Are you a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holder or refugee who recently resettled to the United States and planning to move to a new state? Be aware that if you move, you will not be able to transfer your case to a new resettlement agency and will lose the ability to receive Reception and Placement benefits.


The resettlement agency assigned to you helps ensure you start a successful life in the United States. They will help you find appropriate housing, access financial assistance, food assistance, and other public benefits, enroll in free medical insurance and healthcare services, enroll your children in school, and access employment services.


Before you move, contact the resettlement agency you were assigned to in order to explore your benefits options. For more information, message us. You can also contact the Virtual Resettlement Line at +1 (212) 551-3010 or, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm EST.


Before you decide to move, you should also:


Understand Access to Public Benefits

Public benefits vary by state and your current benefits likely won’t travel with you. Most benefits are state-specific, and you must reapply once you move. This includes health insurance, cash assistance, and food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps).


Have an Employment Plan

Moving without employment is risky as a job search can take time and leave you without dependable income. You also won’t be able to rent a new home without proof of income. You can start searching for jobs using websites like:,, and You can also reach out to a local American Job Center. Find the closest location to you by visiting this link:


To learn more about employment in the United States, please watch this previous Settle In live event. During the event, we discussed the benefits of working, different types of employment, what resources are available to newcomers, and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. We also provided some resume resources.


Consider Your Current Housing Exit Strategy

If you have a lease agreement and leave before the lease ends, you may have to pay additional months of rent and you may lose your security deposit. If you break your lease and fail to pay what you legally owe to your landlord, your credit score could be negatively impacted. Watch this video to learn more about credit and why you need it: It is also important to remember that you may need a referral to rent in another state, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your landlord.


Secure Housing in Your New State

Finding affordable housing is currently a challenge in every state in the U.S. In many towns and cities, this lack of housing has even been described as a crisis. So, it is important to carefully research the availability of housing you can afford and the cost of living in the location where you would like to move. You will likely have to show proof of employment in order to secure a place to live, and know that the process of finding a suitable home in a new state can be lengthy and challenging. To avoid finding yourself without a place to live, secure your new housing in advance.


Notify United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) of Your Change of Address

Remember, by law, you must update your address with USCIS within 10 days of moving. The government uses this address to send you important information and documents regarding your immigration status. For step-by-step information on how to change your address online using Form AR-11, visit this Settle In article: