Refugees by Country of Nationality

Summary: Number of refugees by country of nationality

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This database reports refugee arrivals to the U.S. by country of nationality by Fiscal Year (Oct. 1-Sept. 30).  A refugee is a person who is outside their home country because they have suffered (or feared) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted social category of persons or because they are fleeing a war. Such a person may be called an 'asylum seeker?'? until recognized by the state where they make a claim.


The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (CRSR) is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals. The Convention also provides for some visa-free travel for holders of travel Documents issued under the convention.


Users should note:

  • Serbia and Montenegro figures reflect Yugoslavia (unknown republic) prior to February 7, 2003.
  • All years exclude Amerasian Immigrants. 
  • 2001-present figures include admissions from the Palestinian Territory.

Geographic Coverage: U.S.

Periodicity: Annually

Series Begins/Ends: 1998 - 2018

Data Source: Department of Homeland Security

Updated:  Jun. 14, 2020 Estimated next update: Jun. 03, 2021

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