Information for Afghan Nationals
This page provides information for Afghan nationals.
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. For more information about TPS, please visit our Temporary Protected Status webpage.
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 are required to report compliance with these medical requirements. You should report your compliance at Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status | USCIS.
For all Afghan parolees seeking to work, USCIS must approve your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, before you can work legally in the United States.
Who May Apply for Employment Authorization as an Afghan Parolee
You may apply for employment authorization as an Afghan parolee if:
- You are in parole status based on being 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 Initial Employment Authorization
If you are filing your first Form I-765 as an Afghan parolee, please follow the directions below. There is no fee for your first initial Form I-765.
- Complete Form I-765 (08/25/20 edition).
- In Part 1, Reason for Applying, select “1.a., Initial permission to accept employment.”
- In Part 2, Item Number 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 Customs and Border Protection (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.
Where to File and Fee Information
Mail your initial Form I-765 with the above evidence and information to the address below:
USCIS WESTERN FORMS CENTER
ATTN: OAW I-765
10 Application Way
Montclair, CA 91763-1350
Fee Information: Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan do not have to pay the filing fee for their initial Form I-765.
Please note: Applications for Afghan nationals will receive priority scheduling at application support centers to capture 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 Employment Authorization Document (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 place 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.
|Completed Form I-765 at a safe haven, and USCIS mailed your EAD but you have not received it||
|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 a pending application for an EAD or employment authorization, 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 United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (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.
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.
You must apply for asylum within 1 year of the date of your last arrival in the United States, unless you can show:
- Changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to the delay in filing; and
- You filed within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances.
Generally, maintaining parole until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application will be considered an extraordinary circumstance under the regulations. 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.
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 a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and you fall into a category 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 a 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., Question 19c, 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).
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 residing in the U.S. longer than 30 days, you must report your physical address in the United States. 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. You must report a change of address within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: Only use this email address if you entered the United States on or after July 30, 2021 due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan under Operation Allies Welcome, 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 USCIS’ Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole page in English, Pashto or 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 to 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 noncitizen 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.
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 U.S. as refugees or asylees are in this category.
For questions related to pending refugee cases, please email email@example.com.
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.
In addition, 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 the Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Petition, to request follow-to-join immigration benefits for a qualifying spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age. This is considered “derivative” refugee or asylee status since your beneficiary will be deriving their status from you after you were admitted to the U.S. as a refugee or received a grant of asylum. This petition has a 2-year filing deadline, however, in some cases, USCIS may grant a waiver of the 2-year filing deadline for humanitarian reasons. For more information, see the Form I-730 webpage.
Petitioners and attorneys of record with a Form G-28 on file who have inquiries about a pending Form I-130 or Form I-730 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.
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 13a-17.b) of your Form I-765, and your application is approved, USCIS will electronically transmit 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 a 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.
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/or 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 is a marriage that takes place without the consent of one or both people in 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
|Were paroled into the United States under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) and you completed medical requirements as a condition of your parole at a government-run facility after arrival in the United States, which was documented on either Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, or an SF-600, Chronological Record of Medical Care||
|Were paroled into the United States under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), and 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.||
|Were paroled into the United States under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), and you completed an immigration medical examination before you arrived in the United States.||
|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)||
|Completed your immigration medical examination outside the United States, were admitted into the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and may already have your Green Card||
If you are an Afghan parolee who received the Afghan Parole Information sheet from CBP upon arrival 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 travel to the United States or complete a medical exam at a U.S. government reception center or safe haven when you arrived in the United States, you must receive the required testing and vaccinations elsewhere. The 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, check the table above to learn about your specific medical requirements.
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens - English (PDF, 161.69 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens - Dari (PDF, 210.09 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens - Pashto (PDF, 200 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens – Special Immigrant Visa Attachment – English (PDF, 130.29 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens – Special Immigrant Visa Attachment – Dari (PDF, 132.56 KB)
- Information Sheet for Afghan Parolees Departing Safe Havens – Special Immigrant Visa Attachment – Pashto (PDF, 149.34 KB)
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.