The Department of State has updated (Feb 11, 2022) one of its web pages that provides information on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and the referral process. As of early August 2021, Afghan nationals affiliated with the United States government could be referred to the USRAP if they met the eligibility criteria.
An Afghan cannot directly refer themselves to the USRAP. He or she must be referred by a U.S. government agency, U.S.-based non-governmental organization (NGO), or a U.S.-based media organization – provided they meet the eligibility criteria and qualifications. If an Afghan believes that he or she is eligible they must contact that U.S. entity with which there was an affiliation. The U.S. entity will submit the referral to the USRAP. The Afghan can be referred whether or not they are still in Afghanistan.
Case processing does not take place in Afghanistan, only after the Afghan has made it to an eligible processing country. The countries of Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen cannot do USRAP case processing. The United States is not able to provide protection or support to an Afghan while the case is pending. Case processing can be lengthy – potentially 12-18 months.
All applicants must pass extensive security checks and complete an interview with a Department of Homeland Security / US Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. Those Afghans who are eligible for the Special Immigrant Visa program should not seek a USRAP referral.
For more information read this document found online (PDF, 3 pages) entitled “Information for U.S.-Affiliated Afghan Nations Regarding U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USARP) Referrals”, Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State, updated February 11, 2022.
Image: The above graphic depicts the P1 and P2 referral and vetting process. The graphic was made by the #AfghanEvac Coalition (DOI 20220117). A larger version of the P1 / P2 Vetting Process graphic is available here. Image used with permission of #AfghanEvac Coalition.