Information for Afghan Nationals
This page provides information for Afghan nationals.
Individuals in the United States may apply for asylum regardless of country of nationality or current immigration status. If you have been persecuted or have a fear of future persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, you may be eligible for asylum.
The law requires applicants for asylum to apply within 1 year of their last arrival to the United States, unless they can show that they qualify for an exception to the 1-year filing deadline. You can qualify for an exception if you can show:
- There are changed circumstances materially affecting your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to your delay in filing an application for asylum; and
- You filed the application within a reasonable period of time given those circumstances.
Generally, maintaining valid status or parole until a reasonable period before filing the asylum application is considered an extraordinary circumstance. You may be eligible for the extraordinary circumstances exception to the 1-year filing deadline if you file for asylum while your parole is still valid. (Your parole will not be valid if you violate its terms.) If you file your asylum application after your parole expires, you may still qualify for an exception to the 1-year filing deadline if you filed for asylum within a reasonable period of time after your parole expired. For more information, see the One-Year Filing Deadline Lesson Plan (PDF, 545.34 KB). For more information on asylum, see the Obtaining Asylum in the United States webpage. More asylum-related information for Afghan parolees is available at Afghan Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) Parolee Asylum-Related Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have an asylum application pending with USCIS, you can check your Case Status Online. You will need the receipt number we provided you after you filed your application. For inquiries regarding pending asylum applications, you or your attorney of record should contact the asylum office with jurisdiction over the case. To find information about an asylum office, visit the USCIS Service and Office Locator.
We are expediting pending affirmative asylum applications filed by certain Afghan applicants. Under the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (PDF), we are prioritizing asylum applications filed by certain Afghan citizens and nationals, or those with no nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan, as defined in Section 2502(a) of the Act (see section Operation Allies Welcome – Expeditious Processing for Asylum Applications below for further information). Under Section 2502(c) of the Act, we will conduct the initial interview for an asylum application within 45 days of filing and, if there are no exceptional circumstances, we will complete the final adjudication within 150 days of filing.
For noncitizens who are not covered under the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (PDF), we will prioritize affirmative asylum applications within the parameters indicated on the general Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling webpage. Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request for an asylum interview, including when you have an immediate family member in danger of harm in the country of claimed persecution. Please submit any urgent interview scheduling requests in writing to the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case. To find information about an asylum office, visit the USCIS Service and Office Locator.
Operation Allies Welcome – Expeditious Processing for Asylum Applications
If you are filing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and you fall into category 1 or 2 below, you should follow the instructions below to ensure expeditious processing of your Form I-589 under Section 2502(c) of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (PDF):
- Category 1
- You are a citizen or national of Afghanistan, or you have no nationality and last habitually resided in Afghanistan;
- You were paroled into the United States between July 30, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022; and
- Your parole has not been terminated.
- Category 2
- You are a citizen or national of Afghanistan, or you have no nationality and last habitually resided in Afghanistan;
- You were paroled into the United States after Sept. 30, 2022, and
- You are the spouse or child of an individual who meets Category 1 above, or
- You are the parent or legal guardian of an individual who meets Category 1 above and who is determined to be an unaccompanied child as defined under 6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2); and
- Your parole has not been terminated.
Instructions for Expeditious Processing
When you complete your Form I-589, please complete the following additional steps:
- If you are submitting Form I-589, address the envelope according to guidance in the “Where to File” or “Special Instructions” section (whichever applies) on the webpage for Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal;
- Mark “Attn: OAW” anywhere on the front of the envelope;
- On page 1 of Form I-589, Part A.I., Item 19.c., write your current status followed by “(Parole)” in the Status field. For example, if you entered the United States with an “OAR” status, you would write “OAR (Parole)” in the Status field; and
- Include your most recent date of entry in the Date field on page 1 of Form I-589, Part A.I., Question 19c.
If you properly complete your Form I-589 and we determine that you meet the eligibility criteria for Category 1 or 2 above, we will submit your Form I-589 for expeditious processing under Section 2502(c) of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (PDF).
Circuit-Ride Locations to Conduct Interviews for Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) Asylum Applicants
If you are an Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) asylum applicant, your asylum interview might take place at a USCIS field office. The chart lists the locations where OAW asylum applicants who qualify for expeditious processing under Section 2502(c) of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (PDF) may expect to have their asylum interviews, based on where they live.
Please note that interview locations are subject to change. Your interview notice will list the exact location where you should report for your asylum interview.
Although the USCIS field offices listed in the chart host asylum interviews, field office staff cannot schedule asylum interviews or provide updates on the status of asylum applications. If you have questions about your asylum interview, contact the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case. Use the Asylum Office Locator to find your asylum office.
On March 16, 2022, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new designation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. For additional information, please see the news release.
The secretary of homeland security may designate a foreign country for TPS when conditions in the country temporarily prevent its nationals from returning safely or, in certain circumstances, when the country is unable to adequately handle the return of its nationals. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries) who are already in the United States. We may also grant TPS to eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country.
During a designated period, TPS beneficiaries (or individuals found preliminarily eligible for TPS after an initial review of their cases, called “prima facie eligible”):
- Are not removable from the United States;
- Can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD); and
- May be granted travel authorization.
Once an individual has TPS, the Department of Homeland Security cannot detain them on the basis of their immigration status in the United States.
TPS is a temporary benefit. TPS does not lead to any immigration status, including lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card). However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
- Applying for nonimmigrant status;
- Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition; or
- Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible.
PLEASE NOTE: To be granted any other immigration benefit, you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit. Applying for TPS does not affect your application for asylum, parole, or any other immigration benefit, and vice versa. If we deny your application for asylum, or any other immigration benefit, that will not affect your ability to register for TPS. However, we may deny your application for TPS on the same grounds we deny your other application.
For more information about TPS, please visit our Temporary Protected Status webpage.
To obtain a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) as an Afghan who was employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government, whether you live inside or outside the United States, you must first seek special immigrant classification by filing either Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special immigrant, with USCIS or Form DS-157, Petition for Special Immigrant Classification for Afghan SIV Applicants, with the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Effective July 20, 2022, Afghans who start the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) application process on or after July 20, 2022, will seek classification as a special immigrant with DOS by filing Form DS-157 with the application for Chief of Mission (COM) approval. For more information, see instructions on the DOS website on Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government.
Certain Afghan citizens or nationals who already started the SIV application process and received COM approval as of July 20, 2022, must still file Form I-360 with USCIS on their own behalf, with this exception: If the COM approval letter states that your signed Form DS-157 submitted with your application for COM approval is approved as a petition and you are classified as a special immigrant under INA 203(b)(4), you do not need to file Form I-360.
When to File Form I-360 with USCIS
Afghan citizens or nationals who already started the SIV application process and received COM approval on or before July 20, 2022, must still file Form I-360 with USCIS on their own behalf. For individuals in the United States with COM requests pending on July 20, 2022, please reference the chart below.
|If you are an Afghan national in the United States with a:||Then|
|COM pending and have a signed DS-157||Once COM and DS-157 are approved, file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status|
|COM pending and have an unsigned DS-157||Once COM is approved, file form I-360|
|COM pending and have no DS-157||Once COM is approved, file form I-360|
|COM approved before July 20, 2022||File Form I-360|
|Form I-360 pending with USCIS||Once Form I-360 is approved, file Form I-485|
For more information, see our Form I-360 page.
If You Live Outside the United States
If we approve your Form I-360, we will forward the approved petition to the DOS for consular processing of your SIV. For more information on getting an SIV overseas, see the Consular Processing page.
If You Live Inside the United States
If we approve your Form I-360 or DOS approves your DS-157, but you did not enter the United States on this SIV, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to obtain a Green Card through adjustment of status.
Adjustment of Status Eligibility
You may be eligible to adjust status if:
- You were inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States;
- You are physically present in the United States;
- You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa because you are the beneficiary of an approved Form I-360 or Form DS-157;
- An immigrant visa number is immediately available to you at the time you file your application. (This occurs when your priority date for your immigrant category is current. For more information, visit our Visa Availability and Priority Dates page and the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin page.); and
- You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
If you entered the United States as a refugee, you cannot adjust status as an Afghan who was employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government. You must apply as a refugee. For more information, see our Green Card for a Refugee page.
If you are applying for a Green Card after you were paroled into the United States due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and you are an Afghan national or derivative family member (spouse or unmarried child younger than 21) with an approved Form I-360 from USCIS or an approved Form DS-157 from DOS, follow the instructions below to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
To file Form I-485, you must be physically present in the United States and provide a U.S. address on your form.
- Complete a separate Form I-485 for each family member applying to adjust status.
- Application Type: In Part 2, Item 1.c., select the checkbox for “Certain Afghan or Iraqi National, Form I-360 or Form DS-157,” and in Part 2, Item 3., enter the receipt number of your approved Form I-360 immigrant petition or the case number on your COM approval letter for your Form DS-157. You can find the receipt number of your Form I-360 on your approval notice (Form I-797).
- Include a copy of your Form I-360 approval notice or COM approval letter, which also indicates approval of your Form DS-157.
- Sign your Form I-485 in Part 10, Item 6.a. USCIS cannot accept your Form I-485 if it does not have your signature.
- Filing location: You must file your application only at the USCIS Phoenix lockbox address listed below. We will accept U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries.
Attn: AFGHAN NFB (Box 21281)
2108 E. Elliot Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284-1806
- Package all Forms I-485 for your family in a single envelope.
- Complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, if you would like to receive e-notification when USCIS accepts your application.
Fee Information: Through Sept. 30, 2023, there is no fee to file Form I-485 to adjust status on the basis of classification as an Afghan special immigrant, or for any associated biometric services or to file an associated Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
The Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, Section 602(b), as amended, created a special immigrant category for Afghans who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or any successor name for such a force, in Afghanistan between Oct. 7, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2023, for a minimum of 1 year. You must have a positive recommendation or evaluation documenting your faithful and valuable service to the U.S. government. You must demonstrate you experienced or are experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of your employment by the U.S. government. Additionally, you must clear a background check and appropriate screening, as determined by the secretary of homeland security, and must be determined eligible to receive an immigrant visa and otherwise admissible to the United States for permanent residence.
On December 29, 2022, Pub. L. 117-2617 (PDF) amended the act to extend the program through Dec. 31, 2024, and to increase the total number of principal noncitizens who may receive special immigrant status to 38,500.
For more information, see the USCIS Policy Manual and the DOS Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans webpage.
Green Card Delays for Afghan Special Immigrants
We recently learned that USCIS never received paper visa packets for some Afghan nationals admitted into the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs) based on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). In the past, we relied on receiving these paper packets to issue Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). We are working with other agencies to ensure we receive the information we need in a timely manner to issue Green Cards promptly. In the meantime, we have identified specific individuals affected by the missing visa packets, and we are mailing Green Cards to the addresses we have on file for them.
- If you were admitted to the United States as an Afghan SIV LPR more than 6 months ago, and you have not received a Green Card, please contact us using the Case Inquiry webpage.
- If you are a CQ conditional immigrants or SQ immigrant affected by a missing visa packet, you may receive a USCIS Application Support Center appointment notice to submit your biometrics (photograph or fingerprints or both). It is important to attend this appointment so we can collect your biometrics and avoid additional delays issuing your Green Card.
- If you were admitted to the United States as an Afghan SIV LPR and you still have your immigrant visa paper packet, mail your packet to:
2501 S State Hwy 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Removing Conditional Status
If you are an Afghan SIV LPR admitted to the United States with a conditional status (CQ1, CQ2 or CQ3), you must call the USCIS Contact Center to make an appointment at your local USCIS field office to submit your Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, completed by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon. After we review your Form I-693 to ensure a civil surgeon properly completed it and did not identify any health-related grounds of inadmissibility, we will remove the conditions on your LPR status.
If you move, you must give us your new address within 10 days of when your address changes. For more information about changing your address, see the How to Change Your Address webpage.
If you have questions or need to update your personal information with USCIS, visit the USCIS Contact Center to connect with a USCIS representative.
USCIS offers many other online services and tools at uscis.gov to help you find the information you need.
REMINDER: If you are an Afghan parolee who received the Afghan Parole Information sheet from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival in the United States or a Notice Regarding Conditions for Parole from a U.S. embassy consular officer, your parole is subject to certain medical conditions. If you did not complete the medical requirements before traveling to the United States or at a government-run location where these vaccination services are provided, you must report compliance with these medical requirements. Report your compliance at the Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status webpage.
Afghan Parolees Employment Authorized Incident to Parole
On Nov. 21, 2022, USCIS announced that Afghans paroled into the United States under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) and certain Afghans paroled under Operation Enduring Welcome (OEW) are employment authorized incident to parole. This means that if you are an OAW or certain OEW parolee, we do not need to approve your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, before you can work in the United States.
This policy update applies to Afghan parolees whose unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, contains a class of admission of “OAR,” if their parole has not been terminated. If you are an Afghan parolee covered under section 2502(b), P.L. No. 117-43 who did not receive an “OAR” class of admission on your I-94, please contact CBP at firstname.lastname@example.org to update your class of admission, if appropriate.
For these parolees, their unexpired Form I-94 is an acceptable List A receipt that shows their identity and employment authorization for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The receipt satisfies the Form I-9 requirement for 90 days from the date of hire (or in the case of reverification, the date employment authorization expires).
After the 90-day period, parolees must present an unexpired Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or unrestricted Social Security card and acceptable List B identity document from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents (such as a state-issued driver’s license or identification card). USCIS will provide additional guidance to employers about completion of the Form I-9.
Note that a Social Security card that contains no employment restrictions is not available to parolees and individuals who are not admitted to the United States on a permanent basis. See the Social Security Administration’s Types of Social Security Cards webpage.
Individuals who received their Form I-94 at the time of their parole into the United States should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 website to view and print a copy of their Form I-94.
For more information, please see Employee Rights and Resources on I-9 Central.
Who May Apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as an Afghan Parolee
You may apply for an EAD as an Afghan parolee if you were paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or reasons of significant public benefit under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 212(d)(5) on or after July 30, 2021.
Applying for an EAD
If you are filing Form I-765 as an Afghan parolee, you may file online or by mail. If you are an Afghan national paroled into the United States due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, you do not have to pay the filing fee for your initial Form I-765 or for a replacement EAD. Beginning Dec. 5. 2022, you may file your fee exempt Form I-765 online.
