The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
This information was revised in August 2023. Requirements may change. Always check for current requirements from the government or agency deciding your request.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
U.S.-affiliated Iraqis and their family members can apply for refugee resettlement to the United States through the Direct Access Program (DAP). U.S. government information about the Direct Access Program is available here in English. U.S. government information about the Direct Access Program is also available in Arabic. The DAP application is free of charge. Applying to DAP does not guarantee resettlement to the United States.
Who is Eligible?
People who are eligible to apply for the Direct Access Program are:
- Iraqis who were employed in Iraq by the U.S. government, or who were employed as interpreters or translators for the Multi-National Forces in Iraq.
- Iraqis who worked for an entity in Iraq that received U.S. government funding.
- Iraqis who worked in Iraq for a U.S.-based media or nongovernmental organization.
- Spouses, sons, daughters, parents and siblings of the people described above.
- Spouses, sons, daughters, parents, and siblings of an individual eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa because of work for the U.S. Government in Iraq.
- Syrians and Iraqis with approved I-130 family immigration petitions to the United States. More information on applying to DAP based on an approved I-130 is here.
Can I apply from anywhere?
You can apply for this program if you live in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
If you have a DAP case that was being processed through IOM (RSC MENA) and are now in Europe, contact RSC Eurasia (ICC@iom.int) and RSC MENA (email@example.com) to ask them to transfer your case. There is no guarantee that they will transfer your case.
From any other location, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to processing in your location. There is no guarantee that IOM will be able to transfer your case.
How do I apply?
If you live in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, apply to DAP through IOM’s website here.
You will be able to upload one document proving your work (or your family member’s work) for the U.S. After you have applied and received an IOM case number, send IOM copies of other proof of your work. Other proof might include your badges or contracts and name and contact information for your supervisors. Email copies to email@example.com. Put your full name and case number in the email subject line.
Even if you do not have the documents above, you can start an application. IOM may ask for more information from you to verify your work.
Individuals who reside in Israel should contact RSC Austria/HIAS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who reside in Lebanon should contact RSC TuME/the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) at email@example.com.
If you need to find more evidence of your work, see IRAP's guide on proving your employment here.
What happens after I apply?
You can check your DAP case status on the IOM website. You can also email IOM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put your full name and case number if available in the email subject line.
Most applicants in Iraq will wait a long time for interviews. Here is more information from IOM on delays for interviews. Because of the long delays, you should tell IOM about any threats against you. Email IOM at IC@iom.int to inform them and include any evidence. Put your full name and case number in the subject line of the email to IOM.
DAP is not available for people who worked for the Iraqi government, even if they worked closely with the U.S. government. Iraqi government officials who fled to another country can ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for help.