If you were paroled into the United States and currently remain a parolee or were paroled into the United States and subsequently granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), your spouse and unmarried children who were under 21 as of August 14, 2021 who were left behind in Afghanistan may be eligible for admission to the United States as refugees. If you were under the age of 18 upon arrival to the United States, arrived after August 14, 2021, and have a parent or legal guardian who is outside the United States, your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or unmarried siblings under the age of 21 may also be eligible for admission to the United States as refugees.
To apply, you must fill out Form DS-4317, which is available for completion and filing on-line. Family members who qualify for relocation to a third country may then be considered for refugee resettlement in the U.S. through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Assistance from the U.S. Government to depart Afghanistan is not a guarantee of admission into the United States. Each individual must pass security vetting before receiving approval to relocate to the United States. To complete this form, parolees should have the following documents available:
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- If the parolee filing Form DS-4317 does not have an EAD, they will need their USCIS# (A-Number or Alien Registration Number) and other documents, such as Form I-94. For more information on locating a Form I-94, see the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 webpage for parolees.
Parolees should also have the following documents available on behalf of their lawful spouse and unmarried children under 21 who are outside of the United States:
- Marriage Certificate – for your lawful spouse
- Birth Certificate – for your children under the age of 21
- Tazkera – for each family member
- Passport (if available) – for each family member (note: a valid passport will be required for each family member)
Note that, generally, only the lawful (first) marriage of a polygamous marriage will be considered valid for immigration purposes unless a divorce/death certificate can be provided as evidence that a marriage has ended, along with a marriage certificate for any subsequent marriages. Polygamy is the religious practice or historical custom of having more than one spouse at the same time. Polygamous marriages are legal under Afghan law, but they are illegal in all states in the United States. U.S. law does not recognize polygamous marriages. If an individual continues a polygamous marriage they were in before they came to the United States or begins a new polygamous marriage in the United States, their immigration application or petition may be denied.
IMPORTANT: The family reunification process can be complicated as can the documentary requirements to prove qualifying relationships, so you may want to consult with a qualified legal service provider to help determine if your relatives are eligible to join you in the U.S., and/or to assist you with the process.
IMPORTANT: You should NOT travel to Afghanistan to accompany your family members. You are not required to be in Afghanistan for the U.S. Government to help your family members depart Afghanistan. The U.S. Government will not help your family members depart more quickly if you are in Afghanistan.
For information on family reunification with other immigration statuses, visit these Settle In Help Center links: