At a press conference on August 2, 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new resettlement program for Afghans who assisted the United States but who do not qualify for special immigrant visas. The Department of State has created a “Priority-2” (P-2) designation “granting access to the U.S. refugee admissions program for many of these Afghans and their family members,” he said. 

Secretary Blinken gave a few examples of Afghans who might be eligible for the P-2 designation, including some who worked for a project funded by the U.S. government but not for the government itself; who began working for the United States more recently and may not have met the minimum time and service requirements for a special immigrant visa; or who were employed by American media or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) “doing vital work to support democratic progress in Afghanistan.”

The Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) created a U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) Afghan Referrals Workgroup comprising federal agencies to refer individuals directly to the USRAP. Once cases receive access to the USRAP, they will undergo the same processing steps as other refugees, including extensive security vetting. A fact sheet released on August 2, 2021, by the Department says that Afghans who do not qualify for the P-2 program may be referred to the P-1 program by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a U.S. Embassy, or a designated NGO.

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