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Humanitarian Parole


Humanitarian parole is used to bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible into the United States for a temporary period of time due to an emergency. HP is a legal immigration status. Find out more at the links on the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Afghanistan is in the midst of a refugee crisis. More than 550,000 Afghans have been displaced since January 2021. Some are especially at-risk - including women's rights activist, human rights workers, journalists, and tens of thousands of individuals who assisted U.S. efforts over the past 20 years. When the crisis of August culminated it was thought that at-risk Afghans could come to the U.S. under either the Special Immigrant Visa program or a broader Priority 2 (P2) refugee status. However, both processes takes years to complete. On August 23rd the adminstration announced it would be using its humanitarian parole authority to process in evacuated Afghans who do not already have visas.

Tracking Immigration Case Status Online. Use this tool to track the status of an immigration application, petition, or request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Information about Humanitarian Parole

Prerequisites? A passport for humanitarian parole is helpful, but not needed. There needs to be an urgent reason that a person cannot stay in Afghanstan - country conditions and specific cirumstances to the individual. A person can apply from anywhere except Afghanistan and a few countries where the United States does not conduct consular business. Biometric screening may be a requirement and physical posession of humanitarian parole documents prior to entry to the United States. Each family member requires their own HP application to include children. Humanitarian parole is temporary, up to two years for some Afghans. USCIS approves HP status and then the Department of State is informed.

HP Application Fee. Currently the humanitarian parole fee is $575 per person. That can get expensive for a large family. There is a DoS form to request a fee waiver - i-912. However, it has been reported that this slows down the application process.

Sponsor. A person or organization in the United States must agree to financially represent the family for up to one year while they resettle. The sponsor needs to prove they have excess income at the poverty line for the size family that is being sponsored.

HP Benefits. The FY 2022 Continuing Resolution passed by Congress provides benefits for Afghan who are provided Humanitarian Parole status. Afghans who entered the U.S. with humanitarian parole are authorized to receive refugee resettlement benefits. The legislation authorizes Afghans arriving with humanitarian parole to receive the same services as refugees (admitted under Section 207 of the INA), including ORR assistance, reception and placement, and other entitlement programs like food assistance. This includes Afghan parolees deemed to be unaccompanied children eligible for Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) services.

Benefits for Afghan Humanitarian Parolees Now in the U.S. A huge influx of Afghans evacuees made it to the United States as a result of the Kabul non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) in August 2021. Many of them flew to 'lily pads' in the Middle East and to Europe as well. Most had no legal basis for entry into the United States. But the U.S. had a dilemma . . . what to do with the many thousands of Afghans it airlifted out of the Kabul airport during the chaotic month of August. So the U.S. government extended Humanitarian Parole to the Afghans that made it to the United States that did not have American citizenship, a green card (lawful permanent resident), of a valid visa or pending Special Immigrant Visa application in the process of being approved. Certain Afghan individuals paroled into the U.S. between July 2021 through September 2022 are eligible to apply for benefits and resettlement assistance. To learn more read a two-page PDF by the Administration for Children & Families of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Federal Benefits and Services. has published an article entitled "What Federal Benefits and Service are Available to Afghan Parolees?", September 20, 2021.

Funding for HPs. Eligible Afghans are those paroled into the United States between July 31, 2021 and September 30, 2022; or those paroled into the United States after September 30, 2022, and, either the spouse or child of such a parolee or the parent or legal guardian of an unaccompanied child paroled during that period. The federal government receives supplemental funding for this purpose, including an additional $1.68 billion for Afghans arriving with humanitarian parole, as well as an additional $2.5 billion for unaccompanied children and an authorization for an apportioned rate of spend for all other ORR populations. The State Departmentís humanitarian assistance accounts receive an additional $2.2 billion, and USCIS receives an additional $193 million related to Operation Allies Welcome and is permitted to spend at a rate for operations of $250 million toward the reduction of the asylum and refugee backlogs.

The legislation deems Afghan parolees eligible for a driverís license or identification card under Section 202 of the REAL ID Act of 2005. The bill also includes language about expediting Afghan paroleesí asylum applications; however, similar expedition mandates in previous immigration legislation have not materialized into expedited adjudication processes for asylum seekers.

The Numbers

The Humanitarian Parole program has turned out to be a big dissappointment to those in Afghanistan or in a third country. As of mid-February 2022, of the 43,000 humanitarian parole applications the agency has received since July 2021, it has processed fewer than 2,000. Of that number 1,500 have been denied and less than 200 as of August 2022. In November 2021, 28,000 applications had been filed and just 100 approved.

Resources about Humanitarian Parole

Afghanistan - Humanitarian Parole. Afghan Diaspora for Equality & Progress (ADEP)
A YouTube training video on humanitarian parole, an Afghan Humanitarian Parole Checklist, and various forms for humanitarian parole are available at the ADEP website. This webpage has a detailed step by step instruction on applying for humanitarian parole.

National Immigration Forum
Explainer: Humanitarian Parole and the Afghan Evacuation, by Danilo Zak, August 30, 2021.

USCIS and Humanitarian Parole -
In this site are some of the forms relevant to evacuation of Afghan refuges and a detailed description of an approach to assembling a HP package.

Webinar on Humanitarian Parole & Financial Sponsorship for Afghan Evacuees
Task Force Melmastya, September 23, 2021, 90 minutes, YouTube

News Reports about Humantarian Parole

November 19, 2021. "Humanitarian Parole for Afghans - False Hope", Afghan Report.

November 19, 2021. "Thousands of Afghans Seek Temporary US Entry, Few Approved", Voice of America. As of early November 2021 28,000 Afghans had filed for humanitarian parole and only 100 were approved.

October 23, 2021, "US Immigration Agency Overwhelmed by 20,000 Afghan Humanitarian Requests", Voice of America.

Read more in "Explainer: Humanitarian Parole and the Afghan Evacuation", National Immigration Forum, August 30, 2021.




Books about the Kabul non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) of August 2021,
evacuation of AMCITs, LPRs, SIVs, and others, and the Afghan Evac community and effort.

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