How Many Syrian Refugees Are In The US? (And How Many More Are Coming?)

REUTERS/ Antonio Parrinello

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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With President Barack Obama’s urging and Congress’s approval, the U.S. is set to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees before Oct. 1. According to a new report based on State Department data, 2,773 Syrians have already entered the U.S. through the end of May.

Congress approved the admittance of the 10,000 Syrian refugees in Fiscal Year 2016, which extends from Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2015. According to a Center for Immigration Studies report Thursday, the U.S is expected to admit 7,227 more refugees before Oct. 1.

Syrian refugees have been settled in 36 states. Michigan has the most with 318 refugees followed by California with 288 refugees.

The current length of processing for a new Syrian refugee is three months, and he or she can get a green card after a year in the U.S, which in turn allows them to become citizens in five years.


Syrian refugees can also enter through alternative routes that do not count against the cap of 10,000 refugees. This could be through the Priority-2 Direct Access Program which was created for Iraqis in 2008, but has been expended to include Syrians. This allows for a U.S citizen to petition for a relative to come to the U.S. A permanent resident (green card holder) can only sponsor a spouse or unmarried children who are under the age of 21.

A Syrian refugee can also enter the U.S through “private sponsorship.” This would mean a work authorization, student visa or medical visa. So far 150 Syrian students have been awarded scholarships to American universities.