Welcome to the United States Guidebook

Image of the Welcome guidebook

This COR Center publication, frequently referred to as the Welcome Guide, was developed at the request of the Department of State, Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The Welcome guide is designed to support overseas Cultural Orientation, as well as for use in initial domestic orientation or by refugees directly.

There is a 2012 version, pictured on the top, and the 2007 version, pictured below. Both versions of the Welcome Guide offer the information refugees need about resettlement in the United States. The 2012 edition of the Welcome Guide has been updated to feature photos and case studies of currently arriving refugee populations. This edition also includes many worksheets and activities, designed to provide an interactive way of learning about resettlement in the United States. As it is translated into various languages, those translations will be posted here, listed on the right side of the screen. The 2007 version also remains available, and you can read this version in a number of translations, also listed on the right side of the screen.

The Welcome Guide, in all its iterations, is a product of numerous meetings and the work of the Cultural Orientation Work Group (COWG) convened by PRM and the COR Center. The COWG is composed of representatives of agencies with overseas Resettlement Support Centers, national refugee resettlement agencies, local resettlement agencies, PRM, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the COR Center. Each entity brings their perspective, and the input they receive from resettled refugees, to bear upon the content and format of the Welcome guide, in the effort to ensure that the orientation refugees receive is consistent, accurate, timely, and relevant to their needs and interests.

A copy of the Welcome Guide is given to refugees overseas, one copy per case, once they have been approved for resettlement to the U.S. The book includes information on The Resettlement Journey, The United States and American Culture, Travel to the United States, The Resettlement Agency, Housing, Community Services, Transportation, Health Care, Money Management, Cultural Adjustment and Changing Roles,  Rights and Responsibilities Under U.S. Law, Employment, Learning English, Education, and The Ongoing Journey.

Print copies of the Welcome Guide are provided in limited numbers free of charge to refugee resettlement agencies, and are available in English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Burmese, Chin, Farsi, French, Karen, Kirundi, Nepali, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese.