With the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Special Immigrant Visas have been in the headlines. Since 2009 Congress has created a total of 26,500 visas for Afghanis and Iraqi allies who helped the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program is available to individuals who worked with the U.S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission authority in different roles including:
• as a translator or interpreter in Iraq or Afghanistan
• Afghans who were employed by/on behalf of the U.S. Government
Eligible SIV applicants can apply for a visa for themselves, as well as for their spouse and any unmarried children under 21.
• 26,500 Special Immigrant Visas for Afghanis and Iraqi were authorized in 2009
• 16,000 Afghan SIVs have been issued since 2014
• more than 18,000 applications are in process
• over 300,000 Afghan civilians have supported the US mission
Now that the United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan, there is an urgent need to quickly process the visa applications for American allies who are trying to leave Afghanistan. U.S. allies are likely targets for retaliation by the Taliban. In July the Biden Administration acted to speed SIV processing so that SIV applicants can be evacuated from Afghanistan and hosted at a U.S. government facility in Virginia and they will receive services to help them rebuild their lives in the U.S.
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 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.