The U.S. Department of State has announced the launch of the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, allowing groups of private citizens to sponsor Afghan refugees in an effort to help their resettlement efforts across the country.
The program provides for the vetting of sponsor circles, groups of at least five individuals who have applied to become sponsors in an effort to provide arriving refugees with basic necessities and housing for, at a minimum, the refugee’s first ninety (90) days in the community. Applicants will undergo background checks and receive mandatory training and will be required to fundraise at least $2,275 per refugee in addition to preparing a Welcome Plan for the refugee.
Once approved, the sponsor circles will also be required to assist the refugees with access to federal, state, and local benefits, enrolling children into schools, assisting adults in finding employment, assisting with English language skills, and providing an initial orientation to the local community.
The program is distinct from the refugee resettlement program and allows Afghan refugees to be settled through the Sponsor Circle program in lieu of being settled by a resettlement agency. In related news, President Biden authorized up to $976 million from the U.S. government's Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to support Afghan refugee resettlement.
For additional information on the Sponsor Circle Program and to learn how to apply to form a sponsor circle to support arriving Afghans, visit www.sponsorcircles.org.
Apart from the Sponsor Circle Program, there are additional resources to assist Afghan refugees in need. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are great resources to learn how you can help during this time of crisis. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has also published a detailed list of resources that is regularly updated.
Refugees in the South Florida area who are seeking asylum need skilled legal representation to guide them through this complex process. The attorneys at The Law Offices of George K. Gomez, P.A. have a detailed understanding of the law—and the circumstances in which asylum is most likely to be granted for our clients.
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Serving Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties as well as providing nationwide representation, The Law Offices of George K. Gomez, P.A. is well versed in immigration law. If you need an immigration lawyer or just need more information on the immigration-related legal services we can offer, contact us at (305) 539-0991, or use our online contact form.