Refugee and Entrant Assistance_Voluntary Agency Programs

To assist refugees in becoming self-supporting and independent members of American society, by providing grant funds to private nonprofit organizations to support case management, transitional assistance, and social services for new arrivals.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

In FY 2007, the nine voluntary agencies (volags) continued to serve match grant refugees in approximately 230 match grant sites nationwide.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Program Accomplishments

In FY 07, the nine (9) voluntary agencies continued to serve refugees eligible for the Matching Grant program and are expected to continue through FY 2008 and FY 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Federal funds of up to $2,200 per refugee are provided on a matching basis of $2.20 of Federal funds matched by $1.00 of private funds and in-kind contributions.

Required services include case management, job development, and transitional support for four to six months.

Funds may also be used for English language training concurrent with employment services, job training, medical support, and cash allowance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Grant awards are limited to States and private, nonprofit organizations which have a Reception and Placement Cooperative Agreement with the Department of State or Department of Homeland Security.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Refugees must be enrolled within 31 days of arrival. Entrants/asylees must be enrolled within 31 days of granting of parole or asylum.


Newly arriving refugees with an employable refugee in the case as evidenced in the documentation from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). Individuals accorded refugee, Cuban and Haitian entrant, asylee status are eligible, as are certified victims of a severe form of trafficking. Cost principles for nonprofit organizations will be determined by OMB Circular No. A-122. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102.

Award Procedures

Eligible applicants submit an application to HHS. This document includes a detailed program proposal and budget. Subsequent to review by an independent panel, the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement makes final funding decisions and grant awards are issued.


Deadlines are established in the notice of funds availability. The notice of funds availability is posted on and on the ORR website at


Refugee Act of 1980, Section 412, Public Law 96- 212, 94 Stat. 111, 8 U.S.C. 1522, as amended, Public Laws 97-363, 99-605, 101-167, and 101-517.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time





Contingent of funds availability, grantee performance, and the best interest of the government.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grants are awarded on a basis of $2.20 in Federal funds for each $1.00 of private funds up to a maximum of $2,200 per refugee. Up to 80 percent of the nonfederal share may be through in-kind donations, with a minimum required cash match of 20 percent.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are awarded with a 3-year project period and incremental 1-year budget periods.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program progress reports are required every four months; and financial status reports are required semi-annually.

An interim final financial status report is due 90 days after the program period has ended; and a final financial status report is due 210 days after the project period.


Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient's systems of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants and other agreements. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The grantee shall maintain individual case records on all eligible refugees counted as receiving match grant services.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $59,998,400; FY 08 $59,998,400; and FY 09 est $6,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range of grant amounts in FY 2007 was from $1,317,800 to $16,981,800. The range of grant amounts in FY 2008 was from $1,485,000 to $18,268,800.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

All inquiries should be directed to the Information Contact listed below.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Ron Munia, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 8th Floor, West, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-4559.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Matching grant awards are made on the basis of the evaluation criteria in the notice of funding availability.

Social Entrepreneurship

Rwanda as Social Entrepreneur Fund Beneficiary

The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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