Biden Legislation Increases Access to Refugee Programs for Afghans Who Served Wi

Posted by Berd & Klauss, PLLC on October 7th, 2021

As the Taliban continues to hunt down Afghan allies, the US is extending its refugee program to those who served with the US. The State Department made this known on August 2, 2021.

These Afghans and their eligible family members will be processed under a new designation called Priority 2 or P2, which will apply to “groups of special concern designated by the State Department as having access to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement.”

This new designation provides a means for Afghans to safely relocate to the US even if they don’t qualify for the SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) program. The Congress created SIV to let Afghans and Iraqis who are targeted because of their pro-US work to relocate to the US.


That said eligible Afghans for the refugee program are responsible for getting themselves out of their country, according to a senior official of the State Department. They won’t be processed as refugees until they are in another country, and this processing could take more than one year.

According to the department, the US’s objective remains the same, and that is to ensure a peaceful and secure Afghanistan. However, due to the increasing Taliban violence in the country, the US government is working to allow certain Afghans, including those who worked with the US government to resettle as refugees in the United States.


The designation may be the first step to giving certain Afghans the chance to be safe, but it appears less meaningful because they have to leave Afghanistan before they are processed.

It is challenging to process within Afghanistan. There are existing ‘solutions’ including an Emergency Transit Center (ETC) and a Protected Transfer Agreement (PTA) to airlift people to a secure location for processing. However, these solutions may not be helpful for those who are most in need, especially as not all of them have the visas and the financial means. Moreover, this new refugee program is prone to significant logistical, bureaucratic, and diplomatic challenges!

You can learn more about refugee programs from an immigration firm in New York. It’s also a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer for the best solutions to immigrate safely and legally into the US.

About the Author:

This content is written by Patrick Klauss, Esq, who is an immigration lawyer and a partner at Berd&Klauss, PLLC. The firm specializes in immigration & immigration-related issues and handles everything from immigrant visas to deportation and waivers.

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Berd & Klauss, PLLC
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