This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

International Rescue Committee

Pro Se Asylum Workshop for Afghan Parolees

Assist Afghan parolees in applying for asylum in the United States

Posted February 16, 2022

Background & Context

The United States has paroled upwards of 70,000 Afghans into the United States and given them a temporary parolee status of up to two years. If Afghans wish to gain permanent residence in the United States the majority will need to apply for asylum if other relief is not available. The IRC in Denver needs to help 750 Afghans with their asylum applications and is meeting the need through pro se clinics.

Immediate Problem

Submission of hundreds of asylum applications for Afghan parolees.

Work & Deliverables

The volunteer will attend the scheduled workshop to meet with the client and assist them in filling out the Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Not only does this form require the volunteer to ascertain specific details about the client's life, such as their employment, address, and immigration history, but it also requires statements addressing why the client is afraid to return to their country of origin. At the conclusion of the meeting, the client will have a completed application that they can file with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) pro se.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Watch training on asylum law, procedure, and workshop logistics offered by IRC legal staff
  • Schedule call to discuss the project and volunteer experience

Collaboration Phase

  • Complete volunteer shift at the clinic (assisting with application preparation)

Wrap Up

  • Complete evaluation of the workshop
  • Confer with legal review to ensure quality control in advance of filing

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 6-10 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: Volunteers will watch a recorded training on asylum law, asylum procedure, and parole to ensure some background knowledge in advance of the workshop. 1 CLE credit is provided.
  • Site-Preference: On-Site
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Preferred Languages: Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto
  • Required Legal Expertise: Immigration
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes


  • Denver, CO
International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Denver and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives. The IRC in Denver’s approach is client-centered, empowerment-focused, trauma-informed, and multigenerational. Advancing racial equity and narrowing the gender gap are priorities for the IRC in Denver. The team’s efforts in this space are ongoing and evolving. Current work is focused on participating in learning and dialogue to deepen understanding and awareness of systemic inequities and systems of oppression; building an internal organizational culture that reflects a commitment to antiracism and gender equality for clients as well as staff, volunteers, and the broader community; engaging clients more deeply in making decisions that affect them, whether at the individual, household, program, or organizational level; using our power and influence to advocate for rules, policies, and laws that address inequities experienced by the people we serve and seek systemic change for the benefit of all who are impacted by these inequities; undertaking intentional efforts to shift dynamics and promote power sharing between leadership and the broader team as well as between staff and clients; and examining and changing practices in recruitment, recognition, and other areas of employee engagement and talent development to prioritize access to opportunity and work toward full inclusion and belonging for clients, staff, and volunteers who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQI, as well as those who have lived experience as refugees and immigrants. With Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration (RAI), IRC’s immigration legal services program serves more than 14,000 individuals in 23 sites throughout the U.S. each year, providing accessible and critical legal representation and advice to immigrants and their families to acquire the highest level of immigration status available, keep families together, access their full rights, and successfully integrate in the U.S. The IRC in Denver’s Legal Program currently serves a caseload of more than 200 cases, provides universal representation and removal defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for non-detained survivors of torture and other individuals who qualify for services, as well as representation before US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to support family reunification, employment authorization, adjustment of status, naturalization, and other needs.

Others have also checked out