Based on the current situation in Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memo with guidance on how the United States will relocate certain vulnerable Afghan nationals to the United States. The agency will focus first on Afghans with pending family-based immigration, special immigrant visas, and refugee program cases. DHS will also work on cases for Afghans who have already begun the process of entering the United States, and those who were eligible but never applied to immigrate.
US Customs and Border Protection will begin paroling certain Afghan nationals into the United States for two years on a case-by-case basis after the appropriate vetting. Certain conditions may be placed on parole for medical and reporting reasons. Once CBP has approved parole, applicants may be eligible to apply for status through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Parole allows foreign nationals to temporarily enter and remain in the United States if they do not have any other legal basis to enter. DHS may grant parole for significant humanitarian or public health reasons.
Applying for Advance Parole Individually
In addition to the CBP parole, individuals may apply for parole for themselves, or on behalf of others, using Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. The application should include a statement and evidence detailing their humanitarian concerns. Normally, a valid unexpired passport is required. Otherwise, applicants can provide an explanation of why they do not have a valid passport and an alternate form of identification.
Parole applicants also must file Form I-134, Affidavit of Support to prove that they have a financial sponsor in the United States. Parolees can have one or more financial sponsors, including themselves, and they can also be sponsored by an organization.
The United States will continue to update emergency guidelines for Afghans entering the country. For assistance with filing for parole or applying for change in status, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.