On May 13, 2021, Governor Doug Ducey and DES announced Arizona’s Back to Work Program. DES provides a variety of workforce services and child care assistance. For more information, please visit the Arizona's Back to Work program.
The Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) supports refugees through transitional benefits and contracted community partners as they resettle in the United States. Knowing the challenges refugees face, RRP provides benefits and services to assist refugees as they adjust to life in the U.S. Local nonprofit Refugee Resettlement Agencies (RAs) welcome refugees when they arrive in the country, provide them with essential services during their first 30 to 90 days, and link them to federally-funded programs like Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance, Employment Services, English Language Training and Case Management. These services respect the cultures and languages of refugees while helping them reach self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.
Information for asylees seeking services supported by Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is now available on the ORR website.
A "Refugee" is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act as:
“…any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Asylees, Cuban / Haitian entrants, Special Immigrant Visa holders, victims of severe forms of human trafficking, and certain Amerasians are among the other humanitarian immigrants eligible for assistance and services under the Refugee Act.
Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)
RCA is an eight-month maximum, needs-based cash benefit for refugees and other eligible beneficiaries who are not eligible for other cash assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). RCA recipients must follow program participation requirements that are designed to lead to employment as quickly as possible after their arrival in the United States.
The Refugee Cash Assistance is coordinated through the DES Refugee Resettlement Program FAA Refugee Unit.
RMA is an eight-month maximum health benefit program for refugees and other eligible beneficiaries who have had their Arizona Medicaid coverage terminated due to income from employment that exceeds the Arizona Medicaid income eligibility standards.
RMA also funds coordination of the U.S. Domestic Medical Examination for Newly Arriving Refugees that identifies persons with communicable diseases of potential public health significance, enables refugees to successfully resettle by identifying health conditions that may threaten their wellbeing, and ensures proper follow-up for refugees with medical conditions identified overseas through referrals to medical providers.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health 1645 E Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ 85006 (602) 372-1013
Banner University Medical Center2800 E. Ajo Way Tucson, AZ 85714 (520) 626-1019
Refugee Health Promotion (RHP)
The purpose of RHP is to improve the health of refugees through health literacy initiatives and connecting refugees and other eligible beneficiaries to health service providers.
The Refugee Health Promotion Program is coordinated through the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program and services are provided through the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Maricopa County and University of Arizona’s Tucson Family Advocacy Program in Pima County.
DES Refugee Resettlement Program (602) 542-6045
Maricopa Integrated Health System 2601 E. Roosevelt Street Phoenix, Arizona 85008 (602) 344-1445
Tucson Family Advocacy Program 707 N. Alvernon Way, Suite 101 Tucson, Arizona 85711 (520) 694-1624
English Language Training (ELT)
English Language Training (ELT) for refugees and those who qualify focuses on English skills necessary for obtaining and maintaining employment and is consistent with national Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards.
Friendly House 602-257-1870
Pima Community College Adult Education 520-795-2754
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program
The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identify refugee children from birth to age 18 who are without a parent/guardian and are eligible for resettlement in the U.S as an unaccompanied refugee minor. Upon arrival in the U.S., these refugee children are placed into the URM program to receive safe and nurturing foster care placement along with other services and benefits.
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program is currently coordinated through Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities (602) 997-6105
Case Management and Employment Services
Case management and employment services that respect the cultures and languages of refugees are provided to help refugees successfully resettle in the U.S. and achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. These services are linked to initial Reception and Placement Services and can be available for up to five years from an eligible beneficiary’s arrival or grant of legal status in the U.S. (services are prioritized based on statutorily defined categories of need).
Catholic Charities, Community Services (602) 997-6105
International Rescue Committee (602) 433-2440
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (602) 248-4400 Ext. 114
Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (520) 623-0344
International Rescue Committee (520) 319-2128
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (480) 396-3795
Refugee School Impact (RSI) Program
The RSI Program addresses educational needs of refugee children in Arizona public schools through culturally appropriate and language sensitive services that are designed to help refugee children culturally adjust and meet or exceed Arizona’s academic standards. Supports through this program are available to refugee students for up to three years after arrival in the U.S. Services are provided directly by schools, along with the support of two refugee school liaisons, one in Maricopa County and one in Pima County.
Coordination Services Providers
The International Rescue Committee (Phoenix) (602) 433-2440
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (520) 721-4444
Services for Older Refugees
Educational and case management services and socio-cultural opportunities for older refugees (60 years of age and older), including assistance with acquiring U.S. Citizenship, are available until U.S. citizenship is achieved.
Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (520) 623-0344
AmeriCorps VISTA Project
The Arizona RRP works in partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to support non-profit agencies in central and southern Arizona with creating and developing sustainable projects that promote and enhance effective refugee resettlement and integration. The projects range in scope from job preparation and prevention programs to naturalization preparation.
DES Refugee Resettlement Program (602) 542-6606
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Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADES does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable modification based on language or disability should submit a request as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the modification. The process for requesting a reasonable modification can be found at Equal Opportunity and Reasonable Modification.