Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate [Immigration] Law and Legal Definition

The Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations (RAIO) Directorate within USCIS is the office responsible for overseeing, planning, and implementing policies and activities related to asylum and refugee issues as well as immigration services overseas. The RAIO aims to secure America's promise by assuring in the overseas environment that the right benefit is provided to the right applicant and offer protection to refugees, both in and outside the U.S., in accordance to our laws and international obligations.

The RAIO is made up of three divisions:

a. The Refugee Affairs Division, that responsible for providing the humanitarian benefit of refugee resettlement to applicants in need of protection throughout the world while diligently protecting the U.S. homeland through careful national security screening;

b. The Asylum Division that manages the U.S. affirmative asylum process, which permits individuals already in the U.S. or at a port of entry, who are not in immigration proceedings, to request asylum if they are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution; and

c. The International Operations Division, that extends immigration benefits to eligible individuals and exercises vigilance in matters of fraud detection and national security, thereby supporting the mission of USCIS in Securing America's Promise.