DHS exempts Afghan evacuees from immigration fees, speeds up processing

Thousands of Afghans arrive at Ramstein Air Base in Germany

Fox News’ Greg Palkot speaks with some of the Afghan refugees being housed, fed and vetted in Germany following the U.S. withdrawal.

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that Afghan nationals who were evacuated from Afghanistan and brought to the United States will be exempt from filing fees and the processing of their green cards and work permits will be streamlined.

DHS said in a release that so far approximately 70,000 Afghans have been brought into the United States and paroled, in the wake of the Biden administration’s frantic withdrawal from the country at the end of August. The administration has estimated that up to 100,000 could be brought in by the end of Fiscal Year 2022.

Afghans will enter a streamlined process for work permit authorizations, green cards and other services, as part of moves DHS says will help facilitate their resettlement into the country.

“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,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.  “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.”

Afghans paroled into the U.S. are eligible not only for work permits and permanent residency, but also have access to a host of other benefits.

They will be exempt from fees related to processing forms for employment authorization, status adjustment and waiving grounds of inadmissibility. 

The fee for the I-765 employment authorization application is $410, accompanied by an $85 biometrics fee. The fee for an application to register for permanent residence, meanwhile, is $1,140 – again accompanied by an $85 biometrics fee.

Processing, meanwhile, will be sped up for status adjustment, work permits and asylum application.

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