As the situation in Afghanistan develops, this page will list immigration information resources relevant to Afghan students and scholars in and outside the United States.

NAFSA Advocacy

  • NAFSA Letter Urges DOS to Allow Afghan Women More Opportunity for U.S. Study. In a December 22, 2022 letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Esther Brimmer, urged the Secretary and the Department of State "to act on your promise to Afghan women and girls by providing guidance to consular officers to recognize that Afghan women and men remain eligible for F foreign student status even if they are displaced."

  • NAFSA Joins Letter in Support of Afghan Scholars and Students. On February 4, 2022, NAFSA joined Scholars at Risk and 47 other higher education associations in a letter urging the Biden administration to take "immediate action to enable the safe and speedy relocation of Afghanistan’s students and scholars in the United States" The letter includes several specific policy recommendations to support Afghans, including creating a dedicated visa category for Afghan scholars and students; waiving of the intent-to-return and home residency requirements for existing visa categories; adopting the most favorable interpretation of eligibility for J and F visas; and expediting processing of humanitarian parole for Afghan scholars and students who can show full offers of study, research, or work in the United States with a host university, college, or association.

  • NAFSA Adds Signature to ACE Letter Sent to Congress. NAFSA signed on to a September 23, 2021 letter led by the American Council on Education (ACE) asking House and Senate leadership and Congress "for support and legislation to assist students and scholars who have been displaced by the current crisis in Afghanistan."

  • NAFSA Adds Signature to SAR Letter Sent to DOS. On August 20, 2021, Scholars at Risk (SAR) submitted a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking the agency to take "immediate action to save Afghanistan's scholars, students, practitioners, civil society leaders and activists, especially women and ethnic and religious minorities." The letter is cosigned by numerous higher education institutions, associations, networks, and professionals, including NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Esther D. Brimmer. The SAR website has instructions on how to add your name to the list of signatures.

  • NAFSA Letter to DOS and DHS Urges Immediate Action to Assist Afghan Students, Scholars, Researchers, and Educators. On August 20, 2021, Dr. Esther Brimmer, NAFSA's Executive Director and CEO, sent a letter to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, urging the agencies to take "immediate action to protect the lives of, and provide stability to, Afghan students, scholars, researchers, and those involved in advocating for, promoting, or engaging in higher education." The letter outlines eight specific actions and policies, including announcing special student relief (SSR) for Afghan students in F and J status.

  • Higher ed news articles referenced in the August 17, 2021 issue of
    • Inside Higher Ed and University World News speak to students in Afghanistan about their fears and the desperate circumstances they face.

    • PIE News looks at the steps European and U.S. educators and government officials are taking or being pressured to take to protect Afghan students in their countries, as well as education and cultural partners in Afghanistan.

Government Announcements and Resources

  • Afghanistan SSR. Afghanistan Special Student Relief (SSR) Federal Register notice published in the Federal Register at 87 FR 30971 (May 20, 2022). Effective May 20, 2022 through November 20, 2023. To be eligible, an F-1 student must:

    • Be a citizen of Afghanistan, regardless of country of birth (or be an individual having no nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan);
    • Have been lawfully present in the United States in F-1 nonimmigrant status on May 20, 2022;
    • Be currently maintaining F-1 nonimmigrant status;
    • Be enrolled in an SEVP-certified academic institution; and
    • Be experiencing severe economic hardship "as a direct result of the current situation in Afghanistan"

For background on SSR, see NAFSA's page, Special Student Relief For F-1 Students: Essential Concepts.

