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What if I am a New Employee to a program serving torture survivors?
What resources are available to Students researching the healing process of torture survivors?

We encourage people who are serving survivors of torture to submit resources to this website.

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 (dhs.gov)

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.

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.

Access for Everyone: A Toolkit for Addressing Health Equity and Racial Justice within Integrated Care Settings

A New Toolkit from the National Council for Mental Wellness

The first module is available here and focuses on mental health equity, including the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate care. The entire toolkit, modules 2-6, will be released by March of 2022. 

Information from the page, provided by the National Council for Mental Wellness on this toolkit:

As an organization, we have vowed to raise awareness about health care inequities and are committed to providing support to our members as they begin to or continue to address these inequities and persistent health disparities

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 RefugeePolicy@acf.hhs.gov.

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

COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Resources

In case you missed HHS’ Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) recent webinar on the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program in partnership with Treasury and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we wanted to share the recording and attached presentation. In addition, below are resources shared during the webinar that may be helpful to you and the populations we serve. 

 Sites & Resources from Treasury: 

  • Find rental assistance: Treasury has collected websites associated with our grantees’ Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs to help tenants and landlords find rental

CVT Literature Selection Q3 2021

This document is a resource for current literature, July through September, on the topic of the mental health status of and treatments for torture survivors, war trauma survivors, refugees, and asylum seekers. This also includes research in the area of social work that relates directly to the psychological well-being of these populations. The compilation below includes peer reviewed journal article citations in these areas and links to the publicly available abstracts and full text versions of these articles.

Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022

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:

  1. 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.

Various Resources From ORR - Afghan Evacuees

ORR have shared some new resources regarding Afghan evacuees for your situational awareness and to share:

  • Webinar on Afghan Culture and Health Screening Considerations from the CDC-funded Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health on Oct 4. Click to open attachment. Click here to register.
  • Flyer for bases: What Afghans should carry their medical records with them to their final destination. Click to open pdf.  CDC asks that this be disseminated to our deployers and encourages this be posted at the bases. 
  • CDC’s website containing resources for deployers and external partners is now live:  

Switchboard: Resources for Serving Afghan Clients

Switchboard recently published two blog posts aimed at service providers supporting clients and recent arrivals from Afghanistan. A Round-Up of Resources for Serving Afghan Evacuees shares federal policies, cultural orientation resources, and economic empowerment and digital inclusion resources. It includes a focus on resources available in Dari and Pashto. Supporting Clients and Staff Affected by the Crisis in Afghanistan provides tips that may be helpful to program staff and leaders as they seek to care for clients and staff affected by the situation in Afghanistan.

SAVE - Afghan Special Immigrant Parolee and LPR Status

Afghan Special Immigrant Parolee and Lawful Permanent Resident Status

On July 30, 2021, the President announced that the first flight of Operation Allies Refuge had arrived in the United States, carrying Afghans who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV), including family members. These individuals and future arrivals that are part of this operation will have a special immigrant Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status or special immigrant parole that meets the special immigrant requirement for certain government benefits. 

As with other Iraqis and Afghans and their dependents admitted

Afghan SI/SQ Parolee communication from ORR partners

As you know, in the first week of August, ORR published ORR PL 21-07, Amendment to ORR Policy Letter 16-01: Additional Form of Documentation for Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants. In addition, in response to concerns about Afghans with SI/SQ parole (per section 602(B)(1) AAPA / Section 1509(a) NDAA 2006) not being able to access mainstream benefits, ORR took two main steps.

  1. Issued ORR DCL 21-16, Clarification Related to Afghan SQ/SI Parolees Eligibility for RCA/RMA, as a reminder that if these Afghan parolees are found ineligible for TANF or Medicaid, they should be screened for RCA and

Updates on COVID-19 Resources

National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) COVID-19 resources for Afghan new arrivals and Back to School Updated 8/24/21

COVID-19 resources for Afghan new arrivals

  • Refugee resettlement agencies, local governments and community organizations are providing housing, clothing, healthcare, transportation and other resources that cover the basic needs of the Afghan new arrivals who have been displaced from their home country.
  • The National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC-RIM) can only provide resources related to COVID-19, and acknowledge that


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