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How Afghans Can Obtain Parole Status in the US

As of August 26, 2021, Afghan nationals fleeing Kabul because of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan “may request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefits reasons for a temporary period, on a case-by-case basis,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Parolees may obtain lawful status in the U.S. through other means since they technically remain as applicants for admission. 

How to Apply for Parole 

To request parole for yourself or for a loved one, you must file Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) and include a statement that explains your urgent humanitarian situation and evidence supporting your request. You may file for parole in the U.S. or in another country where a U.S. embassy or consular services exist. 

Form I-131 is associated with a filing fee, but you may also request a fee waiver by filing Form I-912 (Request for Fee Waiver). Each family member must file a separate Form I-131, along with the supporting documents and proper fees (unless you obtain a fee waiver). Ensure you write “Afghanistan Humanitarian Parole” on the mailing envelope and the word EXPEDITE in blank ink on the top right corner of the application. 

Parole applicants must have a valid and unexpired passport. If you do not have a valid Afghan passport, submit copies of any available identification documents and a statement that explains why you do not have a valid passport when filing Form I-131. 

If you are sponsoring yourself or sponsored by an organization, the sponsor must complete Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support) and supporting documentation for each request for parole. USCIS needs evidence of a sponsor who agrees to financially support the parolee while in the country. 

Submit humanitarian parole applications by mail to the following addresses: 

             For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:  
             Attn: HP  
             P.O. Box 660865  
             Dallas, TX 75266-0865  

             For FedEx, UPS, and DHL:  
             Attn: HP (Box 660865) 
             2501 S. State Hwy 121, Business  
             Suite 400  
             Lewisville, TX 75067-8003 

If Parole is Approved 

If USCIS conditionally approves parole, you will receive a conditional approval letter in the mail. The next step is to complete Form DS-160 (Application for Nonimmigrant Visa). The letter should include instructions to fill out Form DS-160. 

As of right now, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closed and there is a suspension of all consular services in Afghanistan. The U.S. government will reach out to you and assist you to depart the country upon conditional approval of parole. 

After Arriving in the U.S. 

Upon arrival in the United States, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will inspect your travel documents and determines whether to grant you parole. If the agency authorizes parole, you will be issued Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) as proof of your entry as a parolee and establishes the date you must leave the country. 

Remember, parole is not considered a legal immigration status and does not offer a pathway to legal immigration status. After you are authorized parole, you must take additional steps to ensure you legally stay in the U.S. after your period of parole ends.  

Parolees are eligible for work authorization. Afghan nationals can also apply for legal immigration status through permanent legal residency (if they have a U.S citizen or LPR relative) or asylum

If you or a loved one is an Afghan national who is interested in resettling in Illinois, Arizona, or Texas, call Gambacorta Law today at (847) 443-9303 or fill out our online contact form to learn how our firm can help you and your family.