  • Afghanistan TPS. USCIS published a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) notice in the Federal Register at 87 FR 30976 (May 20, 2020). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had announced on March 15, 2022 that Afghanistan would be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, through November 20, 2023. The designation will not go into effect until the Federal Register notice is published on May 20, 2022. The DHS announcement states that "TPS will apply only to those individuals who are already residing in the United States as of March 15, 2022, and meet all other requirements, including undergoing security and background checks. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after March 15, 2022, will not be eligible for TPS... The 18-month designation of TPS for Afghanistan will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice. The Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an Employment Authorization Document." Individuals cannot apply for TPS until the TPS notice is published in the Federal Register. Applicants interested in TPS should consult an experienced immigration lawyer. For background on TPS, see NAFSA's page, Basics of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
  • Local Filing of Form I-130 Petitions Filed by U.S. Citizens on Behalf of Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukrainian Immediate Relatives Fleeing Conflict. DOS notice (March 17, 2022).

  • Update on Visa Processing at U.S. Embassy Kabul. Department of State notice (Last Updated: September 1, 2021).

"The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended 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 families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.  We will also continue our efforts to help Lawfull [sic] Permanent Residents, immigrant visa applicants, and the many Afghans who have stood with us over the years, who are seeking to leave Afghanistan, including applicants for Special Immigrant Visas.

Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan is enduring.  We will continue to press for an orderly transition of power to an inclusive government, especially of women and minorities, with broad support.  We will use every diplomatic, economic, political, and assistance tool at our disposal to ensure the Taliban honors its commitments to uphold the basic rights of all Afghans and support continued humanitarian access to the country.

Consular services, including visa services, remain available outside Afghanistan.  If you would like to transfer your immigrant visa or special immigrant visa case to any U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Afghanistan, please submit your request here:

Please refer to Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government ( for more information regarding the SIV process and who to contact with questions. Afghan nationals who are eligible for the SIV program who have not yet done so, are encouraged to submit one complete application package to the National Visa Center ([email protected]) to facilitate processing in an expeditious manner."

Please continue to monitor official U.S. Government websites, including, for updated information."

Non-Government Resources

General NAFSA Resources

Other General Resources

  • Higher Ed Associations Resource Kit on Aiding Afghan Students and Scholars (October 4, 2021)

  • Inclusive Admissions Policies for Displaced and Vulnerable Students (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officer - AACRAO - 2019)

  • "Scholars at Risk (SAR), in partnership with nearly 90 higher education institutions, associations, networks, and over 2,000 professionals and students concerned about colleagues in Afghanistan, has sent the below letter to US government officials urging them to take immediate action to help save Afghanistan’s scholars, students, and civil society actors... SAR is continuing to collect signatures to the letter and will keep sending the letter to US government officials with updated lists of signatories to continue to protect our colleagues in Afghanistan." NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Esther D. Brimmer has added her signature on behalf of NAFSA. The SAR website has instructions for how to add your name to the list of signatures.

  • From the University of California-Davis (UC Davis). "UC Davis recently released an updated version of Article 26 Backpack, a digital tool and ecosystem for refugees and other displaced peoples to safely and securely curate, store, and share critical academic and career development documents with universities, possible employers, and agencies."

  • latitude(s) Newsletter - Afghan crisis edition. Karin Fisher, August 23, 2021.

  • IRAP Legal Resources for Afghans. International Refugee Assistance Project.

  • How to Help Afghan Refugees and the Relief Effort. The New York Times list of organizations accepting donations and volunteers to assist in Afghan refugee resettlement. Originally published Aug. 20, 2021, updated.

  • Find Resources for Assisting Afghan Clients. American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA Doc. No. 21081935. Note at top of this page: "The situation in Afghanistan is constantly changing and the information provided below could be outdated. AILA recommends that individuals consult with an attorney for further information and guidance. AILA members: this document is accessible to the public and can be shared with clients and the community who may need access to resources. Members of the public: if you need an immigration lawyer, please consult AILA's Immigration Lawyer Search."

  • Institute of International Education (IIE) Afghanistan Crisis Response. PDF flyer describing IIE's efforts to support Afghan scholars and college students, including opportunities to make gifts to support those efforts.

  • Higher Ed Afghan Relief Shared Resources. A collection of helpful resources on Google Drive, prepared by and for the higher education community.