In light of the crisis in Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security announced a fee exemption and streamlined processing for Afghan refugees. Keep reading for more information.
What Happened in Afghanistan This Year?
The conflict in Afghanistan has gone on for decades – most 20-30-year-olds hardly remember a time when there wasn’t a war on terrorism, but this year, that conflict came to an end. President Biden announced in August that the administration would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
The announcement was met with praise and criticism in the U.S., but the Afghan government was ill-prepared for such a drastic change. The government collapsed on August 15th, and thousands of Afghans fled the country as the Taliban, a terrorist organization that has ruled the region for years, swooped in to take charge.
By August 31st, videos of Afghan people chasing down a plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul reached the American media. The horror and fear of invasion by a terrorist organization were realized, and the people had no choice but to flee or cooperate.
Biden authorized evacuation efforts to help refugees reach safety in the United States. Now, the DHS is making moves to ensure that these refugees find safety in the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that it would exempt filing fees for Afghan nationals who were paroled into the U.S. because of the Taliban invasion. DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement,
“By providing these evacuees with access to streamlined processing and fee exemptions, we will open doors of opportunity for our Afghan allies and help them begin to rebuild their lives in communities across our country more quickly.”
The exemptions will apply to the following applications:
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
In addition to fee exemptions, the DHS will streamline the application process for Afghan nationals applying with the following:
- Form I-765: work authorization based on parole
- Form I-485: for applicants seeking to adjust status as an asylee
- Form : I-589: for applicants included in the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has also created a dashboard with updates and information about asylum and immigration for Afghan refugees.
Resources for Afghan Refugees
If you or a loved one is an Afghan refugee seeking immigration status in the United States, Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. is here to help. With over 50 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge you need to pursue the American Dream.
Contact our compassionate legal advocates for more information.