To file Form I-765 online, eligible applicants must first visit my.uscis.gov to create a USCIS online account. There is no cost to create an account, which offers a variety of features, including the ability to communicate with USCIS about your application through a secure inbox.
To obtain the fee exemption when filing Form I-765 online for an initial or replacement EAD:
- In the basis of eligibility section, provide your “eligibility category”;
- For the category under which you are applying, select “c(11) Afghanistan Parolee” from the drop-down;
- Select your reason for applying as either “Initial permission to accept employment” or “Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged employment authorization document or correction of my employment authorization document NOT DUE to US Citizenship and Immigration Services error”, as appropriate; and
- Review and submit you application to receive $0 fee.
File by Mail
Mail your paper Form I-765 to the address provided on our USCIS Lockbox Filing Locations Chart for Certain Family-Based Forms page for the filing address based on where you live. Below are some tips for completing Form I-765:
- In Part 1, Reason for Applying, select “1.a., Initial permission to accept employment” or “1.b. Replacement of lost, stolen or damaged…”
- In Part 2, list your country of birth as “Afghanistan.” (Questions 19.c.) and/or your country of citizenship as “Afghanistan” (Questions 18.a. and 18.b.)
- In Part 2, Question 27, Information About Your Eligibility Category, write in “(c)(11).” This is the category number for parolees. For more information, see the Form I-765 webpage.
- Locate a copy of your Form I-94, passport, or other travel document showing you were paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or reasons of significant public benefit under INA 212(d)(5). For more information on obtaining a Form I-94, see the CBP Form I-94 webpage.
- If you do not have a passport, you can use your A-Number to retrieve your Form I-94 online at the site above by choosing “Get Most Recent I-94.” Enter your A-Number in the Passport Number field and enter “USA” in the Passport Country of Issuance field.
- Be sure to complete all sections of the form. We will reject the form if any of these fields are missing:
- Part 1 - Reason for Applying
- Part 2 - Family Name
- Part 2 - Date of Birth
- Part 2 - Address
- Part 2 - Eligibility Category
- Part 3 - Signature
- Submit Form I-765 with a copy of the Form I-94, passport, or other travel document described above.
Please note: Applications for Afghan nationals will receive priority scheduling at Application Support Centers to collect their biometrics. Organizations that are assisting applicants with their Form I-765 may submit bulk filings to USCIS.
After You File Form I-765
USCIS may require you to appear for an interview or provide biometrics (fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature) at any time to verify your identity, obtain additional information, and conduct additional background and security checks, including a check of criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), before making a decision on your Form I-765 application.
After we receive and accept your application, we will inform you in writing if you need to attend a biometric services appointment. If you do, the notice we send you will provide you the location of your local or designated USCIS application support center and the date and time of your appointment. If you do not attend your biometric services appointment, we may deny your application.
If we approve your Form I-765, we will mail your EAD to you at your address on record. You must notify USCIS within 10 days of any change in your address to ensure timely and accurate delivery of your EAD. (Notify USCIS of an address change by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card, online using the Change of Address webpage.)
To request renewal of your employment authorization or replacement of your EAD, see the Form I-765 webpage.
Please Note: Federal law requires every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the United States to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Find additional information about Form I-9 and your rights as an employee at the I-9 Central webpage.
How to request a correction to your EAD
If your EAD contains incorrect information or an error, you must submit to USCIS:
- The original card containing the error;
- A detailed explanation of the card error (such as incorrect name, date of birth, etc.);
- Your U.S. mailing address; and
- Copies of supporting documentation of the correct information.
Supporting documentation could include primary or secondary documents with your correct information. If you are submitting any of the secondary documents listed below, you should include an explanation about why primary documents are unavailable.
- Primary documents:
- Tazkira; or
- Birth certificate.
- Secondary documents:
- Driver’s license;
- Biographic information or supporting documents provided for prior USCIS or U.S. government applications or petitions, or other official records including:
- Form I-360;
- DS-157, Chief of Mission approval notice;
- Form I-130;
- Form I-730;
- U.S. visa applications (DS-160, DS-260);
- Religious or medical records containing your name and date of birth; or
- School or employment records containing your name and date of birth; or
- A notarized affidavit of birth, which should include:
- Your date of birth, place of birth, and correct spelling of your full name;
- The full names of both of your parents; and
- How the affiant knows of your birth.
Note: Confidentiality restrictions may apply to certain information on the Form I-730, depending on who submitted the information, who it relates to, and with whom it is being shared.
If you are unable to provide any of the above requested documents or notarized affidavits, provide a detailed written explanation describing why you are unable to provide them. Include the following information in your explanation:
- Your correct full name, date of birth, and place of birth; and
- Your parents’ full names, their dates of birth, and their places of birth.
You should also attest to the validity of your statement that you are unable to provide primary or secondary documentation. The attestation should state that the information in the statement you provided is valid. You must sign your attestation, but it does not need to be notarized.
