USCIS Issues Guidance on Changes Affecting Afghan and Iraqi SIVs

USCIS Public Engagement Division: New Filing Process for Afghan SIV Petitions

Effective July 20, 2022, Afghan nationals seeking SIV must file Form DS-157, Petition for Special Immigrant Classification for Afghan SIV Applicants, with the DOS when applying for Chief of Mission (COM) approval from DOS and then apply for SIV classification by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, with USCIS. Read the USCIS Public Engagement Division announcement on the new filing process, including information on when to file Form I-360 with USCIS.

USCIS Policy Alert: Legislative Changes and Transition Affecting Afghan and Iraqi SIVs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on the transition of the responsibility to adjudicate certain Afghan special immigrant visa (SIV) petitions to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and to incorporate other changes to the Afghan and Iraqi SIV classifications resulting from the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

Policy Highlights

  • Explains that noncitizens seeking an Afghan SIV on or after July 20, 2022 must file the Petition for Special Immigrant Classification for Afghan SIV Applicants (Form DS-157) with DOS when applying for the Chief of Mission (COM) approval, but that noncitizens in certain circumstances must still file a petition with USCIS to pursue an Afghan SIV.
  • Updates eligibility criteria for Afghan SIVs to reflect the changed employment requirement from 2 years to 1 year, as well as what type of employment with ISAF (or any successor name for the ISAF) qualifies.
  • Updates eligibility criteria for surviving spouses and children of deceased principal noncitizens to expand the scope of who may apply for Afghan and Iraqi SIVs.
  • Removes the date limitation for converting an approved petition for an Afghan or Iraqi translator or interpreter to an approved petition for an Iraqi or Afghan employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government, in cases where a visa is not immediately available.
  • Clarifies statutory requirements that noncitizens seeking Afghan or Iraqi SIVs must establish that they provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S. government by submitting a positive recommendation or evaluation by the petitioner’s supervisor.

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 22071900.

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