Tennessee Office for Refugees


An asylee, like a refugee, is a person who flees his or her country and is unwilling or unable to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted. This persecution is based on reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. However, asylees arrive in the United States on their own as students, tourists, businesspeople, or without any immigration status at all. After they have entered the country or reached a port of entry, they apply for and may receive a grant of asylum, which acknowledges that they meet the legal definition of a refugee and are permitted to stay in the United States. Asylees are eligible for the same services as refugees beginning the date on which they are granted asylum and may apply for Legal Permanent Resident status after one year and U.S. citizenship after five years in the U.S.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2014, over 1.66 million individual applications for asylum or refugee status were submitted worldwide to governments or UNHCR offices. By year's end 1.8 million individuals were waiting on asylum decisions.
  • Asylum seekers from Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea filed the highest number of new asylum claims worldwide in 2014.
  • During 2013, 25,199 individuals were granted asylum in the United States.
  • In 2013, the leading countries of nationality for persons granted asylum in the U.S. were China, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Facts compiled from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Please visit the Resources section for more information.

The services of our Basic Needs Programs work to meet the needs of people we serve in a supportive way.
Read more.
Immigration Services provides counseling, assistance in completing immigration forms and photographs to individuals seeking assistance in most immigration matters.
Read more.
Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. has always been engaged in the humanitarian aid to refugees, starting with the finding of foster homes for 43 Cuban refugee children in 1962.
Read more.
If you are a parent looking for support to reduce stressors and increase your skills, our staff can help you with opportunities to meet the many challenges faced by families.
Read more.
A variety of services are provided to the Hispanic community in Middle Tennessee by Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc.'s Hispanic Services programs.
Read more.
Catholic Charities' Living at Home program assists seniors in their efforts to age in place.
Read more.
Since 1976, Catholic Charities School Counseling Program has helped thousands of students and their families find their way during times of distress.
Read more.
Caring Choices is a state-licensed adoption agency operated by Catholic Charities of TN, Inc. serving all races and religions.
Read more.
We have been engaged in humanitarian aid to refugee since 1962. Thousands from more than 35 countries have received help through Catholic Charities.
Read more.

Making a difference since 1962. CATHOLIC CHARITIES

2806 McGavock Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
Office: (615) 352-3087
Fax: (615) 352-8591

© 2018 Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc.