Project Immigration Justice for Palestinians
Project Immigration Justice for Palestinians (Project IJP) was formed by a coalition of organizations and immigration attorneys as an emergency response to the crisis in Gaza. Our goal is to provide immigration services to Palestinians with family in Gaza and to advocate for broad humanitarian immigration avenues for Palestinians.
If you are an attorney and would like to volunteer with this project, please fill out this form.
If you are in Gaza and have family members in the US and would like to speak to an attorney, please fill out this form.
If you are in the US and have family members in Gaza and would like to speak to an attorney, please fill out this form.
After we have received your google form entry, we will do our best to connect you with an immigration attorney who will discuss your US immigration options. You should hear from an attorney within 1 week. If you do not hear from an attorney within 1 week, please send an email to this email address again, email@example.com to let us know that you have submitted a google form but have not heard from an attorney.
Community Forum held on Monday December 4, 2023
We have collected the following information to provide you with self-help options. The contents of the email are for informational purposes only. Nothing on this page should be construed as legal advice.
I am a US Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder), what can I do for my family in Gaza?
The DOS has updated the process for assisting US Citizens and family members to exit Gaza: Latest Information for US Citizens (state.gov)
Information for US Citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
If you require emergency assistance while in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza, contact the US Embassy in Jerusalem by email (JerusalemACS@state.gov).
Individuals seeking to depart Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt should monitor the Palestinian General Authority for Crossings and Borders' Facebook Page for a list of those approved to cross. US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or immediate family (as listed below) who desire our assistance and have not already provided their information to the Department of State, please email US Embassy Jerusalem at JerusalemACS@state.gov with a copy of the individual's travel document as well as an explanation or proof of relationship.
The US government does not control the crossing lists nor determine who is permitted to depart Gaza or enter Egypt. Individuals must assess their own safety and risks in attempting to cross the border. Individuals permitted to enter Egypt will likely receive a 72-hour Egyptian visa; all those who cross should have a plan for onward travel from Egypt in this timeframe. US citizens, LPRs and their immediate family members who successfully enter Egypt and require further consular assistance should contact the US Embassy in Cairo via the US Citizens Services Navigator. Individuals may apply for a US visa at any US Embassy or Consulate; US immigration laws and regulations will apply.
If a name has appeared on a crossing list since November 1, we understand those individuals will be permitted to cross as long as the border remains open for foreign nationals. We urge US citizens, LPRs, and their immediate family members who have appeared on one of these lists to cross as soon as possible – there is no guarantee the border will remain open. We continue to work in partnership with Egypt and Israel towards safe passage for US citizens, LPRs, and their immediate family members.
Immediate family members of US citizens include:
- unmarried children under the age of 21;
- parents of US citizens; and
- siblings who are unmarried and under 21.
Immediate family members of LPRs include:
- unmarried children under 21 years of age.
If your name and the names of your immediate family members are on that list, please go to the Rafah crossing by 7 a.m. on the appropriate day. Immediate family members are defined spouses and minor children (under 21) or, for minor children, the US citizen and both adult parents or guardians and minor siblings. Please bring your US passports and other valid travel documents. You should be prepared to wait in long lines.
Egyptian authorities may require children 10 and under to be vaccinated against Polio and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella combination vaccine). They will provide the vaccines at the border. You might be asked to pay an exit or a visa fee. We are working on this issue, please proceed to the border even if you do not have the money to pay the fees.
There is no connection between having a pending immigrant visa petition or appointment and crossing through Rafah.
My family is in Egypt, what do I do now?
The US Embassy staffed a reception site at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel in Cairo from November 1 (when the crossing first opened) to December 21. The Department funded immediate transportation and 1-2 nights of lodging for US citizens, LPRs, and their immediate family members.
Should US citizens and their immediate family who entered Egypt after December 21 require US government assistance to pay for lodging, obtain a US travel document, or need assistance to return to the United States, they should reach out to US Embassy Cairo directly at 20-2 2797-3300 or CairoACSRafah@state.gov.
US citizens will only be allowed to remain in Egypt for 72 hours. Please promptly make onward travel arrangements for yourself and your family.
The Egyptian authorities have been issuing 72-hour visas to individuals who cross. There is anecdotal information that the Egyptians have granted extensions, but individuals must apply for those extensions with the Egyptian authorities. The US government has no ability to influence Egyptian immigration decisions regarding duration of stay granted in Egypt.
How can I contact the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt?
Petitioners or beneficiaries may email the Immigrant Visa Unit at CairoIV@state.gov for questions about immigrant visas. Individuals seeking nonimmigrant visa appointments may apply online and then request an expedited interview. Only those who have arrived in Egypt out of Gaza may request an ACS appointment through CairoACSRafah@state.gov.
Requirement that Petitioners and Beneficiaries need to be physically present at Embassy Cairo to file I-130’s directly with the post
- Petitioners and beneficiaries must be physically present in the consular district, beneficiaries must be able to remain in the country for the time it normally takes to process the visa, and the petitioner must file the petition by personally appearing at the consular section with original documents. If a petitioner does not wish to or is unable to travel to Cairo, they may file the petition in the US directly with USCIS. Further, USCIS does not authorize consular officers to accept and adjudicate a Form I-130 if the petitioner has already filed a Form I-130 domestically for the same beneficiary.
- What do IV/NIV/HP applicants do if they do not have the required documents needed to travel?
- Based on the DOS experience at the border, the Palestinian Authority has an office at the Rafah border crossing and has been able to issue temporary travel documents allowing entrance into Egypt. These temporary travel documents can be used to depart Egypt and enter the United States on a case-by-case basis.
- What types of secondary evidence can be used to corroborate identity if documents have been destroyed in the war?
- Consular officers will make a determination on case-by-case bases regarding documentary evidence.
- Are photos of documents permissible?
- If original documents are unavailable, applicants should bring scans/copies if possible.
Please consider reaching out to the Embassy using the following emails:
- ConsularCairoACS@state.gov - is used for routine citizenship and documentation questions for all types of emergencies for US citizens.
- CairoACSRafah@state.gov - is exclusively for US citizens who have left Gaza, are in Egypt temporarily, and need US citizen services to enable onward travel.
- All inquiries for US citizens should be directed to ConsularCairoACS@state.gov.
- All inquiries regarding immigrant visas, and services for LPRs without documentation, including SB-1 returning resident visas and boarding foils, should be directed to CairoIV@state.gov
USCIS Cairo's work is limited to Immediate Relative I 130 Petitions
- Embassy Cairo is NOT processing Humanitarian Parole applications on site.
- Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests | USCIS
For petitions already filed with USCIS: To request expedited processing of an I-130, I-730, or I-600/I-800 petition pending with USCIS, please visit USCIS' website here: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance/how-to-make-an-expedite-request
For expediting Immigrant Visa, K Visa, Adoption Visa, and Form I-730 cases currently located at the National Visa Center (NVC): Individuals with approved, current petitions who have not yet been scheduled for an immigrant visa, K visa, adoption visa, or Form I-730 interview may be able to request expedited processing and/or a transfer to another interviewing post through the National Visa Center. To request expedited scheduling, please email NVCExpedite@state.gov Please make sure to include your case or receipt number on the subject line and the reason for your request. Please also include at least one of the of the following:
- Petitioner's name and date of birth
- Beneficiary's name and date of birth
- Invoice ID number