Community Partners

Denver Asylum Seekers Program - FAQ

The Denver Asylum Seekers Program will provide comprehensive, long-term support to people who were in the city’s Newcomer Program shelter system on April 10, 2024. All program participants are asylum seekers who are not immediately eligible for employment authorization. This means they must wait at least 180 days after applying for asylum to receive work authorization.

To access the program, eligible individuals will enroll in an innovative pre-work authorization readiness program called WorkReady. There they can collaborate with case managers to ensure they are moving on the right track and be connected with unpaid workforce training opportunities via partnerships with non-profits, local host businesses, educational institutions and training organizations. The program also includes access to language instruction, career pathway explorations, industry-recognized credential training and work-based learning opportunities.

Individuals in the Denver Asylum Seekers Program will be provided with free legal services to file their asylum applications, and while waiting for their work permits, participants will receive rental and food assistance for six months.  The Denver Asylum Seekers Program is limited to people within the city’s hotel shelter system or those receiving transitional housing support from certain city nonprofit partners as of April 10, 2024.

Individuals arriving in Denver after April 10 will be provided short-term shelter as well as assistance securing onward travel to another destination where they may connect with existing support networks or available resources. Newcomers who remain in Denver may utilize local and community support or connect with family or friends in the area.

A flowchart details what services are available to Newcomers, depending on their status and what services they have already received (and when) in the City and County of Denver.

 

Denver Asylum Seekers Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for the program? 

The Denver Asylum Seekers Program is limited to people within the city’s hotel shelter system as well as those receiving transitional housing support from certain city nonprofit partners as of April 10, 2024. Additionally, this program is built for individuals who wish to apply for asylum and who did not enter the U.S. through the CBP One app. Those eligible for enrollment will be personally notified.

The city has put a lot of resources into assisting people who entered the country through the CBP One app. Do they qualify for the Denver Asylum Seekers Program?

This program was designed for individuals who plan to seek asylum and have no other path towards federal work authorization and, as a result, have a six-month wait for approval. 

Individuals in shelter on or prior to April 10, 2024 who entered the U.S. through the CBP One App process should finish out their shelter stay, take advantage of a city-led work authorization clinic, and connect with one of the city’s nonprofit partners to receive initial housing assistance. This process provides newcomers the tools they need to move toward self-sustainability. Denver is proud to have supported more than 1,600 people with applying for work authorization and will continue to hold clinics in the future. 

Can I enroll in the program now? What about in a couple of months? 

The Denver Asylum Seekers Program is currently only available to the specific list of people who were staying in the City’s shelter system on April 10, 2024. Those eligible for enrollment in the program will be personally notified.  

We will reevaluate capacity at a later date. No changes to the program, or available capacity, are expected at this time. 

Can I enroll in an asylum clinic? 

Applying for asylum is an extremely involved, time-consuming process that can require extensive legal expertise. At this time, city-sponsored asylum clinics are intended for those participating in the Denver Asylum Seekers Program. If, at a later date, there is capacity to add additional participants to clinics the city will communicate that information publicly.  

What is WorkReady Denver? 

WorkReady Denver is a key component of the Denver Asylum Seekers Program that will provide unpaid job-readiness training, English language training, financial literacy, necessary certifications, and more to individuals while they await the ability to apply for federal work authorization. Denver will partner with local host businesses throughout the roughly six-month program, with the ultimate goal of “graduating” participants into the workforce at its conclusion.

Where will people participating in this program live?

Apartments. Nonprofits partnering with the city will assist asylum seekers in securing available units. 

If people can’t work, how will they feed themselves? 

Participants will be provided with debit cards that can be used to purchase food or other essential items. The amount provided will be based on family size and need. 

What about transportation? 

At least one adult member of each household will be provided with an RTD pass for transportation. RTD will also provide free or reduced access to transportation for children. 

Can someone be removed from this program? 

Yes. Behavioral issues can be grounds for removal. We will also work with participants to ensure they are committed to the core tenants of the program, which include regular workforce training and development. We will, however, be flexible and take extenuating circumstances into account.  

Will the program provide ADA accommodations? 

Yes. 

This program is expansive. Why is it necessary? 

The newcomers currently in our shelter system face significant barriers to success, and none more so than the lengthy wait and arduous process they must endure to receive federal work authorization. Through this effort we will assist in the complex and time-intensive process of completing an asylum application and provide necessary housing and financial stability while newcomers forge their own path toward self-sustainability.  

We’ve heard a lot about the city providing newcomers with case management. What is case management? 

While participants in the Denver Asylum Seekers Program all share the same barrier to supporting themselves through legal work, they are also individuals like anyone else with unique challenges and needs. Case management pairs participants in the program with resources to navigate difficult and emotional circumstances so that individuals make the right decisions for them. 

Who will provide case management?  

The city will partner with trusted nonprofits to provide case management to those in the Denver Asylum Seekers Program as well as those arriving after April 10, 2024. 

What is the city doing for people arriving in Denver after April 10, 2024? 

Denver will continue to provide a short-term stay in a congregate site for new arrivals as well as assistance with travel to destinations where individuals may connect with family, friends or available resources.  

How long is the short-term shelter stay for new arrivals? 

Up to 72 hours. We will ensure new arrivals are provided on-site case management as well as access to wi-fi, regular meals, and medical attention.  

What can the community do to support newcomers? 

Those interested in donating to the Newcomer Fund should consider doing so. The Newcomer Fund provides significant support to nonprofits on the frontline of the response with housing, work authorization, and more. 

Nonprofits have already done so much to support newcomers with housing. How can we ensure families are making the rent on time and avoiding eviction? 

Eviction support will not be needed for anyone participating in the Denver Asylum Seekers Program as their rent will be covered for the duration of the roughly six-month process.

Integration Opportunities (Training and Support Services)

Nonprofits, educators, and businesses: If you have identified training or support services for the migrants that promote integration opportunities in the Denver metro area, please connect with: 

Servicios de la Raza
3131 W. 14th Ave.
303-458-5851 | info@servisiosdelaraza.org

El Centro Humanitario
303-292-4115 | info@centrohumanitario.org

VIVE Wellness
1620 E. 36th Ave.
720-440-1235 | info@vivewellness.org


Resource Guides for Newcomers

The purpose of this guide is to provide information on programs and services in the City and County of Denver for newcomers, immigrants and refugees to better assist individuals and organizations access them regardless of immigration status. Listing an agency in this guide does not signify an endorsement by the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) nor does the inclusion of the agency signify an endorsement of us.

If you need to make an update to this list, please email: mcdoc_pio@denvergov.org.

Please note: this resource guide is not updated on a daily basis. We appreciate your patience as we process requests for updates to this document.

Download the resource guides by clicking or tapping on the links below. You can also scan the QR codes below with your smart phone.

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Scan the QR code above to download the Resource Guide in Spanish | Escanee el código QR de arriba para descargar la Guía de recursos en español


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Scan the QR code above to download the Resource Guide in English | Escanee el código QR de arriba para descargar la Guía de recursos en inglés