Send this information to:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Attn: OAW EAD Card Corrections
P.O. Box 648003
Lee’s Summit, MO 64002
You do not have to submit a new Form I-765 or pay a fee to request a corrected card.
If the error you report is that the photograph on your card is incorrect, we may send you a notice for an appointment to have a new photograph taken at a USCIS application support center.
How to check on the status of a completed Form I-765 and EAD production
If you have not received your EAD after submitting a Form I-765, check Case Status Online or contact the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern, for information on the status of your application.
|Need to correct or update your mailing address to receive your EAD||
|Need to report non-delivery or non-receipt of your mailed EAD||
If you have questions regarding any pending application, please see the Contact Us webpage for more information.
USCIS is providing immigration services to Afghan nationals and their immediate family members relocated to the United States who require additional immigration processing after entry. Afghan nationals and their families relocated to the United States are made up of distinct groups:
|Were admitted into the CBP as a lawful permanent resident||
|Were paroled into the United States by CBP and subsequently classified as an Afghan Special Immigrant. Your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, will be stamped with the words “Special Immigrant Status (SQ/SI) Parole”||
|Were admitted into the United States as a conditional permanent resident with a CBP stamp admitting you as a CQ1, CQ2, or CQ3 class of admission (COA)||
|Were paroled into the United States by CBP||
|Were paroled into the United States by CBP||
For information about the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process for Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or the International Security Assistance Force, known as ISAF, see the Green Card for an Afghan National Who Was Employed by or on Behalf of the U.S. Government webpage.
Petitioners, beneficiaries, or attorneys of record with a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, on file who have inquiries about a pending petition for Afghan Special Immigrants may contact the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. If you are outside the U.S., call 212-620-3418 or check Case Status Online.
For inquiries regarding a pending Chief of Mission application or immigrant visa, please visit the Department of State’s Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government webpage for contact information.
You may be eligible to receive a Green Card under Section 13 of the Immigration & Nationality Act if:
- You are a noncitizen who entered the United States as an A-1, A-2, G-1, or G-2 nonimmigrant;
- You failed to maintain your A-1, A-2, G-1, or G-2 nonimmigrant status;
- Your duties were diplomatic or semi-diplomatic;
- You can demonstrate:
- Compelling reasons why you cannot return to the country represented by the government that accredited you as a diplomat; and
- That your adjustment of status would be in the national interest of the United States;
- You are a person of good moral character;
- You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence; and
- Your admission as a lawful permanent resident would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States.
For more information on Section 13 and special filing instructions for Afghan nationals who were admitted in diplomatic status, see the Section 13 webpage.
If you are an Afghan national paroled into the United States, you must notify USCIS of an address change within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories. You must give notice each time you move, even if you are moving to a temporary location. You can change your address online and update your address on any pending applications and petitions at the same time using the USCIS Online Change of Address system.
The above method of changing your address will update the address on file with USCIS for all pending applications, petitions, or requests that you include receipt numbers for on the form.
It is important to include with your address change request the receipt number for any pending cases with USCIS, so we can update the address associated with those cases. We will mail secure documents to the address on file, so it is important to include receipt numbers for all pending cases. You can find the receipt number on the receipt notice (Form I-797C) that we issued after you filed your application or petition. We send receipt notices to the address listed on the application or petition.
If you have any issues or questions about an address change request, email email@example.com. NOTE: Only use this email address if you entered the United States on or after July 30, 2021, under OAW due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, or you are (or have a family member who is) an Afghan national outside the United States with a petition or application pending with USCIS.
For information on locating legal services, please visit the Find Legal Services webpage.
If you are outside of the United States, you or someone on your behalf may be able to request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Individuals who are authorized parole may apply for employment authorization after arrival. For information about parole for Afghan nationals, see Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole (English), Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole (Pashto) or Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole (Dari).
USCIS reviews all parole requests for all nationalities to determine whether the request warrants expedited processing for an urgent or time-sensitive reason and is not expediting parole requests based on nationality alone. [For parole requests filed on behalf of Afghan nationals, USCIS is currently prioritizing the parole applications for Afghan nationals outside of Afghanistan over those who are in Afghanistan given the availability of completing processing for parole beneficiaries in a location with those individuals at a U.S. embassy or consulate, but we continue to process parole applications for individuals in Afghanistan as well.]
For questions related to pending humanitarian parole requests, please email HumanitarianParole@uscis.dhs.gov.
A refugee is a person who generally is outside their home country and has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Refugees and asylum-seekers should seek to comply with all legal requirements of the country where they are located, including registration with host governments, if required. In addition, all Afghan refugees and asylum-seekers located in third countries should register with the nearest United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office. UNHCR has the international mandate to provide protection and assistance to refugees and may be able to provide a protection document and other assistance if needed. For a small number of extremely vulnerable individuals, this could include referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) or another country's resettlement program. UNHCR will identify individuals for resettlement referral based on an assessment of their vulnerability at the time of registration.
Find information on access to USRAP at the Department of State’s Refugee Admissions webpage and USCIS’ Refugees webpage.
For Afghan nationals seeking refugee resettlement, the following priorities are available to Afghan nationals seeking access to the USRAP:
Priority-1 Individual Cases: Cases are identified and referred to the program by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a U.S. embassy, or a designated non-governmental organization.
Priority-2 Groups of special humanitarian concern: On Aug. 2, 2021, the Department of State announced a new Priority 2 (P-2) Designation for certain Afghan nationals and eligible family members. For information specific to P-2 program for Afghan nationals, please visit the Refugee Processing Center’s SIV/Afghan P-2 webpage.
Priority-3 Family Reunification: Spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, or parents of individuals already admitted to the United States as refugees or asylees are in this category.
For questions related to pending refugee cases, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may petition for certain relatives to immigrate to the United States. For more information, see the Green Card Eligibility Categories webpage.
Through Sept. 30, 2023, there is no fee to file a petition on behalf of any Afghan national (beneficiary) with a visa immediately available. Please include your relative’s country of birth on Part 4, Item 7., of the Form I-130. For the fees for petitions filed at a U.S. embassy or consulate, contact the applicable embassy or consulate.
Petitioners and attorneys of record with a Form G-28 on file who have inquiries about a pending Form I-130 petition for family-based immigration may contact the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833), Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. If you are outside the United States, call 212-620-3418 or check your Case Status Online.
For Spouses and Children of SIV LPRS
Some Afghan lawful permanent residents who adjusted status as Afghan special immigrants (SIV LPRs) under the OAW effort may seek follow-to-join immigration benefits for their spouses and children outside the United States. Use Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, to request further action on a previously approved application or petition. A spouse or unmarried child younger than 21 years old who is following to join a principal immigrant may receive the same special immigrant classification as a principal Afghan special immigrant. There is no filing fee for an Afghan special immigrant filing Form I-824.
For Spouses and Children of a Refugee or Asylee
If you are a principal refugee admitted to the United States within the past 2 years or a principal asylee who was granted asylum within the past 2 years, you may use Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, to request follow-to-join immigration benefits for your qualifying spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age. This is considered “derivative” refugee or asylee status because your beneficiary will be deriving their status from you after you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or received a grant of asylum. This petition has a 2-year filing deadline. However, in some cases, USCIS may waive the 2-year filing deadline for humanitarian reasons. For more information, see the Form I-730 webpage.
The U.S. government may be able to offer departure assistance for your eligible family members who are outside the United States if you are an Afghan national who entered the United States as a parolee and:
- You are currently a parolee; or
- You were paroled into the United States and later granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
You may apply for your lawful spouse* and your unmarried children under the age of 21 to enter the United States as refugees.
Visit the Department of State’s Afghanistan Family Reunification webpage and navigate to the If You Are a Parolee section for more detailed information. This section has a link to Form DS-4317, Family Reunification Assistance for Afghan Parolees' Immediate Family Members Outside the United States, which you may use to apply for your eligible family members.
To complete Form DS-4317, you will need:
- An Employment Authorization Document (EAD); or
- Your USCIS number (A-Number) and other documents, such as your Form I-94. For more information on locating a Form I-94, see the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 webpage for parolees.
You will also need the following documents for your lawful spouse* and unmarried children under 21 who are outside the United States:
- Marriage certificate – for your lawful spouse*;
- Birth certificate – for each child under the age of 21;
- Tazkira – for each family member; and
- Passport– for each family member.
*Please note that, generally, we will consider only the first lawful marriage of a polygamous marriage valid for U.S. immigration purposes, unless you provide a divorce certificate or death certificate as evidence that the first marriage has ended, along with a marriage certificate for any subsequent marriage. For more information, see the Polygamous Marriages section.
If the U.S. government can help your lawful spouse* and unmarried children under 21 depart Afghanistan, your family members will travel to a country outside the United States where they can be considered for refugee status through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The Department of State will contact you with departure options for your family members after receiving your Form DS-4317. If the U.S. government helps your family members depart Afghanistan, they will only be able to enter the United States if U.S. immigration officials approve their entry.
You should not travel to Afghanistan to accompany your family members. The U.S. government does not require you to be in Afghanistan to help your family members depart and will not help your family members depart more quickly if you are there.
Filing Form DS-4317 will not prevent you from filing a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, if you are granted asylum or refugee status in the United States. If we approve your Form I-730 for a beneficiary who is in Afghanistan, that beneficiary may be able to receive relocation assistance and continued processing in a third country for ultimate relocation in the United States.
USCIS generally requires a fee to process the associated immigrant visa packets and produce Green Cards. Through Sept. 30, 2023, USCIS will not charge an immigrant fee to Afghan nationals.
