COLUMBUS, Ohio)— 855 Afghan evacuees will come to Ohio through the U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program.

The first group of Afghan evacuees totals 37,000 individuals nationwide. The federal government has told Ohio that the placements will be to eight local resettlement agencies located mainly in northeast and central Ohio.

“These are individuals who have been partners with United States and deserve our support in return for the support they’ve given us,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Thank you to the resettlement agencies and communities who have stepped forward and demonstrated they have the resources necessary to help these individuals in their time of need.”

The purpose of the federal APA Program is to provide newly arrived Afghans with initial relocation services as they begin to rebuild their lives in the United States.

The federal government is screening and vetting participants in the program. These are individuals who have not yet received refugee status, nor a special immigrant visa. They are arriving to the U.S. under a legal mechanism known as humanitarian parole. Managed by the federal government, humanitarian parole provides temporary authorization to enter the U.S., based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Details of the program can be found here.