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5 Top Tips to Find a Job for Refugees

Finding a job is probably one of the most important, top priorities for immigrants and refugees when they arrive in the United States. And it can also be one of the most challenging as well. Between language barriers, lack of professional network, not to mention visa and work permits, securing employment is not easy. 

Luckily, there are so many resources available that support the refugee and immigrant community in securing a job. In this article, we’re going to share some tips and resources for refugee job seekers. But first, let’s go over some basic information.

Why do refugees struggle to find jobs? 

Refugees may find it difficult or, at the very least, overwhelming to secure employment upon arriving in the United States. There are various reasons why this can be challenging, including:

  • Language barriers: When first arriving in a new country, one of the biggest challenges is learning the language. And some refugees may not speak English at all upon arrival. And even for those who do speak the language, it can be difficult to understand the accent, the culture, and usage of certain words. With a little time and practice, this will get easier. But of course, it is a challenge in the beginning. 

  • Economic challenges: While you may come from an accomplished background in your home country, in many ways it can feel like starting from the ground up when you arrive in a new country. Whether that be for the language barrier or a lack of professional network, securing a good wage can be another challenge for refugees in a new country. 

  • Lack of network: Speaking of professional networks, another challenge is often the fact that people who are new in the country do not have connections, or at least not as many as they do in their home country. This is something that takes time to build, but it can definitely make it hard when you need to start building trust and referrals with people in the community and referrals.

How can a refugee get a job?

To work in the United States, the first requirement for a refugee is to prove they are authorized to work:

  • Refugees are typically authorized to work as part of their status, and this is documented through the Form I-94, which is issued at the port of entry.

  • With the Form I-94, refugees can apply for a Social Security card using this form along with a government-issued ID that includes a photo. The Social Security card is then used to demonstrate work authorization to potential employers.

Once the necessary documents are in order, you can begin your job hunt, which leads us to our top tips and resources for finding a job as a refugee in the US.

5 Resources for Refugee Job Seekers 

  1. Language learning 

If you are not fluent in English or need to improve your language skills to secure a job, there are numerous resources available to help you. Many organizations offer free language classes and there are volunteers dedicated to assisting refugees in learning the language. Learning English will not only help you in finding a job but also in understanding and integrating into the local culture and community.

2. Organizations 

Look into organizations that are specifically aimed at helping refugees find employment. For instance, one amazing resource is Upwardly Global, a free program that assists immigrants and refugees in returning to their professional fields. You can learn more about their services at Upwardly Global.

3. Networking events 

Attend networking events in your city to meet other professionals and people from various industries. This is a great opportunity to build your professional network, especially if you have a specific field of interest or a professional background. Networking can not only help you feel more connected to your professional community but also put you in a position to receive job referrals.

4. Employment services 

There are other employment services for refugees and immigrants that you can utilize. At Equity, we're proud to provide comprehensive employment services for refugees, which include resume writing, job search assistance, interview skills training, and linking job seekers with potential employers.

5. Community outreach 

Finally, get involved in your new community. It might feel intimidating at first, especially when you are new, but volunteering or participating in community events can help you start building trust and feeling more at ease in your new environment. The more active and involved you are, the better your chances of securing a job and feeling comfortable in your new home.

Find a Job as a Refugee With Top Tips

There you have: Our 5 top tips on how to secure employment as a refugee. Embrace the tools and resources available to you both online and in your city, as they are designed to ease your transition and enhance your ability to find meaningful employment.

Remember, perseverance and engagement with your new community are as crucial as the practical steps outlined here. As you integrate and connect with others, opportunities will open up, paving the way for a successful and fulfilling career path.

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