In response to the rapid evacuation and resettlement of Afghans, per the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, and effective as of September 30, 2021, Congress has authorized the following:
- Citizens or nationals of Afghanistan paroled into the U.S. between July 31, 2021 through September 30, 2022 are eligible for mainstream benefits, resettlement assistance, and other benefits available to refugees, until March 31, 2023 or the end of their parole term, whichever is later. (Note that this is also the case for spouses or children of these individuals as defined by 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b) who are paroled into the U.S. after September 30, 2022.)
- If an unaccompanied child, as defined under 6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2), they are eligible to apply for the URM program.
For humanitarian parolees, the eligibility date for ORR benefits and services is October 1, 2021 (if the individual has already entered the community) or their date of entry into the community, whichever is later.
As stated above, please note that these Afghan humanitarian parolees are also eligible for mainstream benefits: ORR does not have authority over mainstream benefit programs and their eligibility dates, but ORR will communicate its own interpretations with its partners.
Additionally, ORR has learned from USCIS of the new category of Afghan Special Immigrant (SI) Conditional Permanent Residents (CPRs); this population is also ORR-eligible.
ORR is in the process of drafting policy letters explaining in greater detail this new Congressional authority and listing documentation requirements for these categories of ORR-eligible Afghan arrivals.
In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns regarding eligibility documentation for these categories of Afghan arrivals, please reach out to ORR’s Refugee Policy Unit at email: RefugeeEligibility@acf.hhs.gov.