US announces fees exemptions, streamlined processing to speed up resettlement of Afghan evacuees

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The US government on Monday announced fees exemptions and streamlined processing in a bid to speed up the resettlement process of Afghan evacuees who were paroled into the country for humanitarian reasons on or after July 30, 2021.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said “By providing these evacuees with access to streamlined processing and fee exemptions, we will open doors of opportunity for our Afghan allies and help them begin to rebuild their lives in communities across our country more quickly.”

“These actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Afghan nationals who provided valuable assistance to the United States over the past two decades as well as other Afghans at risk,” Mayorkas added.

Approximately 70,000 Afghans have arrived in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

“Following the biggest airlift in U.S. history, DHS exercised its discretion to parole many Afghan nationals, on a case-by-case basis, into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons,” the statement said.

Parolees may apply for work authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, on the basis of their parole.

Afghan nationals will also have the opportunity to apply for immigration benefits such as Afghan special immigrant status, lawful permanent residence, and asylum.

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