The Biden administration has relaxed visa issues that prevented Afghan citizens who worked for the Taliban in civilian jobs or had some relationship with the Taliban government from getting visas. The U.S. government has deemed the Taliban a terrorist group, which automatically made many citizens of Afghanistan ineligible for immigration benefits. Afghan citizens who posed no threat to the safety and security of the United States but had some relationship with the Taliban were automatically denied a visa. According to the U.S. Department of State, updates have been made to the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program that addresses Afghan immigration issues:
“[T]he Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of State exercised their authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow the U.S. government on a case-by-case basis to grant an exemption for otherwise qualified applicants for visas and certain other immigration benefits who would otherwise not qualify due to the statute’s broad inadmissibility grounds.”
In July, the Biden administration acted to speed SIV processing so that Afghan SIV applicants could be evacuated from Afghanistan and hosted at a U.S. government facility in Virginia. They will receive services to help them rebuild their lives in the U.S.
According to reports, there are ‘at least 50,000 principal applications awaiting screening and approval’, and more Afghan SIV visas are needed than currently allotted. International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a U.S.-based nongovernment organization, policy expert Adam Bates said,
“It would be unconscionable for SIV-qualified Afghans who risked their lives on behalf of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan to check all the bureaucratic boxes and invest the years of their lives required to make it through the SIV process only for Congress to not authorize enough visas to ensure they have pathway to safety.”
United States immigration laws are complicated and updated frequently. Mistakes in immigration applications can be costly and stressful and can result in denial of your petition or delays. An experienced immigration attorney at Godoy Law Office in Cook and Dupage Counties, Illinois, can help. We will review your immigration eligibility and applications or renewals. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your application. Contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.