Course Summary
Credit Type:
Organization's ID:
4.5 weeks (200 hours)
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 National Security


The course objective is to provide newly hired Refugee Officers (and other staff throughout USCIS who will be adjudicating Refugee applications) with three weeks of specialized instruction for refugee adjudications. Instructors teach and test trainees using a comprehensive, carefully designed curriculum with a focus on refugee law, interviewing techniques, analysis, and procedures. Specialized training for Refugee Officers is crucial to our efforts to achieve quality. RAD directly oversees and administers all aspects of RDOTC and devotes a number of headquarters staff to training matters. The 10-day IFT period is the final training requirement for all refugee officers who have completed RDOTC. IFT is not graded but students are provided evaluative feedback and are expected to progress throughout the training period to timely complete increasing numbers of cases of greater complexity. The In Field Trainer to student ratio is 1:3 so the trainer is able to provide full-time hands-on guided instruction on a students' adjudication of their assigned refugee cases. This period also serves as a form of evaluation of the RDOTC classroom training as trainers are able to ensure that students are learning during the coursework the foundational skills and knowledge they need to do their work in the field.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop a legally sufficient record that supports an applicant's claim based on one of the fives protected grounds (race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and/or membership in a particular social group), and properly adjudicate and document the determination
  • Identify the specific factors that must be taken into consideration when adjudicating claims involving gender and/or the violation of societal norms associated with gender, family composition/dynamics/relationships, and any health issues of applicants
  • Examine terrorism-related inadmissibility ground (TRIG) indicators, elicit all relevant information from an applicant, determine whether an exemption to a TRIG inadmissibility is available (where appropriate), document TRIG-related findings in the file, and properly analyze the facts and relevant law to make a legally sufficient decision on the applicant's admissibility/eligibility for protection, and additionally, apply appropriate policies to determine if the case cannot be resolved in the field, and thus warrants further review at headquarters in order to resolve the TRIG concern
  • Identify national security (NS) indicators and concerns, elicit all relevant information from an applicant, and properly adjudicate the case to determine if the case warrants further review at headquarters in order to resolve the NS concern
  • Research relevant country of origin information in order to prepare for, interview, and adjudicate requests for refugee status and other adjudications in the RAIO directorate (i.e. other immigration benefits such as follow-to-join (I-730) petitions, waiver of the grounds of excludability (I-602), or Lautenberg Specter claims)
  • Practice a high level of communication with circuit ride team leadership and colleagues, particularly regarding the status of each interview, whether any complicated or novel issues arise during an interview, or whether any issues for a case may impact t
  • Demonstrate a successful understanding and accurate procedural adjudication of the Form I-590 (Registration for classification as a refugee) for each applicant on each case
  • Elicit all relevant information in a non-adversarial manner to correctly adjudicate a claim or request for refugee resettlement
  • Evaluate evidence and the overall credibility of the applicant to determine whether an applicant meets his or her burden of proof to be eligible for the requested relief based on the appropriate evidentiary standards, assess their credibility, and articulate appropriate reasons supporting positive or negative credibility determinations
  • Collect testimonial, country conditions research, documentary, and other evidence, and analyze all relevant information to correctly determine when an applicant, who is otherwise a refugee, is ineligible for a grant of refugee status because he or she was involved in the persecution of others on account of a protected ground

General Topics:

  • RAD overview, mission, and core values
  • Overview of USRAP, access, processing priorities, and case composition
  • U.S. laws, policies, and procedures related to refugee adjudications
  • Interviewing techniques and eliciting testimony
  • Refugee case file contents, review and handling: Form I-590 and interviewing derivatives
  • Legal analysis, decision making, assessment writing, and notification
  • Fraud detection and national security
  • Credibility determinations and discretionary grounds for denial
  • Inadmissibility grounds and waivers of inadmissibility
  • Re-interview guidance and RFRs (Requests for Review
  • Other types of adjudications: I-730s) following to join petitions for derivative asylees and refugees and Lautenberg specter adjudications
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Case Studies
  • Classroom Exercise
  • Discussion
  • Laboratory
  • Learner Presentations
  • Lectures
  • Practical Exercises

Methods of Assessment:

  • Case Studies
  • Examinations
  • Performance Rubrics (Checklists)
  • Presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Written Papers

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials