The U.S. State Department has suspended its diplomatic presence in Kabul and transferred operations to Doha, Qatar. In continuing their efforts to help Americans, foreign nationals, and Afghans leaving Afghanistan, the State Department encourages everyone to stay up to date with Security and Consular alerts by visiting their website here.
U.S. Citizens in Need of Assistance should:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and ensure they can be located in an emergency.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Be aware of your surrounding and local security developments at all times.
- Keep a low profile
- Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
- Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Monitor local media.
Please review the following resources provided by the State Department as Consular Services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here. The Department of State will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), Embassy Kabul’s web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter.
For more information for Afghans who have since relocated to the United States, please visit this link here, for more information.
If you are a constituent of Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and need assistance with a family member, friend or qualifying applicant current in Afghanistan, please contact my District Office at (480) 946-2411 to learn if our casework team can assist.
Important Update on Visa Processing at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul:
The consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closed and visa services are no longer available in Kabul. This includes interviews and completion of previously interviewed cases for any category of visa, including Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), in Afghanistan. The State Department continues to develop processing alternatives to deliver this important service for the people of Afghanistan who have served alongside our military forces, and will continue to prioritize SIV applications at every stage of the SIV process. Should the SIV applicant request a transfer of their case, the State Department is prepared to transfer it to other U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
Visa Categories for Afghans
Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)
- This program is available to citizens or nationals of Afghanistan who were employed in Afghanistan on or after October 7, 2001, for at least one year by or on behalf of the U.S. government or by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission, in a capacity that required the applicant to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF or to perform sensitive and trusted activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF. Applicants to this program must also have experienced or be experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of their employment. For Afghan SIV Program update please review: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/special-immg-visa-afghans-employed-us-gov.html
- Afghan nationals with pending SIV applications should follow the guidance available in the following information. After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the applicant’s petition and the applicant becomes eligible for an interview, applicants should notify the National Visa Center (NVC) at this NVC if they are able to travel to another immigrant visa processing post outside of Afghanistan (search here). The NVC will then assist the applicant to transfer their case to that location for an interview. If the SIV applicant is currently outside of Afghanistan, they should contact the National Visa Center at this link to have their case transferred to an U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the applicant’s choice that has an immigrant visa processing unit. Finally, Afghans who are applying for a non-SIV immigrant visa and are able to travel to another immigrant visa processing post should use this link to request a case transfer.
- Afghan nationals who are eligible for the SIV program, and who have not yet done so, are encouraged to submit one complete application package to NVC (AfghanSIVapplication@state.gov) to facilitate processing in an expeditious manner. Please refer to Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government (state.gov) for more information regarding the SIV process and who to contact with questions.
Immigrant visa applicants, including SIV applicants, should continue monitoring official U.S. Government websites, including travel.state.gov, for updated information. If there are instructions pertaining to your individual SIV or immigrant visa petition, the U.S. government will contact you separately.
Additional SIV resources:
- Recent update for all new SIV Applicants as of July 20, 2022
- New SIV Applicants will now only be required to submit a DS-157 form (found here) along with their Chief of Mission (COM) approval notice. Applicants will no longer be required to file a form I-360 petition.
- If the applicant has not yet received Chief of Mission (COM) approval for their SIV application and have questions on how to receive COM approval, the applicant should contact NVC at AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov.
- Applicants with COM approval on the SIV application with questions regarding the filing of the official Form I-360 petition, should contact the USCIS Nebraska Service Center at email@example.com.
- Applicants with an approved Form I-360 petition and with questions regarding their case status, should contact the NVC at NVCSIV@state.gov.
- Applicant questions about their SIV interview, they should contact NVC at https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of Afghanistan nearest to you. You can find a list of our U.S. Embassies and Consulates at http://www.usembassy.gov.
- For information about SIV resettlement benefits and post-arrival services, please contact the Refugee Processing Center at SIV@wrapsnet.org.
- If an interested party is a supervisor (or former supervisor) of an SIV applicant and would like to submit additional information in support of the pending visa application, please contact SIV-Veterans-Support@state.gov.
Priority-1 (P-1) for U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)
Available to Afghan citizens who claim persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds covered in U.S. refugee law (race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion), and are unable to receive support or protection from the Afghan Government. Only U.S. citizens who are current or former Chief of Mission or Department of Defense employees who served in Afghanistan are eligible to nominate Afghans for P-1 embassy referrals to the USRAP.
Individual P-1 cases are referred by the U.S. Embassy, designated NGO or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Individuals who are eligible for a SIV should not be nominated for P-1.
- Individuals who believe they are eligible for P-1 should work with their contact at the U.S. Embassy or applicable NGO to explore the process.
Priority-2 (P-2) for U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The P-2 program is for Afghans who fall into one of three categories:
- Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked at any time as employees of contractors, locally employed staff, interpreters/translators of the U.S. government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;
2. Afghans who work or worked at any time for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement;
3. Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S-based NGO or media organization. U.S. government departments and agencies, and U.S.-based NGOs or media organizations with operations in Afghanistan, may submit P-2 referrals for Afghans.
U.S. Refugee Admissions Program: Afghans eligible for and referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) must be outside of Afghanistan in a third country for their cases to be processed. For more information on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, please visit https://www.state.gov/u-s-refugee-admissions-program-priority-2-designation-for-afghan-nationals/
Asylum/Humanitarian Assistance: Afghans with safety concerns may contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) protection office, which can be reached via their Protection Hotline numbers or email address: 0790691746 and 0704996168 (available on all working days), and firstname.lastname@example.org. UNHCR’s website provides information on asylum procedures abroad: https://help.unhcr.org.