The Existing Refugee And Immigrant Screening Process Includes Multiple Reviews And Background Checks; Typically Takes 19-24 Months
The current U.S. Refugee Admissions Program involves several federal agencies and includes “screening checks for security threats, including connections to known bad actors, and past immigration or criminal violations. For Syrian applicants, [the Department of Homeland Security] conducts an additional enhanced review.” This process typically takes 18-24 months as refugees are screened more carefully than any other type of traveler to the U.S.
This video explains the many steps in this process.
In 2016 the United States accepted 84,995 refugees from around the world.