AOR Fact Sheet Affidavit of Relationship Fall 2012

An AOR is a form used to reunite refugees and asylees with close relatives who are outside the US. The AOR documents family relationships and gives eligible relatives access to the US Refugee Program. Once it is filed and processed, the refugee overseas may be called for an interview to determine if s/he qualifies for refugee status and is eligible for resettlement.

Who Can File and For Whom? Any individual 18 years or older who arrived to the US as a refugee or was granted asylum within the last 5 years from the countries below:

▪ Afghanistan

▪ Bhutan

▪ Burma

▪ Burundi

▪ Central African Republic

▪ Chad

▪ Cuba

▪ Colombia

▪ Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

▪ Democratic Republic of Congo

▪ Eritrea

▪ Ethiopia

▪ Iran

▪ Iraq

▪ Republic of Congo

▪ Somalia

▪ Sri Lanka

▪ Sudan

▪ Uzbekistan

▪ Zimbabwe

Eligible individuals can apply for spouses (husband/wife; marriage must have taken place before your arrival in the US), single children under 21 years old, and parents (and their dependant, single children under 21 years old). Family members must be outside of their country of origin.

How Can You File? An AOR must be filed through a resettlement agency. There is no cost to file an application.

Frequently Asked Questions What if I completed an AOR before? If you previously filed an AOR before the program was suspended, you may be eligible to file again, even if you have been in the US for more than 5 years. You must have proof of your old application and you have only 6 months to file from the new start date.

Do I need to complete a DNA test? And how do I get one? For certain relationships, you will be asked to submit a DNA sample. You will need to cover the cost of the test. If the test confirms all of your relationships, the US Government will reimburse the fees. Any accredited AABB lab can perform the test. Please ask your resettlement agency for a list of labs or for assistance. A positive DNA match will not guarantee that your family will be approved for resettlement.

What if my children are more than 21 years old? If your children are still unmarried and were under 21 years on October 22, 2008, you can do a new AOR for them, even if you did not previously file or have been in the country for more than 5 years. You have only 6 months to file from the new start date.

What if I put false information on my AOR? Falsifying information on your AOR can have severe consequences, including up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. It can also have negative impacts on your immigration status.

What information will I need? Information may include:

▪ Accurate and complete names of relatives

▪ Family relationships

▪ Dates of birth and marriage

▪ Correct overseas address (with Postal Zone)

▪ Proof of your immigration status

▪ Birth and marriage certificates; other official documents

▪ Passport-style photograph for each family member (please see your resettlement agency for more info)

▪ In some cases, a copy of your old AOR What if I’m not eligible? Please contact the IRC as there may be other options to bring your family to the US. The IRC’s Immigration Department can advise you on possible alternatives to an AOR.

     AOR: Questions on DNA and Possible Consequences of Fraud Fall 2012 Does everyone have Fall  2012  

to complete DNA testing? DNA testing will be required for most applicants. The overseas Resettlement Support Center (RSC) will notify you of all the relationships that need to be tested.

What is the policy for reimbursement? All of your relationships must be positive in order for you to be reimbursed. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will reimburse you once it has confirmation that all tests are positive. You will be reimbursed regardless of your case’s outcome. Positive results do not guarantee resettlement.

The lab is far from me. Will I be reimbursed for transportation to the lab? No, transportation costs will not be reimbursed. Your resettlement agency can help you locate the closest lab to your location.

How long are DNA results valid? Indefinitely.

What if my test is negative? You should consult your resettlement agency.

Future Family Petitions

• Denial of future immigration petitions for family members

How much will the test cost? The lab fees will vary by lab and state. Please talk to your resettlement agency for a list and estimate on cost.

What if I can’t afford DNA kits for my entire family? Can I send them separately? Once you receive a letter that lists the family members who must be tested, all DNA kits must be purchased at the same time and each applicant must be ready to test at the same time. Please speak to your resettlement agency with any concerns.

Where will my family go to get tested? The RSC overseas will inform your family of the date and location of the DNA testing.

Where will my results be sent? And who will see them? Results will be sent directly to you and to the Refugee Processing Center (RPC). Representatives from USCIS, the State Department (PRM) and the RSC will be able to review your results.

Possible Penalties of False Information

The goal of an AOR is to reunite families; however, it is important that your family comes to the US honestly and legally. Because the new AOR is now a government document, anchors are subject to federal laws on fraud and misrepresentation and can be prosecuted. It is important that you and your family understand that information on the new AOR can be used for government purposes, including determining who may apply for US resettlement. An AOR will become a permanent part of your immigration record. False information on your AOR can affect the following:

Future Family Petitions

▪ Denial of future immigration petitions for family members

Your Immigration Status

▪ Ineligible for US Citizenship or permanent residency (Green Card)

▪ Removal proceedings for deportation from the US

Fines and Jail Time

▪ Up to 5 years in prison

▪ Fines up to $250,000

More questions? Call or stop by the IRC office for more information.