We encourage you to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and following the form instructions. If you request an SSN in Part 2 (Items 13.a.-17.b.) of your Form I-765, and we approve your application for employment authorization, USCIS will electronically send that data to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SSA will assign you an SSN and issue you a Social Security card. SSA will mail your Social Security card directly to the address you provide on Form I-765. If you completed Form I-765 at a U.S. government reception center or safe haven, you might have the “International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Washington, D.C.” as your address of record. IOM is taking steps to deliver both EADs and Social Security cards.
If you do not request an SSN on your Form I-765, or you did not complete Form I-765 at a U.S. government reception center or safe haven, you can apply for an SSN after you receive your EAD from USCIS using the instructions on SSA’s Social Security Number and Card webpage.
Polygamy is the religious practice or historical custom of having more than 1 spouse at the same time. Polygamous marriages are legal under Afghan law, but they are illegal in all states in the United States. U.S. law does not recognize polygamous marriages. Individuals should not continue to practice polygamy in the United States.
Generally, we will only consider the first marriage of a polygamous marriage valid for immigration purposes. If you continue a polygamous marriage you were in before you came to the United States or begin a new polygamous marriage in the United States, we may deny your immigration application or petition.
If you have questions about polygamous marriage and U.S. immigration law, contact your local resettlement agency. If you need to find legal services, please visit the Find Legal Services webpage.
In general, an unaccompanied child is a person under the age of 18 who does not have lawful immigration status in the United States and who does not have a parent or legal guardian in the United States who can provide care and physical custody.
For more information on available programs and services to support such children, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Hotline for Unaccompanied Children and Sponsors: 800-203-7001, information@ORRNCC.com, or visit ORR’s webpages on the Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program and the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM).
There are many forms of abuse and exploitation, including domestic violence, forced marriage and human trafficking. In the United States, there are laws that may help you avoid or escape an abusive situation or forced marriage.
- Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner, parent, or child. Domestic abuse can involve physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or psychological abuse or threats.
- Forced Marriage means a marriage with 1 or more elements of force, fraud, or coercion and where 1 or both parties do not or cannot consent to the marriage. Consent means that you have given your full, free, and informed agreement to marry your intended spouse and to the timing of the marriage. Forced marriage may occur when family members or others use physical or emotional abuse, threats, or deception to force you to marry without your consent. For additional information on forced marriage, please visit the Forced Marriage webpage.
- Human Trafficking involves exploiting someone to compel a commercial sex act or forced labor. Generally, this exploitation must involve force, fraud, or coercion to be considered human trafficking. However, if someone under 18 years old is induced to perform a commercial sex act, that is considered human trafficking even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion.
If you have experienced forced marriage, domestic violence, human trafficking, or other abuse, please contact the resources below to receive free help in your language:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233, 800-787-3224 (TTY), www.ndvh.org
- National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-4673, www.rainn.org
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 800-843-5678, www.missingkids.com
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: 800-394-2255, 800-211-7996 (TTY), https://victimsofcrime.org
- National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888, Text: 233733
As an Afghan parolee who received the Afghan Parole Information sheet from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when you arrived in the United States or a Notice Regarding Conditions for Parole from a U.S. embassy consular officer, your parole is subject to certain medical conditions.
If you did not either complete these medical requirements before you traveled to the United States or complete a medical exam at a U.S. government reception center or safe haven after you arrived in the United States, you must receive the required testing and vaccinations elsewhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Department Directories webpage lists state, local, and territorial health departments, with more information on finding a vaccination location near you.
Once you have received the required testing and vaccinations, you must complete the certification at the Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status webpage. Each individual parolee must complete the attestation.
If you are an Afghan national relocated to the United States, the table below explains your specific medical requirements.
Immigration Medical Examination requirements for Afghan nationals
|If you...||And …||Then...|
|Were paroled into the United States under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), and as a condition of your parole, you completed medical requirements at a government-run facility after you arrived in the United States||Your medical screening was documented on Form I-693||
Keep the copy of the original Form I-693 given to you at the government-run facility for future use. Form I-693 retains its evidentiary value for 2 years after the date the civil surgeon signed Form I-693.
If you did not receive a copy of your Form I-693, ask your local health department or contact USCIS to Request Records Through the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act.
|Your medical screening was documented on Form SF-600||
Keep the copy of the Form SF-600 you received. You can submit it to the civil surgeon who completes your Form I-693 to show vaccinations and testing for tuberculosis (TB), if applicable.
If you did not receive a copy of your Form SF-600 or other medical documents (including birth certificates for children born at), ask your local health department or submit DD Form 2870, Authorization for Disclosure of Medical or Dental Information, with a copy of your identification or passport. You can email your DD Form 2870 to email@example.com or mail it to:
Defense Health Agency
|Were paroled into the United States under OAW||You did not complete medical requirements either as a condition of your parole before arrival in the United States or at a government-run facility after arrival in the United States||
You must obtain the required vaccinations and TB testing listed on your conditions of parole. If you need help finding a medical provider to meet these requirements, visit the CDC Health Department Directories webpage.
