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Programs & Services

The Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services (BRS) is a federally funded office of the Iowa Department of Human Services and is charged with supporting the resettlement of refugees in Iowa. BRS works with a network of resettlement agencies (RA) across Iowa who do the bulk of the direct resettlement work with refugees.  Learn more about the RAs and the work they do on our Resources page.

The goal of any resettlement program is for refugees to become self-sustaining, productive Iowans as quickly as possible. This is accomplished through diverse programming that helps refugees find sustainable employment, safe and affordable housing, and other services to help refugees feel welcome in their new home state.

BRS has accomplished this work since 1975 with the arrival of 300 Tai Dam refugees who had fled Vietnam to Laos and Thailand.  Since then, refugees from Cambodia, Poland, Bosnia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Sudan, Burma, and many other countries have been resettled in Iowa through the assistance and support of BRS.  Today, that support continues with Afghan Refugees, and providing support to those wishing to sponsor Ukrainian refugees in Iowa.

Ukraine Refugees

Iowa is Uniting for Ukraine. 100,000 people are being forced to flee Ukraine and seek safe haven in the United States. But they need the support of a sponsor. And that can be you. Learn more at our resources page or at

Learn more about the Uniting for Ukraine Support Line here.

Afghanistan Refugees

The Bureau of Refugee Services has supported the resettlement of Afghan Refugees who fled Afghanistan in 2021 after the Taliban took over the city of Kabul. Since then, more than 900 Afghan refugees have made their home in Iowa.

Services We Provide