WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States already has more than 10,000 refugee cases from the Middle East currently under consideration for admittance in the first fiscal quarter of 2016, a US State Department official told reporters.
"We at the State Department have prepared the cases for more than 10,000 people," the official stated on Friday.
On Thursday, a White House spokesperson announced that President Barack Obama had directed his administration to prepare to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.
The Obama administration said they are on track to bring in 1,500 Syrian refugees by the end of fiscal year 2015 as well.
The presence of the US Refugee Admissions Program is wide-spanning with offices all around the world in such places as Nairobi, Kenya and Havana, Cuba.
"At any given time, we are processing cases in 70 or more locations worldwide," the State Department official said. "It takes 18-24 months to process case from referral to arrival in US."
The official added they have not encountered many terrorism or health concerns with the exception of a single health-related case.
"The only disease we have found in any real number is active class A contagious TB [tuberculosis]," the official said. "And no, that doesn’t preclude someone from being resettled to the United States, it just delays it."
On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that 500,000 migrants have arrived in the European Union since the beginning of 2015 as a result of the unrest and instability in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the UN has registered more than four million refugees since the Syrian crisis erupted in 2011.