The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new guidance for the immigration processing of Afghan citizens during Operation Allies Refuge, under which many thousands are being evacuated from Afghanistan.

The memo states that some of these individuals were in various stages of processing for immigration status in the United States, and through various paths based on family relationships, Special Immigrant Visas, or refugee programs, for example.  Many were not able to complete these processes because of the current situation in Afghanistan. The memo notes that others, despite likely eligibility, never applied because they had not previously sought to leave Afghanistan and relocate to the United States. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is therefore authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP] officers to parole certain Afghan nationals into the United States, “on a case-by-case basis, for a period of two years and subsequent to appropriate vetting, provided their movement to the United States is being carried out pursuant to Operation Allies Refuge.” 

Once paroled into the United States by CBP, Afghan nationals may be eligible to apply for status through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “Afghan nationals paroled by CBP may also have conditions placed on their parole, to include medical screening and reporting requirements. Failure to follow these conditions may be cause for termination of the parole and initiation of detention and removal,” the memo notes.