Special Immigrant Visa for Iraqi Nationals Extended


The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government has been extended.  The program had expired with respect to principal applicants on Sept. 30, 2013, but Congress passed a bill extending the program and President Obama signed it into law on October 4.

The program was originally created through Section 1244 of the Defense Authorization Act and authorized 5,000 special immigrant visas for Iraqi employees and contractors per year.  The program had expired with respect to principal applicants on Sept. 30, 2013, but has now been extended. To be eligible for the special immigrant visa, you must be a national of Iraq who was employed for at least one year between March 20, 2003 and September 30, 2013 by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq.   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will now approve Iraq SIV visa petitions and adjustment of status applications that were pending when the program expired in September.

Spouses and children of Iraqi SIV applicants remain eligible for derivative visas.  The derivative visa program did not expire on September 30.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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