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Information and Resources for Afghans

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This page contains information for Afghan citizens and nationals evacuated to the U.S. who are now residing in California.

UrgentIf you have been granted humanitarian parole and have not attested your vaccination status, please visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website and complete the online Vaccination Status form: Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status | USCIS 

Please note that as of September 30, 2023, only certain relatives (spouses, children) of Afghan and Ukrainian parolees are eligible for benefits provided through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), including the Refugee Health Assessment Program. If arriving after September 30, 2023, please read the ORR Dear Colleague Letter (PDF) to check for eligibility for Office of Refugee Health services. 

For more information on vaccine attestation requirements, visit the Vaccine Attestations webpage​. ​

How to Get a Medical Screening in California​​

Eligible arrivals from Afghanistan can get a free medi​cal screening through​ the Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP). There are 11 RHAP clinics in the state of California. Please visit the RHAP County Clinics webpage​ for the list of clinics. Visit the How Can New Arrivals Get a Free Medical ​Screening in California​ webpage​ for more information on what the medical screening covers and what to do if your county does not have a RHAP clinic.

Special Note Regarding Medical Records for Afghans Who Were on Safe Havens

Medical records for Afghans who were on Safe Havens have been sent to the Office of Refugee Health. Please email/call your local refugee health program​ or email the Department of Defense at ​for more information. 

​Afghan Arrival Assistance Resources

Information on Eligibility Documentation

Information on Medi-Cal and Other Public Benefits

The following documents contain information on available public benefits and Medi-Cal eligibility for new Afghan arrivals:

How to Sign Up for Medi-Cal and Public Benefits

Within a few days of arrival to California, new arrivals should apply for Medi-Cal, and other public benefits:​

  • ​​CalFresh provides cash benefits towards healthy and nutritious food. 

  • CalWORKS provides cash aid and services to eligible families who have a child in the home. 

  • If there is no minor child in the home, Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) provides cash aid and services to Office of Refugee Resettlement eligible populations. 

  • Medi-Cal provides affordable, high-quality medical and dental care services to children and adults who meet the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements. 

Individuals may apply online on​​ ​​the BenefitsCal website​. As an alternative, applications can be submitted in person to the local county Human or Social Service Agency. The Department of Health Care Services County Offices webpage can be used to find the local county office. ​​

The California Public Benefits Fact Sheet (PDF) contains more information on how to sign up for public benefits in California.

If applying for California Public Benefits in person, the Public Benefits Application Cover Sheet (PDF) includes a checklist of necessary documents to apply for public benefits in CA.​

More information on the Medi-Cal Dental Program can be found on the Dental Care for Medi-Cal Recipients fact sheet (PDF) and on the Department of Health Care Services website. Medi-Cal can also cover transportation to medical, dental, and pharmacy visits. The Medi-Cal Transport Tool Fact Sheet (PDF) contains information on how to coordinate transportation.​​

For Afghans Seeking Resettlement Agency Services and Benefits in California

Resettlement agencies may be able to assist with public benefits, legal referrals, assistance with employment authorization, and school enrollment. You must contact a resettlement agency within 90 days of entry to the United States to be eligible for resettlement agency services.

Mental/Behavioral Health Resources

  • Wellness Helpline for Afghans: Offers counseling services to newcomers who are experiencing sadness, anger, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, or any other distress. Call  (800) 615-6514. Helpline workers will respond to callers in English, Dari, or Pashto 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide connections to counseling services and referrals, telehealth services, and more. ​​

  • Behavioral Health Services for Afghan Arrivals (PDF)

  • Afghan Medical Professionals Association of America HEAL Project – virtual/telehealth medical and mental health services for new Afghan Arrivals including those without health insurance. For more information contact: 571-427-5923 or 301-392-7660 ​

​Tuberculosis and Vaccine Information

Information on Employment and Resources

Afghan parolees must submit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ​Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization​, before they can work legally in the United States. The USCIS Information for Afghans page ​includes step-by-step information how to submit form I-765 so you can receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the United States.

Legal Resources

Additional Resources

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