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 January 2023. Requirements may change. Always check for current requirements from the government or agency deciding your request.
If you are a refugee in an emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live.
IRAP designed a chatbot that refugees and their families can use to find legal information and request legal help related to refugee resettlement, family reunification and Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). These are frequently asked questions we receive about the tool:
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program designed to interact with users and provide useful information or services.
What does IRAP’s chatbot do?
IRAP designed this chatbot to provide you with legal information related to refugee resettlement, family reunification and Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). It also determines whether IRAP might be able to help you.
Why does IRAP use a chatbot?
IRAP receives many requests for help. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for us to respond to everyone. Our chatbot can distribute legal information and screen cases for IRAP's help in a more efficient way.
Can I request assistance from IRAP through the chatbot?
Anyone can use the chatbot to request help from IRAP. However, the chatbot will only allow you to submit a request for assistance if you are in a situation that IRAP can help with and if IRAP is taking new cases.
What can I get help with?
Why isn’t IRAP taking new resettlement cases in my location?
IRAP can only take a limited number of cases at a time. IRAP also cannot help with every kind of application in every country. This guide explains more about the help that IRAP provides.
If the chatbot tells you that we are not taking requests from your country, follow our Facebook page and website. We will post updates there if there are changes made that affect who can submit a request to IRAP.
How long does it take for you to respond to my request?
It normally takes the IRAP team about two to four weeks to respond to a request for help submitted through the chatbot. Sometimes it might take more time if we have a very large number of requests for help.
Should I submit another request for help if you haven’t responded?
Please do not submit multiple requests for help. We are a small team, and submitting multiple requests makes it more difficult for us to review everyone’s submissions.
How do I talk to the chatbot?
To talk to the chatbot, add @irapchatbot on Telegram or message us on Facebook. Then, type “hello” as your first message. The chatbot will respond to you and ask you a series of questions about your situation.
If you are using Telegram, click the window button next to the text box to view which options are available to respond to a message. These options automatically appear on Facebook.
What should I do if I make a mistake when talking to the chatbot?
You won’t be able to change the answers that you submit to the chatbot after you start a conversation. If you make a mistake, restart the conversation by writing “hello”. You can also end the conversation by writing “end” at any time.
How do I report an error in the chatbot?
If you encounter an issue while using the chatbot, type “000” in the chat. This will end the conversation. You will be asked for information about the problem you are having. IRAP cannot respond to these messages directly, but we monitor feedback and update our chatbot as needed.