Bureau of Refugee Services - Hiring Refugees

Who is a Refugee?

Refugee is a specific term for any person who has been interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and authorized to come to the United States permanently because the person is unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country of nationality or habitual residence because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.  The term refugee does not include any person who was involved or participated in the persecution of any persons on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.  Refugees are legal aliens
 
Refugees have a vast array of skills, education and experience.  Overall they are highly motivated, hard working, productive and dedicated workers.
 

Refugees are work authorized

Refugees are authorized to work upon arrival in the United States.  Once a refugee has obtained a social security card, he or she may obtain employment.  A refugee does not need to obtain an Employment Authorization Card (Form 1-776 ).  Once a refugee has been in the United States for one year the refugee may apply for a Permanent Resident Alien Card.
 

Overcoming the language barrier

The English level or refugees is varied, ranging from no English to being fluent in speaking, reading and writing.  Over the years employers who have hired refugees through the Bureau have discovered that limited English is not an insurmountable barrier to refugees becoming valuable employees for their companies.  The Bureau has worked with employers in finding creative ways of overcoming the language barrier.
 
Strategies for overcoming the language barrier include: 
  • Interpreting services
  • The placement of an English speaker who can then serve as an interpreter for other refugees hired from the same language group
  • Job shadowing by bilingual bureau staff to explain essential duties
  • Reviewing job functions to determine if speaking English is truly critical to the job or how the job might be altered to minimize the need for English
  • Development of on-site English As A Second Language classes
  • If you have employment opportunities and want to find good reliable workers, please give our agency a call and see how the Bureau of Refugee Services may be able to meet your needs.  Loren Bawn, operations manager for the assessment center, would be happy to further discuss our agency and client resources with you.
 
If you are an employer with job openings that could be filled by refugees, please fill out our Job Specification Form.  When you submit the form, it will go to Loren Bawn and he or one of the other placement staff will get in touch with you.