Many of the important roles played by individuals who have helped the United States during the war in Afghanistan are Afghan citizens. Unfortunately, these individuals face tremendous threats to their lives, health, and safety because of the assistance they have provided to the U.S. government. In recognition of their service to our country, some Afghan citizens may be eligible for a special immigrant visa (SIV) under the Afghan SIV program. If you believe you are entitled to an SIV or know someone who should receive an SIV, contact a Virginia immigration attorney for help with your Afghan immigration.
What is a Special Immigrant Visa?
A special immigrant visa (SIV) allows an individual to live and work in the United States legally. An SIV may be available to an eligible Afghan individual who served as a translator or interpreter for U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. Other individuals who assisted the U.S. military in other special capacities may also be eligible for an SIV.
An applicant must have been employed by or on behalf of the United States for at least two years from October 7, 2001, through December 21, 2020. The applicant must also be experiencing ongoing threats or have experienced a serious threat because of the individual’s service to the United States. The applicant must be a national of Afghanistan and have provided valuable and faithful service to the U.S. government, the ISAF, or a successor mission.
The last date to apply for the SIV program is December 31, 2020. If an applicant receives an SIV, the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also receive SIVs and travel with or follow the applicant once the applicant has been granted entrance into the United States.
SIV Program Update — Additional Visas Approved
An additional 4,000 SIVs for Afghan applicants were approved on February 15, 2019. These additional SIVs increase the total number of SIVs available under the program to 18,500 visas from the original number of visas allotted December 19, 2014.
How Can a Virginia Immigration Attorney Help Afghan Immigration SIV Applicants?
Immigration laws are constantly changing. The process for applying for an SIV through the Afghan SIV program can be challenging. However, when the laws continue to change, it can make applying for one of these visas even more challenging.
An attorney who is familiar with the Afghan SIV program continually monitors the program updates and changes to the law. Therefore, the attorney is aware of the most recent requirements and restrictions for the program. Hiring an immigration attorney to complete and file your SIV application can help you avoid some of the common mistakes that often result in costly and time-consuming delays and denials. Additionally, a Virginia immigration attorney can explain your legal rights and the requirements for this complex visa application process. Contact us today to get advice on your immigration situation. Working with an attorney can help reduce the chance that your application is denied because you were unaware of a mandatory requirement. Your attorney also monitors all deadlines and schedule meetings to ensure that you do not miss anything that could jeopardize your ability to obtain an Afghan SIV for you and your family.
Posted in: Immigration