Resettlement for Afghan Refugees and State-Sponsored Relocation Programs for Afghan Nationals

Wednesday / 25 August 2021

With the recent developments in Afghanistan, UNHCR is receiving many inquiries from Afghans, as there are announcements by several states that they will increase resettlement opportunities for Afghan refugees.

Please note that UNHCR will continue to consider all refugees, including Afghan refugees, for resettlement, based on already established resettlement criteria and processes:

  • Resettlement is not a right. Registration and/or granting of refugee status by UNHCR does not mean an individual will be referred for resettlement.
  • Resettlement remains a protection tool for highly vulnerable refugees. Identification of potential resettlement cases will continue to be based on individual protection needs.
  • The submission of a case for resettlement consideration is contingent on many factors, including the severity of individual protection needs, the protection environment, the position of the host country, and the availability of resettlement places.

Separate and distinct from UNHCR’s resettlement program as articulated above, some states have recently announced special relocation programs for Afghan nationals who have worked with or been affiliated with those countries. These programs are established by those states and UNHCR does not refer people to these programs or process applications under these programs. For detailed information, please refer to information provided directly by those states or Relocation Programmes.

Details on some of these programs can be found on the websites set up by the particular state as follows:

United States of America

The United States recently announced opportunities for Afghan nationals who have worked or been affiliated with the US government, military, NGOs, or media. Please visit the following sites from the US State Department for details:


The Canadian program is available for Afghan nationals whose “employment involved a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada”, including interpreters for the Canadian military and local staff who work or worked for the Canadian Embassy. Please visit the following site for details:


The UK has established two programs for current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan. Please visit the following sites for details:

UNHCR will continue to provide updates as we become aware of state-sponsored programs.

IMPORTANT: All UNHCR services are free of charge.

Do not trust any person or organization asking you to pay for services and assistance provided by UNHCR or its partners, including for resettlement. If you are asked for money or any other favours, including of a sexual nature, in exchange for UNHCR services, please report it immediately to UNHCR.


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