Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates (VIAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Burlington, Vermont. The organization, formerly known as Vermont Refugee Assistance (VRA), was founded in 1987 to support asylum seekers fleeing civil wars in Central America and seeking protection in Canada.
Since then, this legal services organization has helped thousands of asylum seekers and refugees from all over the world. VIAA assists those seeking asylum in the U.S., those who are detained in Vermont jails and provides general immigration legal assistance for indigent individuals. VIAA is primarily an immigration legal services agency. VIAA also seeks to increase U.S. citizen understanding of and participation in regional, national, and international refugee, asylum and immigration issues. The organization’s staff have decades of experience, are fully BIA accredited representatives, and are well respected by USCIS, ICE, local and state law enforcement, and regional and national immigration attorneys. Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates is a recognized agency under the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Since 2005, VIAA has been committed to developing a program to support the needs of survivors of torture living in Vermont. In 2008 this became a reality and VIAA is now actively engaged in the development of NESTT – the New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma Program – together with our co-founders and partners at the Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Center at the University of Vermont.
In 2009, Vermont Refugee Assistance changed its name to Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates (VIAA) – a name which more accurately reflects the developing focus of the organization’s work.
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