An official website of the United States Government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

General Overview

The Department of State continues to receive and process referrals for Afghans who are eligible for consideration under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  We also continue to identify additional ways to support Afghans at risk, including women, children, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQI+ community, members of minority groups, and journalists.  This effort is of the utmost importance to the U.S. government.

The Afghan Priority-2 (P-2, Special Groups of Concern) Program

The Department of State announced the Afghan P-2 Program on August 2, 2021, as a pathway to resettlement for qualified Afghans, including those who have worked with the U.S. government, and U.S.-based media organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Afghans and their eligible family members (spouse and children of any age, whether married or unmarried) can be referred to the P-2 program by a U.S. government agency or eligible NGO and media organizations that were not funded by the U.S. government but are headquartered in the United States. The senior-most U.S. citizen employee of that organization is responsible for making a referral.

Information for Afghan nationals regarding the P-2 designation and instructions for U.S.-based media and U.S.-based NGOs to submit P-2 referrals are available at

Individuals Eligible for the P-2 Program:

  • Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked as employees of contractors, locally employed staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;
  • Afghans who work or worked for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement;
  • Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization.

USRAP Priority-1 (P-1, Individual Referral) Processing

We continue to process Afghans through the USRAP P-1 access category.  These are individual cases referred by designated entities to the USRAP by virtue of their circumstances or apparent need for resettlement.  P-1 refugee cases include those referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a certified NGO or a U.S. embassy.  This category allows the USRAP to consider refugee claims from persons of any or no nationality, usually with compelling protection needs, for whom resettlement appears to be the appropriate durable solution.

If an Afghan does not meet any of the criteria for a P-2 referral but is known to a U.S. Embassy or U.S. government agency/bureau, and has imminent and compelling protection concerns, he or she may be eligible for referral to the P-1 program.

Afghan USRAP Processing

Those Afghans being considered for refugee status must demonstrate they were persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group and meet other eligibility requirements, including security vetting and medical clearances.

The Principal Applicant will be notified via email from or once a P-1 or P-2 referral has been submitted on their behalf and deemed complete.  If the Principal Applicant has not received a confirmation email, they should check with the party who submitted a referral on their behalf for an update on their referral progress. The Afghan referral confirmation email will provide the Principal Applicant their Afghan Referral Record (ARR) number and will provide additional information related to next steps for USRAP processing to commence.

Afghan Arrivals under Operation Allies Welcome

Since mid-2021, we welcomed nearly 90,000 Afghans to the United States through Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), an historic whole-of-government effort, a majority of whom were granted parole into the United States and temporarily housed at U.S.-based Department of Defense (DoD) installations, also known as “safe havens.”  The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with its resettlement agency, state, and community partners, dramatically expanded their capacity at the outset of OAW and have worked around the clock to resettle our Afghan allies safely and responsibly as they start their new lives in the United States. We are incredibly grateful for and inspired by the dedication of our resettlement partners, volunteers, and community sponsors across the country involved in this effort.

In early 2022, we shifted to Phase II of OAW, during which we began processing the vast majority of Afghans overseas through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program or the USRAP, which allows Afghans to arrive in the United States with an immigration status, be connected to resettlement agency partners, and travel directly to their final destinations.

Afghan Arrivals under Enduring Welcome

The U.S. government remains committed to the brave Afghans who stood side-by-side our diplomats, aid workers, and soldiers for two decades, and is working to reunify those in the United States with their family members overseas.  This commitment does not have an end date, which is why we transitioned from OAW to what we call “Enduring Welcome (OEW).” As part of OEW, we have pivoted to relying on our standard immigrant visa, Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), and refugee admissions program so that new arrivals who enter with those statuses join our communities with long-term immigration status.

All OEW arrivals undergo a multi-layered and rigorous screening and vetting process conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals at DHS, State, DoD, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center, and other Intelligence Community partners.

Afghan SIVs, refugees, and parolees arriving in the United States receive initial resettlement assistance from resettlement agencies and approved community groups.  We continue to expand our resettlement agency network are working closely with our resettlement agency partners and new partner organizations to provide initial resettlement assistance to newly arriving Afghans in their communities.

Additional Resources

Additional resources on U.S. government support to our Afghan allies can be found at Afghanistan Inquiries.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future