USA and the UK
Fees waived for USCIS applications
The Department of Homeland Security announced on November 8th, 2021 a new policy under the Biden administration that waives all work permit and green card application fees for recent Afghan evacuees. Under this new policy, tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who fled their homeland due to Taliban takeover after July 30th, 2021 will not need to pay USCIS processing fees for the filling of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) if they are in the United States under humanitarian parole or for processing fees if they are applying for Special Immigrant Visas based on their work with the U.S. military.
Normally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges anywhere from $495 to apply for a work permit to as much as $1,225 in application and biometric collection fees for an immigrant visa. However, special consideration was given to refugees from Afghanistan who understandably don’t have the resources to pay these immigration-related expenses.
Evacuation from Afghanistan
It is estimated that roughly 70,000 Afghans have been resettled in the United States since the Taliban quickly took control of Afghanistan in August of 2021. These refugees largely consist of Afghans who aided U.S. military forces during their occupation in the country along with their family members and anyone else deemed to be in danger of Taliban persecution such as journalists, aid workers, and political activists.
Currently, around 50,000 Afghans who were quickly evacuated over the summer are living in various domestic military sites in the U.S. while they finish the last stages of their immigration process. This process includes completing the necessary legal paperwork and receiving mandatory vaccinations. After completing the immigration process and being approved for green card status, evacuees and their families then begin the process of being resettled in communities across the country.
Afghans who are eligible for humanitarian parole
Afghan government workers, teachers, journalists, widows, and other women or girls who are in danger of Taliban persecution but not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa could be eligible to apply for humanitarian parole in the United States.
Humanitarian parole was created by Congress under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) as a way to allow people to enter the United States for reasons related to emergencies or public interest.
As a way to help aid those fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. Congress created an expedited asylum process for Afghans who entered the United States under humanitarian parole. However, due to the crisis in Afghanistan, there are currently over 400,000 pending asylum applications waiting to be reviewed by an overwhelmed USCIS.
Parole is granted on a case-by-case basis and does not provide a pathway to citizenship for those who obtain it. However, those in the United States under parole can obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) which would allow them to work legally. All individuals looking to apply must complete an in-person vetting and biometrics screenings before being approved for humanitarian parole.
Last modified on August 12th, 2022 at 4:50 am
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