resettled in Utah?

Since 1975, over 3 million refugees from all over the world have been resettled to the United States; they have built new lives, homes and communities in towns and cities in all 50 states- including Utah. The number of refugees resettled to the United States each year is decided by the President and if necessary approved by Congress as well. Please reference the current Proposed Refugee Admissions report to learn how many refugees will be resettled to the United States this year. In recent years, about 1,200 refugees have been resettled to Utah each year from all over the world. Click here for information about specific refugee groups being resettled to the United States.

Helpful Resources for Learning More about Refugees


Utah Department of Health
Bureau of Epidemiology
Fax: 801-538-9913
288 North 1460 West
PO Box 142104
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2104

24-Hour Urgent Event & Disease Reporting

1-888-EPI-UTAH (374-8824)

Regular Business Hours:

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Site Map

Social Media