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OFFICE OF REFUGEE HEALTH

Information and Resources for Afghans

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This page contains information for Afghan citizens and nationals evacuated to the U.S. between July 31, 2021 and September 30, 2022 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

Fee Exemptions and Streamlined Processing for Afghan Nationals as They Resettle into the U.S.

Afghan nationals paroled into the United States on or after July 30, 2021, due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan are eligible for the following fee exemptions and streamlined processing:

Fee Exemptions

  1. An initial Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

    1. Afghan nationals filing Form I-765 on U.S. military installations (safe havens) are exempt from paying the form filing fee or biometric services fee.

    2. Afghan nationals filing Form I-765 off military installations will receive the same fee exemptions.

  2. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (if filing Form I-485 as an Afghan special immigrant) and an associated Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

  3. Associated biometric services.

Streamlined Processing

  1. An initial Form I-765 for those applying for work authorization on the basis of parole (eligibility category (c)(11)) 

  2. Form I-485, for applicants seeking to adjust status as an Afghan special immigrant, and any associated Form I-601

  3. Form I-589, filed by certain Afghan parolees as described in Section 2502(a) of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act.

All Afghan nationals in the United States must have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before they can legally work in the United States.

Afghan Arrival Assistance Resources

Information on Benefits

Information on Eligibility Documentation

Health and Legal Resources

Critical Notices and Requirements for Afghans Granted Humanitarian Parole

How to Apply for Benefits for Food, Cash, and Medical Care Expenses in California

Apply for CalFresh benefits, Medi-Cal, and CalWORKs in your county by visiting My Benefits CalWIN.

Guidance on Medical Insurance Card Issued for Coverage to Those on Base

Medical insurance card given to Afghan guests on base with termination date circled

The coverage offered to Afghan evacuees through Point Comfort Underwriters (PCU) while in their processing phase at designated locations (e.g., Safe Havens) ends when they leave the base or designated non-DOD civilian location. You must enroll in another health insurance option once you are in California.

Employment Authorization Documents and Resources

Information Regarding Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)

Employment authorization document

 If you are an Afghan parolee looking to work in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, before you can work legally in the United States. The I-765 form can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. The USCIS Information for Afghans page also 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.

I have an error on my Employment Authorization Document

If you have received your EAD but it has an error, like your name or birthdate are incorrect, you can request a new EAD free of charge. You will have to submit the following information to USCIS:

  • The original EAD containing the error
  • A description of what information on the card is incorrect, such as first and/or last name and/or date of birth
  • Your U.S. mailing address
  • Copies of supporting documentation, translated as appropriate, that show the correct information

More guidance on how to request an updated EAD can be found USCIS' Information for Afghans page under the "Information about Employment Authorization" section. You can learn how to track the delivery of your EAD on USCIS' How to Track Delivery of Your Green Card, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and Travel Document page.

I haven't received my Employment Authorization Document

 If you were paroled into the United States as a part of Operation Allies Welcome and submitted an I-765 form but have not received your EAD, USCIS may have mailed your EAD to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

  • If you are working with a resettlement agency, IOM will mail your EAD to your resettlement agency. Your resettlement agency will give you your EAD once they receive it in the mail.
  • If you are not working with a resettlement agency, IOM will mail your EAD to the address you put on your documents when you left the Safe Haven. If you are no longer living at that address, you can update your address by completing Form AR-11, Alien's Change of Address (AR-11) online. You will need the Form I-765 receipt number. If you do not remember what address you put on your forms, you can complete Form AR-11, Alien's Change of Address to make sure your documents come to the right address.

If it has been more than 90 days since your I-765 form was approved and you did not receive your EAD, you can create an inquiry with USCIS about your missing document. The USCIS Non-Delivery of Card website has more information on how you can start an inquiry and how you can check the status of your case. In some situations, USCIS may request that you submit a new Form I-765. There is no fee to request a replacement EAD, in this circumstance.

Other Information Regarding Employment

The United States Department of Justice has created a fact sheet on Employment Information Regarding Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Holders and Parolees (PDF). The Refugee and Asylees have the Right to Work – Information for Employers fact sheet (PDF >1 MB) is also a useful resource to share with potential employers who may not be familiar with the refugee, asylee, SIV, or parolee process. 

For Afghans Seeking Resettlement Agency Services and Benefits in California

You must contact a resettlement agency within 90 days of entry to the United States to be eligible for resettlement agency services.

Other Non-Health Related Resources



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