Afghan Special Immigrant Parolee and Lawful Permanent Resident Status

On July 30, 2021, the President announced that the first flight of Operation Allies Refuge had arrived in the United States, carrying Afghans who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV), including family members. These individuals and future arrivals that are part of this operation will have a special immigrant Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status or special immigrant parole that meets the special immigrant requirement for certain government benefits.

As with other Iraqis and Afghans and their dependents admitted as LPRs under the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 or other applicable law regarding special immigrants, these special immigrant LPRs will generally have foreign passports with a Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection stamp admitting them with an SQ1, SQ2, or SQ3 Class of Admission (COA). However, some of the new Afghan special immigrant LPR arrivals may not have a physical immigrant visa in their passport and may not have a temporary Form I-551 stamp.

USCIS is also issuing a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, to these special immigrant LPRs. In addition, regardless of the documentation presented, SAVE can provide an initial verification response of LPR for these special immigrant LPRs except those whose case involves something unusual that may require additional verification.

Special immigrant parolees will have a separate, printed page on Customs and Border Protection letterhead with their Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record, information and the following notation, signed and dated by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer:

Special Immigrant Status (SQ/SI) Parolee
Sec 602(b)(1) AAPA / Sec 1059(a) NDAA 2006
Date ______ USCIS officer: ______

As do Afghan special immigrant LPRs, these special immigrant parolees meet the immigration status requirement for public benefits pursuant to section 602(b)(8) of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note), which states that Afghans granted special immigrant status “shall be eligible for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits available to refugees admitted under [section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157)] to the same extent, and for the same period of time, as such refugees.” The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has also published a Dear Colleague Letter (PDF) informing the refugee resettlement network that ORR has amended its guidance to reflect that these Afghan special immigrant parolees meet the immigration status requirement for Refugee Resettlement Program benefits.

USCIS is issuing these special immigrant parolees a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, with a C11 parolee category. For these individuals, SAVE can provide an initial verification response of Parolee with an SQ4 or SQ5 COA unless there is something unusual about the case that may require additional verification. Please submit the case for additional verification if you need to verify whether a special immigrant parolee also has a pending application to adjust their status to LPR.

Please send any questions or concerns to your SAVE Agency Relationship Manager or SAVE.help@uscis.dhs.gov.

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