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Assistance for Afghan SIVs

 

Garry Reid of DoD briefs press on relocation of SIV in U.S.

Garry Reid (DoD) briefing the press about the Special Immigrant Visa
 relocation effort in the United States. (Photo DoD Aug 16, 2021)


Afghanistan Inquiries - U.S. Department of State
https://www.state.gov/afghanistan-inquiries

SIV Case Status Online. SIV applicants can track the status of an immigration application, petition, or request with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do

If KBL precedes the SIV number then the SIV case is likely approved or almost approved. If NVC precedes the SIV number then it is in the approval process.

Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/special-immg-visa-afghans-employed-us-gov.html

"I'm sorry. We can't help you". The Department of State had a telephone number that would provide general information about the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program. The number, (606) 526-7594, is no longer operational. The message refers the caller to
https://af.usembassy.gov/


Assistance for Afghans Needing Relocation Services

Afghan SIV Applicants. If you or someone you know has an approved petition for a Special Immigrant Visa, email NVCSIV@state.gov or call the National Visa Center at 1-603-334-0824 or 0828. Other personnel at risk can contact ACTF@state.gov. Several U.S. organizations are assisting Afghans in evacuation and relocation - such as No One Left Behind. There are currently 18,000 SIV applicants awaiting approval. One problem for the SIV applicants is that passports submitted by Afghans to the US embassy for visa processing may have been destroyed by embassy staff during the evacuation.

Applying for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). If you have not yet applied for a SIV immediately contact AfghanSIVapplication@state.gov. A State Department hotline for more information is 1-888-407-4747 (domestic calls) and 1-202-501-4444 (overseas calls).

Afghan Priority 2 Designation (P-2). The Department of State announced a new designation for certain Afghan nationals and eligible family members. For more information on Afghan P-2 designation visit the website of the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) that is operated by the U.S. Department of State. https://www.wrapsnet.org

An informational fact sheet for Afghan nationals details the requirements for and how to apply for Afghan P-2 status. (PDF, 3 pages).

Afghan Priority 3 Designation (P-3). According to the U.S. State Department the P-3 Visa Program is now open to family members of SIV holders. U.S.-based Afghan SIV recipients who are at least 18 years of age and who have been admitted into the United States for fewer than five years may file P-3 Affadavit of Relationshiips (AORs ) for qualifying family members and their derivatives who are outside their country of origin.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Humanitarian Basis of Entry to the U.S.
The Special Immigrant Visa process is lengthy and the people managing it at the Department of State overburdened right now. Perhaps the DoS should have started this in ernest about a decade ago - they wouldn't have this problem right now. Those Afghans that have not completed or started the SIV process may opt for evacuation on a Humanitarian basis. Individuals who are outside of the United States may be able to request parole into the U.S. under this basis. Read more on this topic at the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Read more about humanitarian parole.

Benefits Associated with SIV. Those with approved Special Immigrant Visas will become permanent U.S. residents and are eligible for refugee benefits to include medical services and cash assistance.

Pending SIVs. At-risk Afghans with pending SIV applications or without any immigration petitions have been admitted into the United States through humanitarian parole. This is a process that allows immigrants without visas to enter the U.S. These people can stay and work in the U.S. legally on a temporary basis but they are not granted permanent status. They will need to apply for asylum to remain in the U.S.

Processing. Most Afghans will undergo a 2 to 3 week long processing period. After the processing period the Afghans will be resettled by nonprofit organizations and provided with affordable housing, jobs, and other services. These organizations will assist the Afghans in integrating into American society.

NOLB Request for Assistance Form. The non-profit organization No One Left Behind (NOlB) has a "NOLB Request for Assistance Form" that allows Afghans to input information into the NOLB data base. The form is for any SIV,SIV in process, or SIV eligible person and their familiy that needs to be evacuated from Afghanistan.

Team America. This organization provided information for AMCITs, LPRs, and Afghans on having proper documentation and some guidance on how to get through the gates of the Kabul Airport. The organization has refocused on providing assistance and relief to those Afghans who have reached the United States or who are still making their way towards the United States. It is now known as Team America Relief. See "Team America has success evacuating Afghans, seeks help as requests grow", by James R. Webb, Military Times, August 18, 2021.


Resettlement and Sponsorship

USA Hello. Resources for displaced Afghans seeking help.
 https://usahello.org/immigration/asylum-refugees/resources-for-afghans/

Lutheran Immigration and Relief Service
https://www.lirs.org/

LIRS - How to Help Our Afghan Allies
https://lirsconnect.org/get_involved/action_center/siv

Afghanistan Matters
https://afghanistanmatters.carrd.co/

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
They have posted a webpage entitled "Resources for Afghan Allies" that provides helpful information on making a safety plan (SIV, P-2, or other), seeking repatriation assistance (US citizens), getting SIV or P-2 status, tips on evading the misuse of biometric data, and how to delete your digital history. Many of these tips are in Pashto and Dari as well as English. And there is a button for donating to the USCRI.
https://refugees.org/resources-for-afghan-allies/

How Afghans Can Get a Green Card. The State Department has some very stingent rules to be followed for the Afghans that were evacuated from Afghanistan who do not posess a 'Green Card'. Once an Afghan passes through their transit point (Middle East, Germany, Italy, etc.) and arrives at the United States he will be sent to one of eight military installations  to enter into 'iintegration training'. This takes about 30 day and then they enter the US government resettlement system. This then qualifies them for a two-year process in working toward Legal Permanent Resident (LRP) status (Green Card).  If they don't complete the processing and are picked up at the airport by friends or relatives then they may not be able to re-enter the system. This puts them at risk of not qualifying for a Green Card or Asylum. Apparently the Afghans entering the country are not afforded the benefits of those entering through our southern border.


References for SIV Program

Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) - internal page
https://afghanwarnews.info/taliban-victory-2021/siv.htm


News Articles about Assistance for Afghan SIVs

August 22, 2021. "Current and former U.S. military special operations and intelligence operatives are using their own networks of contacts to get elite Afghan soldiers, intelligence assets, and interpreters to safety as they've become increasingly disillusioned and fed up with the U.S. government-led evacuation effort in Kabul." Read more in "US special operations forces race to save former Afghan comrades in jeopardy", by James Gordon Meek and Matt Seyler, ABC News.

August 16, 2021. "You Can Help Afghan Refugees Get Resettled in the DC Area", by Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian. Agencies that help people who hold Special Immigrant Visas need housing and transportation - or better yet, donations.

 

 


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