Specifically for newly arriving Afghans in 2021

Guide: Afghan Backgrounder

Authored by Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE), this backgrounder contains historical, political, and cultural information to cultivate a general understanding of Afghans arriving in the U.S. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is complex and spans decades. CORE produced this backgrounder to aid U.S. Resettlement Agencies (RAs) and their local affiliates in providing culturally appropriate Cultural Orientations (CO) and other services to newly arrived Afghans. The information provided is intended as guidance and does not represent the needs and challenges of all Afghans.

Post-resettlement stressors, coping strategies, and the Afghan Symptom Checklist

A recorded webinar of this training is available on the Center of Excellence's website on their NewComer Health page to see all their resources. Or click here to watch the recording of the training.


  • Describe examples of resettlement stressors and potential impact on the mental health among Afghan arrivals
  • Provide examples of how Afghans may speak about and understand distress, including two examples of Afghan idioms of distress
  • Understand some ways in which Afghan may seek help
  • Understand the purpose and use of the Afghan Symptom Checklist


Humanitarian Parole Explainer for UAMs

Here is an explanatory document in English, Dari, and Pashto for Unaccompanied Afghan Minors (UAMs) who have been given humanitarian parole to help explain to UAMs what Humanitarian Parole is (and isn’t) and was created in response to feedback from programs that there was confusion about Humanitarian Parole status. The target audience of the document is UAMs themselves.

The document was prepared by ORR’s Unaccompanied Children (UC) Policy Unit. While this may not be something you and your programs use, we feel it will be helpful for you to be aware of the information that UAMs receive.

Switchboard New Toolkit: Supporting Afghan Youth in Schools and Youth Programs in the United States

Switchboard's new toolkit is designed for educators and youth program managers who are welcoming Afghan youth and want to prepare for their arrival. The toolkit provides context on the Afghan education system and possible educational experiences of students. It includes considerations and strategies for working with Afghan students and their families and additional resources that may be useful for serving this population. Click here to download! 

Afghan Arrivals

Afghan Assistance Resources

Through Operations Allies Welcome, the U.S. government is assisting Afghans and their families in resettling in the United States. In an effort to support resettlement agencies and other organizations serving Afghan families, NCB has created a resource page with links to training materials and a map of organizations serving survivors of torture and other vulnerable groups. Below are additional resources and trainings available for working with this population.

Switchboard's New Podcasts: From Turmoil to Triumph: Assisting Refugees in their Journey to Entrepreneurship


This new two-part podcast series features a conversation between Rishan Habte, Program Officer for Economic Empowerment at Switchboard and Khalid Ahmadzai, Director of Economic Advancement at Canopy Northwest Arkansas. Khalid shares his story of growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan; his own experiences of entrepreneurship; and how he created the existing microlending entrepreneurship program at Canopy. Click here to stream part one and click here to stream part two! 

Workshops on Afghan History and Culture

Afghanistan made global headlines earlier this year as the two-decade U.S. military mission ended and the Taliban returned to power. Across the United States, Afghan refugees are waiting to be resettled into American communities – so how can we foster a welcoming, informed environment for them? Join Krishna Kulkarni (Outreach Coordinator, University of Chicago Center for Middle Eastern Studies) for an interactive workshop series on Afghanistan, past and present.

Afghan Nationals and REAL ID Compliance

The DHS REAL ID office has posted an FAQ regarding Eligibility of Afghanistan nationals paroled into the United States for REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.  It is the last of the five FAQ groups on their FAQ webpage:

REAL ID FAQs | Homeland Security (

ORR encourages you to forward this email to your colleagues who may also benefit from this information. In addition, please routinely check our Policy Letters and Dear Colleague Letters pages for updated guidance.

CBP One Mobile Update - Retrieving I-94 Guidance

We understand documentation issues for Afghan arrivals are top-of-mind. ORR has been meeting with our federal partners, including our partners at Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection, to identify solutions to access documentation.

Problems with Form I-94 retrieval may be a result of incorrect spellings of names, incorrect dates of birth, or other mismatches in biographic data. However, the CBP One Mobile app can match photos to retrieve documentation!

The CBP One Mobile app asks the user to take a photo of themselves.

Caring for Newly Arrived Afghans - Free Online Course with CME

Developed by the Global Medicine at the University of Minnesota, this four-hour FREE course, composed of recorded lectures and interactive lessons, helps prepare providers to serve newly arrived Afghans. It covers topics ranging from Operation: Allies Welcome to Afghan cultural background, general and skin medical exams, and mental health care, to clinical observations from practitioners at welcome centers and in receiving states.

Please share this training opportunity with providers serving Afghans in Safe Havens and receiving states. 

Click here for more information.

USCIS information for Afghan Nationals

Please see the attached announcements from our USCIS colleagues. These items announce some of the new fee exemptions and streamline processing that will impact our Afghan populations.

The notable process changes include a separate filing address for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status:

Please note that the attached

ORR PLs 22-06 - Refugee Mental Health Initiative within the Refugee Health Promotion Program; ORR PL 22-07 - Refugee School Impact Program; ORR PL 22-08 - Services to Older Refugees; ORR PL 22-09 - Youth Mentoring Program

Please find attached the following ORR policy letters:

  • ORR PL 22-06 Refugee Mental Health Initiative within the Refugee Health Promotion Program
  • ORR PL 22-07 Refugee School Impact Program
  • ORR PL 22-08 Services to Older Refugee Program
  • ORR PL 22-09 Youth Mentoring Program

If you have any questions regarding these policy letters, please direct your questions to ORR’s Refugee Policy Unit at

ORR Updated guidance: federal documentation for Afghan arrivals

Given the urgency and difficulty in obtaining consistent federal documentation for Afghan arrivals, RPU is providing updated guidance, before revising or publishing an ORR Policy Letter to this effect.


For those who are having trouble accessing federal travel documentation (such as a Form I-94, A-number, passport number, or official DHS documentation) for Afghan arrivals, please follow these steps:

  1. Contact the national resettlement agency for assurance and travel documentation, which may include identifying information on the assured Afghan arrival


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