USCIS is Rejecting over 90% of Afghans Seeking Humanitarian Parole

Many Afghan citizens who fear harm from the Taliban have been denied by USCIS to enter on humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole is not meant to be a pathway to lawful permanent residence in the U.S., nor does it grant an immigration status. When granted, it allows individuals in danger to temporarily enter the United States and to be reunited with families. The application requirements require a sponsor to sign an affidavit of support (Form I-134) and provide evidence of their ability to provide financial support for the beneficiary. There is a $575 filing fee to apply.

USCIS typically receives fewer than 2,000 requests from all nationalities. Since July of 2021, over 45,000 individuals from Afghanistan applied for parole and 2,200 of them were denied, while approximately 270 were conditionally approved. The remainder remain undecided by the agency.

President Biden indicated in April that he would issue a fast-track system for up to 100,000 Ukrainians to enter on parole, in harsh contrast to Afghans, who currently have no such option. While Ukrainians are certainly deserving of humanitarian parole, it is dumbfounding that USCIS has provided such drastically different treatment to nationals of two similarly situated nations who are in crisis.


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