As of 2013, at least half a million or so had been given other forms of temporary status in Iran.Millions of other Afghans have also fled violence and insecurity, as well as loss of livelihood, but for various reasons have not registered as refugees or have sought other protective status, or lost their status at some point.These undocumented migrants have also settled overwhelmingly in Pakistan and Iran, or have spent extended periods of time in these countries as part of a regional and cyclical economic migration.
According to 2012 estimates by Iran’s official Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA), some 1.4 to 2 million Afghans not registered as refugees live and work in Iran.
Together with the registered refugee population, that makes for a total of between 2.4 and 3 million Afghans in Iran.
Afghans in Iran constitute one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world, with only 3 percent of Afghan refugees living in camps located in rural areas.
There have been significant benefits for the millions of documented and undocumented Afghans who live in Iran.
The procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a country of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident We decided to leave when the children were expelled from school [for being foreigners]. We weren’t documented anymore so we couldn’t go anywhere.
We had green cards [residency cards], UN documents.But the Iranian government collected these documents and issued new documents extended every six to nine months.The last document was not very valuable [and then] they took this finally.-- Najib T., age 55, and his wife, age 45, who lost their refugee status when the Iranian government declared the city where they had lived for 18 years a “no go” zone for foreigners and they were found still living there after all foreigners had been ordered to leave.More refugees originate from Afghanistan than any other country in the world.Repeated bouts of armed conflict—most recently the increasingly violent battle between the Taliban and the Afghan government and its international backers—have driven millions of Afghans to become refugees since the 1980s.