Assistance for U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, and Afghan Nationals

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin's office is able to notify the U.S. Department of State if a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident is trapped in Afghanistan and needs assistance.  We can also help facilitate the transfer of Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applications from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to another Embassy for processing.  Please complete a privacy release form to initiate a case with our constituent services staff.

 

U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents:

 

U.S. citizens seeking assistance to depart Afghanistan should utilize this link: Repatriation Assistance Request  or in an emergency, call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S. Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (overseas).  Legal permanent residents (LPRs) and spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting immigrant visas should also complete this form.

If you are a resident of MI-08 and have completed the repatriation assistance form, or if you are a resident of MI-08 with a U.S. citizen or U.S. Legal Permanent Resident family member in Afghanistan who needs assistance, please contact my Lansing office at (517) 993-0510 to notify our office of your submission.

 

Visa Categories for Afghans

 

Non-U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents:

The United States is also taking every available measure to assist Afghans who are at risk, particularly those who worked for or with the United States or have supported international efforts, and has established mechanisms to help Afghans at risk receive protection from potential retaliation or harm.

The two key mechanisms to support Afghans who are at risk because of their affiliation with the United States are the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and priority referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

 

Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)

This program is available to citizens or nationals of Afghanistan who were employed in Afghanistan on or after October 7, 2001, for at least one year by or on behalf of the U.S. government or by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission, in a capacity that required the applicant to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF or to perform sensitive and trusted activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF. Applicants to this program must also have experienced or be experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of their employment.

 

The SIV program is prioritizing:

  1. Interpreters and Translators
  2. U.S. Government Direct Hire Employees
  3. Contractors with U.S. Government Installation Badges
  4. Implementing Partners (Afghan third party contractors or subcontractors employed on behalf of U.S. government entities such as USAID)
  5. All Other Applicants (U.S. government contractors)

Spouses and unmarried children younger than age 21 may also be granted SIVs, as well as surviving spouses or children if the U.S. government employee performed at least 15 years of service or was killed in the line of duty.

Process

  • Individuals eligible for a SIV who have not yet started the application process must file a petition (I-360 form).
  • Individuals with an approved Form I-360 petition who have questions about their case should email NVCSIV@state.gov.
  • Applicants for SIVs notified of eligibility for travel to the United States through Operation Allies Refuge should follow instructions from Operation Allies Refuge.

 

Priority-1 (P-1) for U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)

Available to Afghan citizens who claim persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds covered in U.S. refugee law (race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion), and are unable to receive support or protection from the Afghan Government. Only U.S. citizens who are current or former Chief of Mission or Department of Defense employees who served in Afghanistan are eligible to nominate Afghans for P-1 embassy referrals to the USRAP. The nominee can be residing in Afghanistan or another country, but processing of the refugee case will not begin until or unless the individual makes the difficult decision to depart Afghanistan.

 

Individual P-1 cases are referred by the U.S. Embassy, designated NGO or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Individuals who are eligible for a SIV should not be nominated for P-1.

Process

  • Individuals who believe they are eligible for P-1 should work with their contact at the U.S. Embassy or applicable NGO to explore the process. 

 

Priority-2 (P-2) for U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)

The P-2 program is for Afghans who fall into one of three categories:

 

  1. Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked at any time as employees of contractors, locally employed staff, interpreters/translators of the U.S. government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;
  2. Afghans who work or worked at any time for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement;
  3. Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S-based NGO or media organization.

 

U.S. government departments and agencies, and U.S.-based NGOs or media organizations with operations in Afghanistan, may submit P-2 referrals for Afghans.

Process

  • Individuals who believe they are eligible for P-2 should work with their employer, contact in the U.S. government, NGO or media organization to complete a referral package.
  • The completed referral package must be sent to USRAPAfghanReferrals@state.gov. Due to the anticipated high volume of inquiries, the Department of State will only respond to messages sent by the senior-most American employee of the organization.
  • Case processing cannot begin until or unless the individual makes the difficult decision to depart Afghanistan.
  • The United States is unable to provide protection or support to individuals while they await a decision on their P-2 refugee case.

 

Humanitarian Assistance:  

Those who leave Afghanistan can register for international protection and assistance as a refugee with the government of the country they are in if the country has an established asylum process, or they can register with the UN Refugee AgencyAfghans with safety concerns may contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) protection office, which can be reached via their Protection Hotline numbers or email address: 0790691746 and 0704996168 (available on all working days), and afgkaprt@unhcr.org

 

Partnerships for Afghan Response   

A broad network of private actors including but not limited to U.S. companies, philanthropies, universities, civil society organizations, faith-based communities, and veteran groups have expressed interest in a variety of ways to support Afghans. For more information on these efforts, including funding, sponsorship, coordination and advocacy visit the U.S. Department of State dedicated website here and welcome.us. 

 

Office of Global Michigan

The Office of Global Michigan's Refugee Services program and its staff support the effective resettlement and integration of refugees in Michigan, ensuring their basic needs are met upon arrival so that they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential.  This agency is coordinating the resettlement of Afghan evacuees to communities in Michigan via Operation Allies Welcome.  If you would like to provide services or donations to Afghans coming to Michigan, please contact the Office of Global Michigan at newamericans@michigan.gov.