Information for Afghans

This page provides information for Afghan nationals.

 

Afghan Parolees – Working in the United States

REMINDER: If you are an Afghan parolee who received the Afghan Parole Information sheet from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival, your parole is subject to certain medical conditions. If you did not go to the government-run locations where these vaccination services are provided, you are required to report compliance with these medical conditions. You can report compliance by attesting to your compliance at Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status | USCIS.

For all Afghan parolees seeking to work, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 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 initial employment authorization based on being an Afghan parolee if:

  • You were paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or reasons of significant public benefit pursuant to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 212(d)(5) on or after July 30, 2021.
  • To verify you are an Afghan parolee, check your Form I-94, passport, or other travel document, which should have an Afghan parole notation, such as “OAW” or “OAR.”

Applying for Initial Employment Authorization

Complete the following steps to submit your 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 www.uscis.gov/i-765.
    • 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 pursuant to INA 212(d)(5). For more information on obtaining a Form I-94, see https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
      • If you do not have a passport, you can use your A-number to retrieve your Form I-94 online from the site above and 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 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 the 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 that you appear for an interview or provide biometrics (fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature) at any time to verify your identity, obtain additional information, and conduct 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 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, USCIS may deny your application.

Once your Form I-765 is approved, your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be mailed 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 the Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card, online using the following webpage: https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do.)

To request renewal or replacement of your EAD, see www.uscis.gov/i-765.

Please Note: Federal law requires that every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the United States completes the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Additional information about the Form I-9 and your rights as an employee can be found at www.uscis.gov/i-9-central.

Operation Allies Welcome

USCIS is providing immigration services to Afghan nationals and their immediate family members evacuated to the United States who require additional immigration processing after entry. Afghan nationals and their families relocated to the United States as part of this operation are made up of distinct groups:

For Afghan nationals with Special Immigrant Visas:

 

If you… Then…
Were admitted into the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a lawful permanent resident
  • We will mail your Green Card to the address on record.
Were paroled into the U.S. by CBP
Were admitted into the United States by CBP as a conditional lawful permanent resident
  • Upon arrival, you will complete a medical examination.
  • After you have completed the medical examination, we will assess your admissibility. If we determine you are admissible, we will remove the conditions on your permanent residence.
  • We will mail your Green Card to the address on record.
For Afghan nationals with a pending petition for a Special Immigrant Visa:
If you… Then…
Were paroled into the United States by CBP
  • Refer to the conditions of your parole that were provided to you when you entered the United States.
  • Visit the Explore My Options webpage to see other immigration options that may be available to you.
For Afghan nationals without any pending applications or petitions:
If you… Then…
Were paroled into the United States by CBP
  • Refer to the conditions of your parole that were provided to you when you entered the United States.
  • After you complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at a federally approved facility such as U.S. government reception center or military installation, we will adjudicate your Form I-765 and mail your Employment Authorization Document to you at the address on record.
  • If you have a family member who is eligible to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you, you may be able to apply for a Green Card with Form I-485 at the same time as that family-based petition is filed, or while the petition is still pending with USCIS. For more information, see our Concurrent Filing of Form I-485 webpage. See also our Green Card Eligibility Categories webpage for more information on the different categories you might be eligible to immigrate under.
  • See below for information on applying for Special Immigrant Status, Asylum and other options.
  • Visit the Explore My Options webpage to see other immigration options that may be available to you.
Special Immigrant Visas

For information about the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process for Afghans 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 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.

USCIS is expediting pending SIV petitions for Afghan beneficiaries.

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.

Asylum

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. For more information on asylum, see the Obtaining Asylum in the United States webpage.

For inquiries regarding pending asylum applications, the applicant or 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. If you have an asylum application pending with us, you can check your Case Status Online. You will need the receipt number that we mailed you after you filed your application.

Change of Address

If you need to change the address you have on file with USCIS, please do so by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card, online using the Change of Address webpage. 

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.

Only update your address once you have established or changed your residential (home) address.

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 nbcafghancoa@uscis.dhs.gov.  NOTE: Only use this email address if you entered the U.S. under Operation Allies Welcome, or you are (or have a family member who is) an Afghan national outside the U.S. with a petition or application pending with USCIS.

Finding Legal Services

For information on locating legal services, please visit the Find Legal Services webpage.

Humanitarian Parole

If you are outside of the United States, you may be able to request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Individuals who are granted parole may apply for employment authorization after arrival. For information about parole for Afghans, 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.  

For questions related to pending humanitarian parole requests, please email HumanitarianParole@uscis.dhs.gov.

Refugees

A refugee is a noncitizen who generally is outside their home country and has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of 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 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 possibly 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 information specific to the Priority 2 (P-2) program for Afghans, please visit the Refugee Processing Center’s SIV/Afghan P-2 webpage.

For questions related to pending refugee cases, please email refugeeaffairsinquiries@uscis.dhs.gov.

Family-Based Immigration Petitions

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may petition for certain relatives to come to the United States. For more information, see the Green Card Eligibility Categories webpage.

Petitioners, beneficiaries, or 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 their Case Status Online.

USCIS is expediting pending family-based petitions for Afghan beneficiaries.

Information Sheets for Afghan Parolees Departing Military Installations
Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status Attestation

If you are an Afghan parolee who received the Afghan Parole Information sheet from Customs and Border Protection upon arrival, your parole is subject to certain medical conditions. If, upon arrival you did  not go to the government-run locations where these vaccination services are provided, you are required to report compliance with these medical conditions.

You are required to report compliance. The attestation must be completed by each individual parolee. You may satisfy this requirement by completing the certification at Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status | USCIS.

Additional Information:
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