In August 2021, the US government announced the availability of the Priority-2 (P-2) program, allowing eligible Afghan nationals to apply for resettlement to the United States. The P-2 program includes a provision for Afghans who “are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based non-governmental or US-based media organization.”
A process was established for eligible employers to refer their current or former employees to the P-2 program, along with their eligible family members. Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse, children, and the children’s spouses and children, if applicable.
Requesting P-2 Referral
Applicant requests P-2 referral from current or former employer.
If you are a current or former direct employees of a US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) or media organization, you may request a P-2 referral from your employer. Consult your employer’s website for information about P-2 program referrals, or request assistance from human resources staff or your supervisor. Be aware that employers are not obligated to assist with referrals, and may not have the resources to do so.
Generally, you will be requested supply the following information:
• A completed P-2 referral form, with identifying information about yourself and your eligible family members
• Information about your employment with the NGO, including your dates of employment, your job title, and your work location
• Employment documents such as contracts, ID cards and verification letters, if available
• Identifying documents for yourself and your eligible family members, such as national IDs (Tazkira), passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates, if available
Employer Review & Referral Submission
Employer verifies employment and submits referral to appropriate US government agency.
NGOs and media organizations are required to verify and certify the employment and funding source of current and former employees they refer to the P-2 program. You may be asked for additional information to help locate your employment and payroll records. Depending on your position’s funding source, the NGO will either submit the referral directly the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), or to the US government agency that primarily funded your salary.
The referral will include:
1. your completed P-2 referral form
2. a letter signed by the “the senior-most U.S. citizen employee of the referring organization” verifying your employment details
3. any supporting documents you provided.
View this document for more information about the process to be followed by referring organizations:
Afghan Referral Record (ARR) Notification
US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) emails Afghan Referral Record (ARR) number to applicant, with instructions on next steps.
After receipt of your referral package, the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) generates an Afghan Referral Record (ARR) number. This is a unique number associated with your referral. It is not a case number and does not guarantee that you will be approved for resettlement to the United States. USRAP will contact you at the primary email address specified on your P-2 referral form and will provide the ARR number and instructions for the next steps in the process.
It may take several months or longer for an ARR number to be issued. Each agency has their own timeline and process for reviewing referral applications before forwarding the referral to USRAP. Your employer will have an opportunity to address any issues identified in the review process, and may contact you if any additional information is required.
Relocation and Registration
Applicant relocates to third country where refugee processing is possible and completes online USRAP registration form using link provided in Afghan Referral Record (ARR) notification email.
After receipt of the ARR#, you decide whether or not to relocate to a third country where refugee processing will be possible. For a list of countries where processing is not possible, please refer to this document at wrapsnet.org. Note that processing will commence only after your arrival in third countries and once you have notified the US government of your whereabouts.
Upon arrival in the third country, you should complete an online USRAP registration form using a link supplied with the ARR notice. The online form will ask for your current location. This information will be provided to the closest Resettlement Support Center (RSC) for case creation and processing. The form will look similar to this sample
Be sure to type the “ARR-“ prefix when entering your ARR number.
After submitting the information, you will receive an email confirmation that their registration has been received, similar to this sample:
You should also register with the local UNHCR office. Select the country you are currently in on this site for local UNHCR contact information to register: https://help.unhcr.org/.
You may initially travel alone to the third country, but all eligible family members who you wish to resettle with must be present for the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) pre-screening process.
The assigned Resettlement Support Center (RSC) contacts the applicant, usually by email, with their case number.
Following the completion of the online registration form, the assigned Resettlement Support Center (RSC) will create a case number and send it to you via email, along with further information about next steps. Due to the high number of requests received, it may be many months from the time you submit your Google Form before you receive your RSC case number. Be aware that a case number does not guarantee that you will be approved for resettlement to the United States.
Prescreening Interview, USCIS Interview and Security Checks
Interviews are arranged and security checks are conducted.
At some point following issuance of a case number, you will be invited to a pre-screening interview by a representative of your assigned Resettlement Support Center (RSC). All eligible family members who you wish to travel with must be present for this interview. At the interview, a caseworker will explain the process, and will work with you to ensure that your information and documentation is in order for your case file. If you have any corrections or additions to your application, you may discuss them with your caseworker. Following the interview, a series of security checks will be initiated based on the information and documentation you provided.
Later, you will be invited for an interview with a representative of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. You will be photographed and fingerprinted for biometric security checks. The USCIS representative will interview you to confirm that you are qualified to access the US Refugee Admissions Program, to evaluate your refugee claim, to determine if you are already firmly resettled in a third country, and to determine if you are admissible to the US, among other questions.
- USRAP Application and Case Processing Overview:
USRAP admissions flow chart:
USCIS Refugee Processing and Security Screening overview:
UNHCR Refugee Resettlement Info-graphic:
Medical Examination, Resettlement Agency Placement and Cultural Orientation
Approved applicants receive a medical examination and cultural orientation and are assigned to a US resettlement agency.
If your case is approved, your Resettlement Support Center will coordinate a medical examination to screen for communicable diseases and other health-related issues. Your case will also be assigned to a resettlement agency in the US, who will identify the initial location to which you will be resettled. Your Resettlement Support Center will provide you with cultural orientation programs and materials to prepare you for the changes you will experience in your new home country.
Cultural Orientation Guides:
Travel to the United States, Reception and Placement
Travel to the US is arranged, and applicants are welcomed to the US
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will arrange your travel to the US. The cost of your transportation will be provided to you as an interest-free loan. You will be responsible for repaying this this loan over time beginning six months after your arrival in the US.
Representatives of your resettlement agency will meet you at the airport and escort you to your first home in the US. They will provide an initial orientation and will continue to work with you for the first few months after your arrival. For at least the first 30 to 90 days after arrival, you will be provided with housing, essential furnishings, food, necessary seasonal clothing, and assistance with access to social, medical, education and employment services. Developing early self-sufficiency through employment is a key component of the US resettlement program.
Welcome US Newcomer Resources
USA Hello Afghan Resource Center, with Dari and Pashto translations
USRAP Reception and Placement Overview
Office of Refugee Resettlement – Afghan Assistance Resources