Resource Collection: Legal Services for Afghan Newcomers

Newcomers from Afghanistan face many resettlement challenges in the United States. The process of obtaining legal status is an especially difficult hurdle to navigate. Afghans who entered the country under humanitarian parole may only have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States for two years. After TPS expires, they would lose access to employment, health care, and their legal right to live in the United States unless they gain another eligible status. While there are ways to obtain permanent legal status through asylum or Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) programs, those processes take time and can experience significant delays. To help service providers navigate these complex challenges, this blog post provides a list of websites with listings of legal service providers, various programs, and tools under the “Additional Resources” section. A key new program funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement is also highlighted. 

Introducing the Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals Project

To support Afghan newcomers with navigating this complex legal terrain, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) awarded nearly $35 million to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) to provide direct legal services to Afghan humanitarian parolees seeking the adjustment of their immigration status after arrival. Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals (ILSAA) is a new project set up to provide immigration legal services at no cost to Eligible Afghan Arrivals (EAAs) across the country and helps build the capacity of immigration legal service providers (LSPs) to engage in these services. EAAs include Afghan humanitarian parolees, unaccompanied Afghan minors, and others with eligible status as defined in ORR Policy Letter 22-01

Services for Afghan Clients

ILSAA provides services to EAAs in support of finding pathways to permanent residency, achieving TPS, family reunification, and more. ILSAA will also provide opportunities for EAAs to request services directly. Once ILSAA receives a request for legal assistance, they will match the applicant with local legal service providers that ILSAA trains and supervises throughout the immigration process.  

Afghans who are eligible to receive immigration legal services through ILSAA can request services by sending an email to 

Support for Service Providers

Support for legal service providers who become part of ILSAA’s LSP network includes training and technical assistance, resources and tools, and opportunities to share best practices and knowledge with peers. 

Sign Up to Receive Updates

In the spring of 2023, ILSAA will launch a website for EAAs and LSPs. The website will serve as a knowledge and referral hub for EAAs requiring immigration legal assistance and for building LSPs’ capacity to provide immigration legal services to EAAs. To sign up to receive news and updates from ILSAA, contact

Key Resources about Afghan Newcomers and Legal Needs 

Guide: Fact Sheet on Operation Allies Welcome (OAW)  
Blog: A Resource List for Serving Afghan Evacuees 
Guide: Afghan Arrival Categories, Documentation, and SAVE Responses 
Tip Sheet: Who is a Refugee, Afghan Evacuee, and Asylum Seeker? 
Webinar: Learn About Immigration Pathways for At-Risk Afghans 
Webinar: Asylum 101 for Representing Afghan Parolees 
Webinar: Asylum for Afghans 201: Bars to Asylum and Common Concerns 
Webinar: Asylum for Afghans 202: Anatomy of the Asylum Interview  

Additional Resources

Below is an extensive list of other government agencies and nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting Afghan newcomers in obtaining legal status within the United States. Please note that this information is not intended to provide legal advice. Also, information is constantly evolving, so please stay up to date by visiting the sites for the resources provided. 

Legal Services for Afghan Newcomers: 

Information on Legal Statuses and Resettlement Support: 

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