After President Donald Trump and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement in February 2020 to establish the terms for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, President Joe Biden promised a full troop withdrawal by August 31, 2021. But as American troops departed Afghanistan, Taliban fighters rapidly took control of the country, including the capital of Kabul, without any resistance from the Afghan military.
Tens of thousands of people—both Americans and Afghans—have been evacuated. While some Afghan nationals arriving in the United States have started the immigration process, others have yet to apply for legal immigration status.
Because of the current situation in Afghanistan, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sent a memo to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), directing the agency to “parole” certain Afghan nationals on a case-by-case basis into the United States. Following security vetting, Afghans who are part of Operation Allies Refuge can stay in the U.S. for two years.
Humanitarian parole allows foreign nationals to temporarily enter and remain in the U.S if they do not have any other legal status to enter the country. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may grant parole for “urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons.”
Although parole provides a lawful presence in the U.S., parolees will technically be considered applicants for admission. In other words, being on parole does not grant legal immigration status, nor will it provide a pathway to legal permanent residency.
Once an Afghan national is paroled by CBP, they may be eligible to apply for status in the United States through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Medical screenings, reporting requirements, and other conditions are placed on Afghan nationals as part of the parole process. Failure to follow the conditions may lead to detention and deportation.
Afghan nationals may apply for parole themselves or on behalf of family members using Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) and Form-I-134 (Affidavit of Support) to prove they have a financial sponsor in the U.S., whether it’s themselves, loved ones, or an organization. While a valid and unexpired passport is required, applicants can also provide an alternative form of identification if they do not have a valid passport.
If you are interested in seeking humanitarian parole or any other legal immigration status in Phoenix, AZ, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a consultation.