Disclaimer: The following message is not offered as official legal advice, but rather to inform on the situation in Afghanistan, and provide general information on available resources. If you or a loved one needs legal advice on this issue, we strongly urge you to contact our offices as soon as possible.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
The situation in Afghanistan is extreme and complicated. The Taliban is in control of almost the entire country, creating serious constraints on the US government’s evacuation of US citizens, workers, and allies. It is reported that the US embassy is closed and has been completely evacuated. US citizens have been urged to make their way to Kabul airport in order to evacuate the country. This means that the only US authority still present in the country is located in and around that airport.
Dates and deadlines
President Biden’s Administration has publicly stated the US will continue its evacuation from Kabul airport until August 31st at the latest. This is still the current course of action, regardless of the Taliban’s claim on blocking flights from taking off. At this time, US forces and personal are still processing “Special Immigrant Visas”(SIV) on the ground at the airport.
What are my current options to get to the United States?
There are, generally, two main situations facing those who wish to travel to the United States from Afghanistan at this time.
- For those who can leave Afghanistan, by one way or another, and fear staying in Afghanistan due to the Taliban takeover, entering the United States or a third country will potentially offer multiple options. For individuals who can make it to the US, there is the possibility of applying for asylum or other benefits of US immigration law. For those who can leave Afghanistan and travel to a third country, it would be helpful to contact a US embassy or consulate in that country and inquire about ways to gain admission into the US; such as through the United States Refugee Admissions Program, submitting an application for parole into the US based on humanitarian grounds, etc.
- For those who cannot find a way to leave the country, Kabul airport is possibly the only option for leaving. If you or the people you know can make it to the airport and gain entrance, it would greatly increase the chances of your/their evacuation to Doha, Qatar, and, from there, to the United States or other countries.
At this time the situation is incredibly dangerous and unpredictable. Kabul itself is in chaos, and news from on the ground is not reaching the United States in real time. Yesterday, August 26, 2021, we learned there were a series of terrorist attacks on the Kabul Airport. It is unclear, at this time, how this will effect evacuations and remaining flights to the United States. We will continue to update the blog with new material as it is learned.
What we suggest
Goldstein & Associates urges all people involved to exercise great caution. For those who cannot or do not wish to attempt entry into the Kabul airport, we recommend contacting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to find other options for evacuation.
The phone numbers for the protection hotline are:
079-069-1746 and 070-499-6168 (available on all working days)
You can also email their protection email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact us for legal advice and free consultations
For specific legal advice about your relatives, please call our to set a free appointment with our experienced staff. Our numbers are 412-258-8080 and 215-982-2381. Please note, however, that due to Consular closures and backlogs, and severely limited immigration options under the current U.S. legal system for immigration to the United States, it may not be possible to obtain a visa at this time. Regardless, we will do our best to discuss your options and work towards finding a solution for your particular situation.
We are doing everything we can to help our clients with loved ones in Afghanistan, and are always willing to speak with those seeking to learn about what options may or may not be available.
If you or a loved one are in Afghanistan and are looking for a way to safely evacuate and come to the United States, we urge you to contact our office for legal guidance and to evaluate your options. We would be more than happy to connect you with a member of our staff to discuss your situation and come up with action plans during this chaotic time. You can call our Pittsburgh office at 412-258-8080, our Philadelphia office at 215-982-2381, or schedule a free phone or zoom consultation on our site using this link. We look forward to working with you. Keep safe.