Preferred Refugee Employer Program | LIRS
URGENT: Immigrant children and families affected by Hurricane Ian need your support! Donate now.

At Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, we have seen the power of meaningful employment in the lives of newly arrived refugees. A good job offers new Americans stability, independence, and a sense of purpose and belongingbut the advantages don’t stop there. Companies who are committed to hiring refugee talent and willing to create an inclusive and welcoming environment reap the benefits of a strengthened workforce and economy powered by hard-working, dedicated employees. Hiring refugees is not just good for business—it’s good for everyone. 

Why should my company hire refugees?

Refugee employees are legally authorized to work and bring a depth of experience and education to their work. Hiring refugees creates a diverse workforce with greater capacity for innovation and global perspective. Additionally, refugee employees have significantly higher retention rates and typically demonstrate outstanding work ethic and adaptability.

What does it mean to be a Preferred Refugee Employer?

Preferred Refugee Employers offer support and services that are of particular help to the refugee community. To become a PRE, a company must fulfill at least five of LIRS’s designated refugee employment best practices, including (but not limited to):

  • Free transportation or assistance purchasing a vehicle
  • Cohort model of hiring and placement
  • Refugee-specific new hire orientation sessions
  • Delineated pathway for promotion and record of advancing refugee employees
  • Established annual goal for refugee hires
  • Housing assistance
  • Childcare subsidies
  • ESOL/adult education classes
  • Vocational mentorship

What are the benefits of joining the PRE program?

PREs receive a seal from LIRS designating their status and are eligible for ongoing training and support from LIRS, as well as joint marketing opportunities. More importantly, PREs become proven pipelines for hiring and retaining refugee talent—strengthening their companies and inspiring a culture of welcome.

Ready to take the next step? Fill out our interest form and a team member will reach out to you!

If you’re interested in learning more about the refugee employment process, please visit our general refugee hiring page.

If you’d like to share information about the PRE program with others, please distribute this PDF.

Support refugees as they build their new lives in the United States!


Offer a warm welcome to refugee children and families today!