Many across the world find themselves weeping at the scenes from Afghanistan, including the killing of more innocent American troops and the sight of thousands scrambling for any means out of the grasp of a maniacal regime that is using their interpretation of religion as a weapon of terror and mass destruction. After weeks of immigration confusion, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has finally directed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ‘parole” certain Afghan evacuees on a case-by-case basis into the U.S.
The move will allow Afghan nationals who are part of Operation Allies Refuge, to temporarily remain in the U.S. for two years following security vetting, according to a USCIS notice. But there is a complicated application process as well. Here’s what Afghan refugees need to know if applying for parole in the U.S.
1: Anyone may request parole for themselves, or on behalf of another individual, by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, along with a statement explaining the beneficiary’s urgent humanitarian circumstances and including any relevant evidence supporting the parole request.
It is essential that the beneficiary’s best contact information (email address, phone number, and local address) be included in the parole application, either on the Form I-131’s applicable section or on a supplemental document, and that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS), is notified of any changes to that contact information. Applications that are not submitted to the appropriate filing address may experience processing delays. Be sure to complete all sections of the form or it will be rejected.
2: The Form I-131 must include the applicable filing fee or fee waiver request using Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. Each family member must file a separate Form I-131 with required fees or Form I-912 and supporting documentation. Write “Afghanistan Humanitarian Parole” on the mailing envelope. For expedited processing, write the word EXPEDITE in the top right corner of the application in black ink.
3: Humanitarian parole beneficiaries usually must have a valid and unexpired passport. If the beneficiary does not have a valid Afghan passport, include a copy of available identification documentation and an explanation of why they do not have an Afghan passport when filing the Form I-131. The parole beneficiary should present available identity documentation to the U.S. embassy during consular processing (if outside of Afghanistan).
4: The sponsor must include a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and supporting documentation with each parole request. USCIS requires evidence of a sponsor who agrees to provide financial support to the parolee while in the United States. There may be multiple sponsors, or the beneficiary may self-sponsor, and an organization may support the parolee by submitting a Form I-134. If an employee of an organization cannot complete the Form I-134, a letter from the organization committing to support the beneficiary may be included with the parole application.
5: Humanitarian parole applications must be submitted through the mail to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox.
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:
P.O. Box 660865
Dallas, TX 75266-0865
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL:
Attn: HP (Box 660865)
2501 S. State Hwy 121, Business
Lewisville, TX 75067-8003
Note that USCIS may exercise discretion to authorize parole on a case-by-case basis for individuals with urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons to come to the United States for a temporary period.
Additionally, parole is not a legal immigration status and does not provide a path to legal immigration status. The beneficiary must take additional steps to ensure they remain legally present in the United States after their authorized period of parole has ended.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow