Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees

About MORA

The Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees (MORA) coordinates and administers services to federally-recognized refugee populations to help them build new lives in the United States. After protection has been granted and an individual has been resettled or established residence in Maryland, MORA’s network of public and private service providers provide a variety of support services to eligible clients, including employment services, transitional financial assistance, health assistance, medical screenings, English language and vocational training, case management, youth programming, and more. Such programs and services promote early economic self-sufficiency for eligible refugee populations, and provide vital support to local stakeholders and service providers to create an inclusive and welcoming resettlement environment in which refugee populations thrive by achieving economic and social well-being and advancing integration efforts.

Eligible individuals who have completed the federal resettlement process (for refugees and SIV-holders from Afghanistan, the State Department Reception & Placement program) are able to access services through its partners, in particular national Resettlement Agency affiliates and others listed on the Community Resources page.

For more information, see the MORA brochure and other materials below.

Who are Refugees and Asylees?

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a refugee is an individual who has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Individuals who meet this definition may be considered for either refugee status under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the United States, or asylum status under Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further includes the following list of groups as being eligible for refugee resettlement program benefits and services along with other federal benefits and services:

  • Refugees or individuals paroled as refugees
  • Asylees or individuals paroled as asylees
  • Cuban and Haitian Entrants
  • Certain Amerasians
  • Lawful Permanent Residents (with previous refugee status)
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minors
  • Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant (SI) Visa Holders
  • Afghans who receive SI/SQ or Humanitarian Parole (per Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022)

MORA – Brochure

MORA – Fact Sheets