In view of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the American government plans to take in thousands more Afghans who worked for the United States or for US-related institutions during the military operation there.
The US State Department said Monday that this should apply to Afghans who have worked for the United States but have not reached the minimum tenure to apply for a special immigrant visa.
The regulation is also intended for Afghans who have worked for programs supported by the US government - and for Afghans who have worked in the crisis country for non-governmental organizations or the media from the USA.
The regulation will enable "many thousands" of Afghans as well as their partners and children to relocate to the USA, it said.
“You were there for us.
We will be there for you, "said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Criticism arose from the fact that Afghans initially had to leave the country on their own for this program and had to stay in a third country for twelve months or more while such an application for resettlement was being processed.
2500 people intended for special visas
Afghans who worked for the Americans face revenge from the militant Islamist Taliban after the US troops have withdrawn. Many Afghans who were employed as interpreters in the US military, for example, can apply for special immigrant visas for the USA in order to be able to start a new life there. On Friday, a first plane with around 200 Afghan aid workers and their families landed in the United States. Blinken said a second plane arrived on Monday with a similarly large group.
According to the US government, a total of around 2500 people are currently envisaged for admission to the USA with such special visas.
However, critics had warned that such a visa would only help a small group of people.
Far more Afghans have put themselves in danger by working with US agencies and need help.
The State Department then expanded the options.
The US intends to completely end its military operation in Afghanistan by the end of August.
After that, only US soldiers are supposed to stay to protect the embassy in Afghanistan.
With the decision of the Americans to withdraw, the operation of NATO as a whole also ends.
How things will continue in the country after the withdrawal of international troops is unclear.
The security situation has recently deteriorated significantly.