Afghanistan Resources

Thousands of Afghans helped the United States as translators, interpreters, drivers, cultural advisors, and more during the war in Afghanistan in the 2000s. Many of these Afghans fled the country when the Taliban took control in August 2021 and came to the U.S. as refugees. As of April 2022,  more than 900 Afghan refugees have made their home in Iowa. 

The bulk of this resettlement work is done by resettlement agencies, whose work is supported by the Bureau of Refugee Services. 

Read more about the overall Afghan resettlement effort at the following links: 

Ukraine Resources

Venezuelan Resources

New USCIS Process for Venezuelans

Beginning October 18, 2022, U.S-based supporters may initiate the online application process on behalf of eligible Venezuelan nationals and their non-Venezuelan immediate family members, who are outside of the United States and lack U.S. entry documents, to be considered on a case-by-case basis for advanced authorization to travel to the United States for a temporary period of parole for up to two years. To participate in this process, Venezuelan nationals must:

  • Have a supporter in the United States who will provide financial and other support;
  • Undergo and clear robust security vetting;
  • Meet other eligibility criteria; and
  • Warrant a favorable exercise of discretion

Please visit the DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) web site for more information on this new process for Venezuelans.

U.S. Government Agencies 

International Organizations 

Voluntary Agencies

The Bureau of Refugee Services is one of ten Voluntary Agencies (VOLAGS) who work directly with the Department of State in the resettlement of refugees. The other VOLAGS are listed below.

  • Church World Service (CWS)
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
  • Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)
  • Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS)
  • Immigration and Refugee Service of America (IRSA)
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
  • World Relief Refugee Services (WRRS)
  • Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa (RACI)
  • Refugee Immigrant Guide (RIG) Program

Volunteer Opportunities

Most refugee resettlement in Iowa is provided by Resettlement Agencies (RAs). These RAs work closely with volunteers to help meet the needs of refugees in Iowa. Please view the links below to find information on how you can volunteer with the Iowa RAs to support newly arrived refugees: