We continue to closely monitor events and carefully assess conditions in Afghanistan. The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas remain a top priority.
U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents:
- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended all operations on August 31, 2021.
- While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their family members in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar. We will also continue our efforts to help Lawful Permanent Residents, as well as the many Afghans who have stood with us over the years, who are seeking to leave Afghanistan.
- Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan is enduring. We will continue to press for an orderly transition of power to an inclusive government with broad support, especially women and minorities. We will use every diplomatic, economic, political, and assistance tool at our disposal to uphold the basic rights of all Afghans; support continued humanitarian access to the country; and ensure the Taliban honors its commitments.
- The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here.
- The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens still in country should:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments at all times.
- Keep a low profile.
- Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
- Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Monitor local media.
- Please review, “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.”
- Resources for U.S. citizens in Afghanistan:
- State Department – Consular Affairs Afghanistan Call Center
- Embassy Citizens’ Services Page
- Afghanistan Country Information
- Afghanistan Travel Advisory
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Afghanistan.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on state.gov for the latest information.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to ensure you receive Alerts and other information
Non-U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents:
- The United States is taking every available measure to assist Afghans who are at risk, particularly those who worked for or with the United States or have supported international efforts, and has established mechanisms to help Afghans at risk receive protection from potential retaliation or harm.
- The two key mechanisms to support Afghans who are at risk because of their affiliation with the United States are the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and priority referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
Special Immigrant Visa Applicants:
- While we are currently unable to provide consular services for immigrant visas, including Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), in Afghanistan, we are developing processing alternatives so that we can continue to deliver this important service for the people of Afghanistan.
- We also will continue to prioritize SIV applications at every stage of the SIV process, including transferring cases to other U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world. This effort is of the utmost importance to the U.S. Government.
- Afghan nationals with pending SIV applications should follow the guidance available here. After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved your petition and you become eligible for an interview, you should notify the National Visa Center (NVC) at this link if you are able to travel to another immigrant visa processing post outside of Afghanistan (search here). We will then assist you in transferring your case to that location for an interview. If you are currently outside of Afghanistan, please contact the National Visa Center at this link to have your case transferred to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your choice. Finally, if you are applying for a non-SIV immigrant visa and are able to travel to another immigrant visa processing post please also use this link to request a case transfer.
- Afghan nationals who are eligible for the SIV program, and who have not yet done so, are encouraged to submit one complete application package to NVC (AfghanSIVapplication@state.gov) to facilitate processing in an expeditious manner. Please refer to Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government (state.gov) for more information regarding the SIV process and who to contact with questions.
- Immigrant visa applicants, including SIV applicants, should continue monitoring official U.S. Government websites, including state.gov, for updated information. If there are instructions pertaining to your individual SIV or immigrant visa petition, the U.S. government will contact you separately.
Please find additional SIV resources below:
- If you have not yet received Chief of Mission (COM) approval for your SIV application and have questions on how to receive COM approval, please email NVC at AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov.
- If you have received COM approval for your SIV application and have questions regarding the filing of your official Form I-360 petition, please contact the USCIS Nebraska Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have an approved Form I-360 petition and have questions regarding your case status, please email the NVC at NVCSIV@state.gov.
- If you have questions about your SIV interview, please contact NVC at https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of
- Afghanistan nearest to you. You can find a list of our U.S. Embassies and Consulates at https://www.usembassy.gov/
- If you would like information about SIV resettlement benefits and post-arrival services, please contact the Refugee Processing Center at SIV@wrapsnet.org.
- If you are a supervisor (or former supervisor) of an SIV applicant and would like to submit information in support of the pending visa application, please contact SIV-Veterans-Support@state.gov.
U.S. Refugee Admissions Program:
- Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan is enduring. We will continue to assist Afghans who may be eligible for referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and at-risk Afghans. Afghans eligible and referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) must be outside of Afghanistan in a third country for their cases to be processed. We recognize that it may be difficult for Afghans to obtain a visa to a third country or find a way to enter a third country, and like many refugees, may face significant challenges fleeing to safety. Our expectation – and the expectation of the international community – is that people who want to leave Afghanistan after the U.S. military departs should be able to do so.
- Information on the Priority-2 designation for access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is available at state.gov/refugee-admissions/. Information for Afghan nationals regarding the P-2 designation and instructions for U.S.-based media and U.S. NGOs to submit P-2 referrals are available at www.wrapsnet.org. For additional questions related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, please contact USRAPAfghanInquiries@state.gov.
UNHCR and Assistance
- Individuals who believe they are being persecuted or who fear persecution in their own country and have managed to flee to another country should follow procedures to seek asylum with local/national authorities. Such individuals can also seek assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR’s immediate focus is to ensure that Afghans who are seeking safety can reach it, including across borders and into neighboring countries if needed and that they can receive assistance to meet basic needs.
- Globally, possibilities for resettlement of Afghans under UNHCR’s program are determined by participating governments. With respect to potential resettlement in a third country, resettlement quotas from governments around the world can currently only include a tiny proportion of refugees worldwide (less than 1%). Although some individuals may be determined to be in need of life-saving resettlement and may meet eligibility criteria, this is contingent on many factors, including the severity of resettlement needs, the protection environment, the position of the host country, and the availability of resettlement places. More information can be found on the UNHCR website at https://help.unhcr.org/.
How the Public Can Help
- It is the millions of people in local communities across the United States who ensure the success of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by welcoming and helping integrate refugees from around the world. We encourage people who are interested in assisting arriving Afghans to reach out to their local refugee resettlement agency to donate, volunteer, or even form community sponsorship teams. There are many opportunities to be involved in welcoming Afghans and helping them to rebuild their lives in the U.S.
- For a list of resettlement agency and affiliate contacts, please visit wrapsnet.org/resources/.
- To help Afghans in crisis around the world, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) has created a page that lists the U.S. and international organizations providing life-saving assistance. CIDI’s goal is to support donors and relief agencies as they work together to provide quick, effective, and efficient relief to people affected by disasters.
- For a list of U.S. and international nongovernmental organizations assisting Afghans around the world, please visit: https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/afghanistan.
Partnerships for Afghan Response
- In recognition of the outpouring of expressions of support from American businesses, philanthropies, faith-based communities, civil society organizations, and individuals, the Department of State is seeking to coordinate among private sector stakeholders to expand the capacity of the United States to welcome greater numbers of at-risk Afghans in this pivotal moment.
- A broad network of private actors including but not limited to U.S. companies, philanthropies, universities, civil society organizations, faith-based communities, and veteran groups have expressed interest in a variety of ways to support Afghans, including funding and sponsorship, and as coordinators, and advocates/promoters of this effort. For more information, click here.
- There are efforts underway to develop a system that will enable travelers from Hamid Karzai International Airport to recover baggage that was lost in transit. Once that system is in place, information about how to locate lost luggage will be posted on this page.