The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
This information was revised in August 2023. Requirements may change. Always check for current requirements from the government or agency deciding your request.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
If you fled Afghanistan and want to move to the United States:
If you had a Special Immigrant Visa or other case at the U.S. Embassy Kabul and are now outside of Afghanistan but not in the United States, read IRAP’s guide “Can I transfer my SIV application?” here.
Even if you do not have a pending case, you may be eligible to apply for an immigration pathway to the United States. This website has many resources about U.S. immigration pathways:
- Guides for people who are applying to the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.
- A guide about the new Afghan P-2 refugee program.
- A guide for US-based media organizations and NGOs that employed Afghans.
- A guide for reuniting with family members in the U.S.
- Guides for family members in the U.S. to reunite with relatives abroad
- A guide for refugees and asylees in the U.S. to reunite with their relatives
- A guide for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to reunite with their relatives; and
- A guide for SIV applicants to obtain SIVs for their spouse and children.
- The Department of State also has a website for Afghan Family Reunification. The website has a form for Afghans who were evacuated to the United States and who were granted parole and remain in their period of parole or were granted temporary protected status to request family reunification. The form is called the DS-4317 and is available here.
- A guide explaining the basics of humanitarian parole for people who are not eligible for SIVs or any other kind of visa.
IRAP’s guide on what to expect at a U.S. airport upon arrival is here.
If you are in the U.S. and need legal help:
You may be eligible to apply for asylum, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) status, or another status. You should consult an immigration lawyer.
- A list of free immigration legal service providers in the United States is available here.
- A list of private immigration attorneys in the United States is available here.
If you are in Afghanistan and seeking to apply to a U.S. immigration option:
There is no U.S. visa processing available for people who are in Afghanistan at this time.
As of January 2023, the U.S. government provides departure assistance to certain visa applicants, refugee applicants, and family members of previously evacuated Afghans in limited circumstances. IRAP is unable to provide any assistance with evacuation or departure assistance. For legal information, see IRAP’s guide on requesting evacuation from Afghanistan.
Be careful about sharing information about you and your family’s information if someone you do not know asks about your applications.
If you are looking for options about immigration to EU countries
Another resource with information about immigration options for France, India, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)’s Legal Information Sheets for Afghans, available here in English and Dari.