USCIS Provides Guidance for Afghan Special Immigrants and Parolees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new fact sheet for Afghan special immigrants looking to apply for adjustment of status at a safe haven. USCIS also has provided a new fact sheet for Afghan parolees outside the safe haven process. These facts sheets give essential information for Afghan nationals about filing forms, filing fees, and steps they need to take to remain in the U.S. No matter your situation, you should always be sure to notify USCIS within ten days if you change your address by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card. The quickest way to complete Form AR-11 is to do so online. Changing your address in a timely fashion is the best way to ensure you receive all important notices and paperwork from USCIS.

Afghan Special Immigrants Seeking Adjustment at a Safe Haven

This fact sheet addresses Afghan Special Immigrants who fall within one of two categories:

  • You are eligible to file an application for adjustment of status as a Special Immigrant based on employment by or on behalf of the U.S. government, or
  • You started but did not finish the Special Immigrant Visa application process before coming to the U.S.

To obtain adjustment of status in these situations, you must take the following steps:

  • Apply for Chief of Mission (COM) with the Department of State.
  • File Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, with USCIS. There is no filing fee.
  • Apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident or obtain a green card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. There is no filing fee, and you must designate “OAW” on the top righthand corner of your form.
    • You can file Form I-485 if you are at a safe haven and have a U.S. address to include on the form. In addition, you do not need to include two passport-style pictures with this form, as USCIS will accept your Form I-485 even if it has not yet approved your Form I-360.
    • If you don’t have a U.S. address, you can file the form when you arrive at your new home and learn the address. However, USCIS must approve your Form I-360 first if you wait to file your Form I-485 from your new address.
  • USCIS may schedule you for an interview.
  • USCIS will mail you your green card if it approves your Form I-485, which it will consider on an expedited basis, whether you file it from a safe haven or your new home.

Afghan Parolees Outside the Safe Haven Process

Being outside the safe haven process means that you did not go to a government-run safe haven upon your arrival in the U.S., did not remain at a safe haven to complete the entire resettlement process, or are or were an unaccompanied child. Afghans in this situation receive parole for two years but must meet and maintain certain conditions to remain in the U.S., as follows:

  • Receive certain vaccines and a tuberculosis (TB) test and report compliance at
    • MMR (6 months to 64 years)
    • Polio (6 months and older)
    • COVID-19 (5 years and older), one dose
    • Other age-appropriate vaccines after 09/07/21, as determined by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Notify USCIS of address changes by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card, which you also can do online.

Contact Us Today for Legal Assistance with Your Immigration Case

Bashyam Global limits its practice solely to immigration matters. This focus allows us to concentrate our efforts on keeping abreast of the ever-changing immigration law and policy world. We represent your interests, no matter whether you need help with getting an employment-based visa, bringing a loved one to the U.S., or defending against deportation. So call us today at (919) 833-0840 and see what we can do for you.

Schedule a Consulation