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Streamline Processing and Fee Exemptions for Afghan Nationals

By Thomas Lee

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that for Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons on or after July 30,2021, will streamline application processing and be exempt from filing fees. Streamlining the processes for work authorization, green cards, and associated services will better help in their resettlement in the U.S. As the lead federal agency, DHS is coordinating Operation Allies Welcome, an ongoing government effort to help Afghans resettle, including those who worked on behalf of the U.S.


Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said "By providing these evacuees with access to streamlined processing and fee exemptions, we will open doors of opportunity for our Afghan allies and help them begin to rebuild their lives in communities across our country more quickly." Followed by, " These actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Afghan nationals who provided valuable assistance to the United States over the past two decades as well as other Afghans at risk."


As part of the Operation Allies Welcome, approximately 70,000 Afghans have arrived in the U.S. On a case-by-case basis, DHS has exercised its discretion to parole many Afghan nationals into the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons. Parolees may apply for work authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. In addition, they may apply for immigration benefits, for instance, Afghan special immigrant status, lawful permanent residence, and asylum.


Eligible only for Afghan nationals paroled into the U.S. on or after July 30, 2021.


Fee Exemptions:


- Initial Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (if filing as Afghan special immigrant); or an associated Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Biometric services associated with the following forms


Streamlined Processing:


- Initial Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (eligibility category (c)(11))
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (if filing as Afghan special immigrant); and associated Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable); or
- Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, for certain Afghan parolees described in Section 2502(a) of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act.


Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.