Refugee Services

The North Carolina Refugee Assistance Program (NC RAP) is a short-term transitional program that helps refugees and other eligible recipients become economically self-sufficient. Funding for this program comes from the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the US Department of Health and Human Services. NC RAP consists of two service areas: Refugee Public Assistance and Refugee Support Services.

Refugee Public Assistance

Refugee Public Assistance involves two programs:

  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) is short-term financial support provided to eligible individuals who participate in employment services in accordance with an Employability Plan.
  • Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) is a short-term medical assistance program available to eligible individuals in order to stabilize their health shortly after arrival in the US.

Refugee Support Services

Refugee Support Services (RSS) provide transitional assistance to help refugees become economically self-sufficient and to assist them in becoming integrated members of their communities. Services include:

  • Employment services
  • Case management
  • Transportation
  • Skills recertification
  • English language training
  • Vocational skills training
  • Citizenship and immigration services
  • Translation and interpretation services
  • Social adjustment services

Private-non-profit service provider agencies, under contract with the state of North Carolina, also provide specialized services to eligible refugees such as interpretation and or transportation services if available. There are no income eligibility criteria for RSS, but services must be provided in accordance with a written service plan. Refugees are not eligible for RSS once they have lived in the US for five years or become US citizens.

Individuals eligible for NC Refugee Assistance Program include:

  • Refugees, individuals fleeing from persecution in their homelands
  • Certain Cuban/Haitian entrants and parolees
  • Certain Amerasians (from Vietnam)
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Asylees

How to Apply

Apply for refugee services at your local Department of Social Services.
More information can be found in the DSS Refugee Assistance Manual.


Phone: 919-527-6300
Fax: 919-334-1265

Admission and Resettlement Process

To learn more about the admission and resettlement process visit the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) website.