Afghan Assistance Efforts

Fremont is home to one of the largest Afghan communities in the United States, and we support and stand by the Afghan community. We have compiled a list of resources to assist with visa information and legal services, how to contact your local congressmember, foster care, benefits, and information on donating and volunteering in the refugee relief efforts

Immigration Assistance 

Immigration attorneys may be able to assist with applying for the following visas and special programs:  

Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)

Afghan nationals who worked directly for the U.S., or with the U.S. and/or its allies either as an interpreter or contractor for a minimum of one year, between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2023, are eligible to apply for a Special Immigrant Visa. Information on SIVs can be found here

Priority 2 (P-2) Visas

These are visas available for the following people: 

  • Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked as employees of contractors, locally-employed staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;
  • Afghans who work or worked for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement;
  • Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization.

More information about P-2 Visas can be found here. 

Humanitarian Parole:

For people who are not eligible for SIVs or for any other kind of visa, the United States does have an exceptional program called Humanitarian Parole. Humanitarian Parole is a temporary discretionary authorization to enter the United States that can be granted based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons.  It requires both a financial sponsor in the U.S. and evidence of exceptional humanitarian need. The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) has a guide explaining the basics of this process available here.

Contact the California Department of Social Services Refugee Programs Bureau (RBP) when assisting Humanitarian Parolees here

Refugee Programs Bureau
PO Box 944243, MS 9-6-646
Sacramento, CA 94244-2430
(916) 654-4356 Email 

For free legal assistance for Afghans, please contact the organizations below

  • Pars Equality Center: Matches Afghans in need to volunteers for immigration legal assistance, provides immigration legal services at their two Pars center, and holds a monthly pro bono clinic in Fremont, California at Afghan Coalition along with a myriad of pro bono legal events/clinics.

Please complete the Afghan Support intake form if you need help for an Afghan National that is not in the United States here.  

     For Afghan Nationals that are in the United States that have an immigration legal service need              please email by clicking here

Visit the Pars Equality Center's  Afghan Support Project Resources page here for legal resources for Afghans (including a video on how to file humanitarian parole) here.  https://parsequalitycenter.org/afghan-support-project/

  • International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) - Inquiries from people who are overseas    and outside Afghanistan, please click here.   
  • Jubilee Immigration: Please call 415-813-1958. Limited capacity for SIV Visas, may be able to assist with Humanitarian Parole.  Jubilee serves clients at or below the 250% Federal Poverty Level.  Website
  • Immigration Institute of the Bay Area:  Website.  Fremont office phone number: 510-894-3639 and email.

Fremont Members of Congress 

Senator Padilla’s offices:

San Francisco Phone: (415) 981–9369  
Downtown Los Angeles: Phone: (310) 231-4494
E-mail  

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla’s Office has set up a dedicated webpage  for resources and information for people looking to help someone get out of Afghanistan. 

To advocate for an immediate family member still currently in Afghanistan wishing to leave, please complete Senator Padilla’s Afghan Evacuation Form. Please provide as much information as you can in order to identify family member(s)/individuals in Afghanistan that require evacuation support. Access form here.  

Congressman Eric Swalwell's 15th District Office

Phone: (510) 370-3322 Email Website
 
If you have already filled out a Visa application, questions to follow up on an application status can be asked here

Congressman Ro Khanna's 17th District Office 

Phone: (408) 436-2720 Website.

Refugee Resettlement Agencies Information

The East Bay has two refugee resettlement agencies -- Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay (JFCS EB) and International Rescue Committee Oakland (IRC Oakland). These agencies are contracted with the federal government to supply resettlement services to newcomers for the first initial 90 days after arrival.  

Resettlement services include airport pick-up, securing temporary initial 90-day housing, making sure first meals are covered, providing orientation to newcomers, setting up Social Security, enrolling in public benefits such as Medi-Cal and food stamps, setting up required medical appts, and ongoing case management. 

International Rescue Committee website.  

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay website.

 Volunteer

If you are looking for opportunities to volunteer to assist with the resettlement effort:

JCFS East Bay Volunteers

 Volunteers can assist case managers with tasks such as airport pickups, signing up refugees for their social services benefits, helping register children for school, providing ESL language support, and other related needs. Sign up here. 

 IRC Oakland Volunteers

For volunteer opportunities & donations, contact Cameron Siceloff, Volunteer & Donations Coordinator via email here. 

 Housing

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Oakland and the Burma Refugee Family Network (BRFN) are leading a Housing response team to identify and place newly arrived refugees in initial 90-day housing. Please contact them if you have rooms or housing available to house newly arrived refugees.  

IRC Oakland: For housing inquiries in support of Afghan refugees contact Kit Stebbins, Resettlement Coordinator via email here

Burma Refugee Family Network: For housing inquiries in support of Afghan refugees contact Jodi de La Pena via email here.  

 East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum listserv

To receive more information about resettlement efforts, please subscribe to the East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum listserv by e-mailing East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum Coordinator, Sean Kirkpatrick here.

Foster Care  

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement is the lead agency coordinating the care and placement of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan. Inquiries regarding these youth via email here.  

Mental Health Services, Social Support, and Adjusting to the U.S. 

Please contact the following agencies to assist Afghan refugees as they adjust to living in the United States and as they seek to become independent and self-sufficient.

Mental Health/Counseling Services

  • The Afghan Coalition offers counseling from a cultural perspective. Contact Dr. Masoud Ghafour, mental health specialist and prevention counselor via email. Dr. Ghafour speaks English, Dari/Farsi, and understands Pashto.
  • The City of Fremont Human Services Department, Aging and Family Services offers counseling and emotional support for elders.  They have staff who speak Dari, Farsi and are also of Afghan descent.  Please call the Senior Infoline at 510-574-2041 to be referred to one of these staff members. More information can be found here
  •  The Hume Center provides mental health outreach and prevention services for the Afghan Community and linkage to other resources within the Afghan community. The center does not have an Afghan provider but does have an Iranian outreach worker who can speak Farsi (Dari).  Contact: Preet Kaur Sabharwal, PsyD via email. She is the Community Program Manager—South Asian Community Health Promotion Services Program.
    Hume Center address:
    39420 Liberty Street, Suite 252
    Fremont CA 94538
    (510) 745-9151
  • The Multi-lingual Counseling Center offers services in Farsi (Dari).
    Address:
    39675 Cedar Blvd.
    Newark, CA 94560
    (510) 451-0661
  •  The Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation (MAS-SSF) offers peer mental health and social support services in five languages: English, Dari/Farsi, Pashto, Arabic, and Urdu. Support Services in-person, on the phone, and over the internet include a completely confidential and HIPAA-compliant peer mental health service that gives you the ability to interact with a dedicated peer specialist from virtually anywhere.
    Call 916 486–8626, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
    Email MAS-SSF here.

Social Support and Adjusting to Living in the U.S.

  • The Afghan Coalition  Services include counseling/mental health support, translation services, domestic violence education and prevention, social support and home visits for isolated individuals, youth tutoring, English literacy classes, Zoom platform training, small business (microenterprise) training, job hunting support, community events and connections, and providing clothes, home appliances, and school supplies.
    Address 
    39155 Liberty Street D-460
    Fremont, CA, 94538
    (510) 745-1680 Email 

         Afghan Health Leadership Consortium and Email List: If you are a provider who would like to join              quarterly trainings on providing culturally sensitive care to Afghans and other refugee groups,                    please  join the Afghan Health Leadership Consortium email list and meetings. Contact the                         Facilitator, Dr. Valerie Smith via email. 

  • Afghan Elderly Association Services include a weekly healthy aging program, a health promotion program, and community linkages to an array of government and social support services.
    Address: 
    3300 Capitol Ave, Building B
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 574-2059 or (510) 574-2075
    Website.   

  • East Bay Agency for Children – Fremont Healthy Start/Welcome Center provides the following services: application assistance for Medi-Cal, food stamps, CalWorks, Social Security, in-home Support Services, etc., case management, emergency food and clothing, information and referrals for child support, childcare, housing, mental health services, etc., assistance with school enrollment, translation and interpretation services.
    Address
    Fremont Family Resource Center Welcome Center
    39155 Liberty Street, Building ABCD lobby
    (510) 574-2141 Website
    For Pashto, contact 510-410-3421
    For Farsi, contact 510-410-4272

    Open 8:00-4:30, Monday-Friday   

MEDICAL HEALTH SERVICES

  • Bay Area Community Health  
    40910 Fremont Blvd.
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 770-8040 Website
  • Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center is a clinic that provides primary care for people of all ages and various health services to all immigrants including Afghan families from Union City to San Leandro. Please check the website for the various locations.
    (510) 471-5880 

Services include health coverage, Cal Fresh, vaccinations, primary care services, mental health services, dental care services, OBGYN, etc. The center provides free Health Promotors training in English, and newcomers are encouraged to attend since it will help them to know resources available in the community. 

           For more information, please contact Carolina Arroyo-Solveson via email or (510) 219-5255.

Employment Assistance 

Upwardly Global helps internationally trained immigrant and refugee professionals to restart their careers in the United States.  They have helped more than 7,500 immigrants and refugees find full-time, professional work in their fields. Afghan evacuees whose status is pending processing can benefit their job search training while they wait—please review the eligibility checklist and then complete the online intake form.

Review the eligibility checklist here

Review the online intake form here

You can download a PDF of the information on this page by clicking here.