Afghanistan Repatriation Assistance
Like many Congressional offices, in recent days my office has received numerous phone calls, emails, and messages from people trying desperately to get their loved ones out of Afghanistan.
While my offices in Long Beach and Orange County are open and practicing COVID-19 precautions, we can serve everyone more safely and efficiently online or by phone.
Out of necessity, my office is focusing foremost on 47th District constituents that are:
- U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents currently in Afghanistan, and their spouses and kids
- Afghans who sought Special Immigrant Visas after assisting US armed forces and diplomatic mission
- Family members of past SIV recipients
My office has also taken information from a wide range of other visa applicants and people whose relatives hadn’t started any visa process at all. In such cases, my staff are doing their best to point people in the right direction. My office is in constant contact with the State Department and other agencies as we work through our existing cases, even as more requests come in.
I want to point out that neither myself or my staff are in direct contact with military and diplomatic forces on the ground in Kabul, where conditions - including freedom of movement through the city and access to the airport - are changing by the hour. My staff cotninues to do its utmost to help as many people as possible during this humanitarian crisis.
You can contact my Long Beach office at (562) 436-2838.
You can contact my Orange County office at (714) 243-4088.
You can also contact my offices via email at this email address: email@example.com
My office cannot fill out visa applications for you, nor can my staff accept completed visa applications at our offices.
- For those that have served with US forces and believe you may qualify for a Special Immigrant Visa, information about that process can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/special-immg-visa-afghans-employed-us-gov.html
- For those that have assisted the United States in other capacities but did not meet the more strict standards for the SIV, more information about the Priority 2 designation visas can be found here: https://www.state.gov/u-s-refugee-admissions-program-priority-2-designation-for-afghan-nationals/
- For those seeking to begin the routine family immigrant visa process for qualifying relatives, that information can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-130
- Currently, refugee status requires that an individual file for refugee status from a third country (not their home country or the United States). There are conversations about loosening that requirement to allow Afghan citizens to apply for refugee status from Afghanistan. If we receive any updates on changes to the policy, we will share them.
The best way for our community, which has always been so supportive of refugees, to help in this situation is by supporting those that have made it here from Afghanistan and may need assistance. The State Department works with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide services and relocate refugees and families here on a Special Immigrant Visa. That process is explained here: https://www.state.gov/refugee-admissions/reception-and-placement/
You can also find the list of the organizations that do this work here: https://www.wrapsnet.org/documents/R&P Affiliate Directory (Updated May 2021).pdf. It is organized by state and includes website information for the organizations. I’m sure they would appreciate anything you could do to support them.
I want to thank Congressman Eric Swalwell and his staff for originally compiling this information and creating much of the language above.