After you meet these requirements, you must enter your attestation at the Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status webpage.
|Were paroled into the United States after USCIS adjudicated your parole request and you received a boarding foil for travel from a U.S. embassy or consulate||You did not complete all the medical requirements through a panel physician before arrival in the United States||
You must complete all remaining medical requirements listed on the USCIS Notice Regarding Conditions for Parole, which may include required vaccinations and TB testing, within 60 days of arrival in the United States.
If you need help finding a medical provider to meet these requirements, visit the CDC Health Department Directories webpage.
After you meet these requirements, you must enter your attestation at the Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status webpage.
|Were paroled into the United States under OAW, and you completed an immigration medical examination before you arrived in the United States||You filed your application for adjustment of status, and no evidence from your immigration medical examination or adjustment of status interview suggests you acquired a Class A medical condition after you entered the United States||You do not have to repeat the immigration medical examination or submit Form I-693 when you adjust your status. See USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 8, Part B, Chapter 3 for more information.|
|Were admitted into the United States as a conditional permanent resident with a CBP stamp admitting you as a CQ1, CQ2, or CQ3 Class of Admission (COA)||You believe you have already completed the immigration medical examination, either outside the United States with a panel physician (as documented on the appropriate DS forms) or at a government-run facility in the United States (as documented on Form I-693)||Submit proof of your immigration medical examination. Call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time to request an in-person appointment at the local field office with jurisdiction over your place of residence.|
|You have not yet completed an immigrant medical examination||You must complete an immigration medical examination (documented on Form I-693) within 30 days of admission as a conditional permanent resident. A USCIS-designated civil surgeon must perform the examination. To find a civil surgeon near you, visit our Find a Doctor website.|
|Were admitted into the United States as a lawful permanent resident||You completed your immigration medical examination outside the United States before you arrived||You have already completed the medical requirements to obtain lawful permanent resident status. Continue to follow CDC guidelines. If you were told you must get additional treatment, follow up with your health department.|
If you are an Afghan parolee in the United States, beware of individuals asking for personal information. Our “Information for Afghan Nationals” webpage offers complete information on what you need to do as a parolee. When reviewing an email, always remember:
- USCIS does not routinely send emails to inform you that you have been approved for a diversity visa, immigrant visa, nonimmigrant visa, or any other type of immigration benefit, except in certain situations.
- Email addresses from the U.S. government always end in (.gov).
- If you did not enter a physical address because it is not safe for you to disclose it, then you may get emails from uscis.gov. Please always check the sender information to make sure it ends in (.gov).
- USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual or pay fees other than through your myUSCIS account. Read the Payments by Phone or Email section on our Common Scams page.
- Afghan Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) Parolee Asylum-Related Frequently Asked Questions
- Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole
- Green Card for an Afghan Who Was Employed by or on Behalf of the U.S. Government
- Refugee Information
- Asylum Information
- DHS Operations Allies Welcome
- HHS Afghan Assistance Resources
- REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions
Employment Information Regarding Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Holders and Parolees: A fact sheet on protections for Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders and parolees under INA's anti-discrimination provision. Also available in Dari and Pashto.
- How to Create a USCIS Online Account (Pashto and Dari) (PDF, 218.37 KB)
- Applying for Asylum as an Afghan National (PDF, 205.75 KB)
- Applying for Asylum as an Afghan National (Pashto) (PDF, 445.36 KB)
- Applying for Asylum as an Afghan National (Dari) (PDF, 435.48 KB)
- Lawful Immigration Pathways for Eligible Afghan Nationals Residing in the U.S. (PDF, 178.12 KB)
- Lawful Immigration Pathways for Eligible Afghan Nationals Residing in the U.S. (Pashto) (PDF, 228.22 KB)
- Lawful Immigration Pathways for Eligible Afghan Nationals Residing in the U.S. (Dari) (PDF, 205.13 KB)
- OAW SIV Classification Welcome Center Flyer (PDF, 122.88 KB)
- OAW SIV Classification Welcome Center Flyer (Pashto) (PDF, 195.14 KB)
- OAW SIV Classification Welcome Center Flyer (Dari) (PDF, 189.33 KB)
- OAW AR-11-Outreach Flyer (PDF, 103.24 KB)
- PASHTO OAW AR-11 Outreach Flyer (PDF, 201.2 KB)
- DARI OAW AR-11 Outreach Flyer (PDF, 200.75 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parole into the United States (PDF, 146.7 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parole into the United States (Dari) (PDF, 318.02 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parole into the United States (Pashto) (PDF, 313.87 KB)
- Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals (PDF, 279.92 KB)
- Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals (Dari) (PDF, 277.53 KB)
- Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals (Pashto) (PDF, 287.88 KB)