This website provides general information about legal processes. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications. This information was revised in September 2021.
If you fled Afghanistan and are seeking refugee status:
The rights that refugees have access to varies by country. In most countries that neighbor Afghanistan, refugees will have extremely limited access to legal residence, work, or financial support.
- Information about seeking asylum in countries that neighbor Afghanistan
- Information about refugee protection in countries that neighbor Afghanistan or have visa-free access for Afghan nationals
You can also ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for help after you are outside of Afghanistan. UNHCR provides this website with information on its offices and local resources.
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 outside of Afghanistan but not in the U.S., contact your nearest U.S. embassy. Let them know your situation, and ask for help to transfer your case. A list of all U.S. Embassies and email addresses for them is 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 explaining the basics of humanitarian parole for people who are not eligible for SIVs or any other kind of visa.
You can interview for an SIV in most countries near Afghanistan except for Iran and Tajikistan. If you are in those countries, you will have to travel to another country temporarily to do your visa interview.
If you were evacuated from Afghanistan by the United States:
The U.S. evacuated some people to a country like Qatar, UAE, and Germany. IRAP does not yet know when you might travel to the United States. We do not know how long you will have to wait there before coming to the U.S. IRAP is monitoring this situation and advocating for the U.S. government to process people quickly. If you have questions, please speak to officials in charge at your location.
If you are evacuated to the United States, and you are not a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or a visa holder, you will probably be inspected at the airport by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and given parole. Parole gives you the temporary right to live in the United States. The temporary period can be extended upon request.
From the airport, you will go to a military base. You will receive legal counseling and your applications will be processed of applications such as the authorization to work. You will also be provided other services there for free and connected to service providers at your destination locations. The non-profits U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and International Rescue Committee (IRC) are coordinating services at the military bases.
IRAP’s guide on what to expect at a U.S. airport upon arrival is here.
If you worked for the UK Government:
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:
The U.S.-led evacuation flights for Afghan nationals have ended. All visa appointments and interviews at the U.S. Embassy Kabul have been cancelled. We do not know whether U.S. immigration processing will be available in Afghanistan.
Be careful about sharing information about you and your family’s information if someone you do not know asks about your applications.