PLEASE NOTE:  There is no current application for Administrative Relief 


The CWS-RDU Immigration and Refugee Program received Recognition from the Board of Immigration Appeals in March 2011.  Our Immigration Legal Services program, which is focused primarily on refugees and asylees, has provided services to over 1000 clients since our first year of operations.  Currently, we assist with refugee and asylee green card applications, family reunification for refugees and asylees, and citizenship services for refugees, asylees, and other low-income immigrants.  Other services may be available on a case-by-case basis.

For an individual consultation, call the office at 919-680-3585 to schedule an appointment in advance.  PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE if someone is not immediately available to take your call.

**NOTE TO REFUGEES AND VOLUNTEERS:  Please DO NOT EVER give legal advice to another refugee or help them fill out any immigration forms.  Only licensed attorneys specializing in immigration law and representatives who are accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals are authorized to provide immigration legal advice.  It is ILLEGAL for those who are NOT AUTHORIZED to engage in the practice of law and unless you are trained in this area, you can harm someone’s immigration status or application for an immigration benefit by trying to help them.  Please encourage any refugee who has a question about green cards, family reunification, citizenship, or other immigration matters contact an immigration attorney or a legal representative who is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.**

What Immigration Legal Services does CWS-RDU Provide?

An Eritrean woman is reunited with her husband.

  • FAMILY REUNIFICATION: Reuniting families torn apart by conflict.  Some families are separated when a parent flees to a neighboring country, not wanting to risk bringing a spouse or children into a potentially dangerous future. Other times, very young or sick individuals are unable to make the journey.  In many other cases separation is not a choice: the family’s village is attacked, and everyone scatters.  In these situations and many others, CWS is able to provide assistance in restoring what has been torn apart –by helping refugees and asylees to bring family members to join them in the United States.  CWS represents refugee and asylee family reunification cases, assisting family members after arrival in the U.S.

    Sample of a Green Card

  • PERMANENT RESIDENCY: Although refugees enter the United States with a status that allows them to live and work here indefinitely, becoming lawful permanent residents and receiving “green cards” after living in the U.S. for one year is a milestone on their path to citizenship.  CWS represents refugees and asylees in applications for permanent residency.

Volunteer Barb helps a client study for the citizenship test

  •  CITIZENSHIP: After years of fleeing violence and living in uncertain conditions, refugees arrive in America able to begin rebuilding their lives.  Refugees and asylees are eligible to apply  for citizenship after five years of permanent residency.  Along with many other benefits, when refugees receive citizenship, they are spared an uncertain future – they finally have a place to call home.  CWS represents basic citizenship cases and cases for elderly and disabled clients.  We provide support for applicants to meet English and Civics requirements and help them to prepare for citizenship interviews.

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our Immigration Legal Services.

Click here for a one page introduction to our Immigration Legal Services Program.

For more information:

Rebecca R. Schaeffer (BIA Accredited)
CWS Immigration Services Coordinator
CWS Immigration Legal Services Office
520 S. Duke St.
Durham NC 27701
(919) 680-3585

The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT legal advice.  Consult with a BIA Accredited Representative or an attorney specializing in immigration law prior to making any application for immigration benefits.



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