Special Immigrant Visa
Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government
The Department of State’s authority to issue Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) to Afghan nationals under section 602(b) of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, as amended, has been extended. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2016 as signed by President Obama on November 25, 2015 allocates 3,000 additional visas for Afghan principal applicants, for a total of 7,000 since December 19, 2014. The Afghan SIV program will end when all 7,000 visas are issued. The deadline to apply for Chief of Mission approval is extended from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2016.
The NDAA for FY 2016 amends the Afghan SIV program by increasing the minimum required length of service from one year to two years for applicants who submit petitions after September 30, 2015. After further review of this new law and consultation with Congress, the Departments of State and Homeland Security have determined that the term “petition” as used in the FY 2016 NDAA, will be interpreted as referring to the application for Chief of Mission (COM) approval, submitted by the applicant in Step 1.
The NDAA for FY 2016 expands the Afghan SIV program to include certain Afghans who were employed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) or a successor mission to ISAF. Information on the documentary requirements for qualifying ISAF or successor mission employees to apply for Chief of Mission approval, the first step in the application process, is contained in Step 1.
If you are Afghan and would like to apply for a Special Immigrant Visa, please follow this link.
Instructions for applying for the Afghan SIV program are available on travel.state.gov. Please do not contact the Front Office, Consular Section or other Embassy offices directly. Applications for Chief of Mission approval must be sent to the National Visa Center as described in the instructions.
Notice: You should NOT make any travel arrangements, sell property, or give up employment until and unless you are issued a visa.
This program is completely distinct from another program authorizing SIVs for certain Iraqi and Afghan translators/interpreters who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces or under COM authority, although some translators and interpreters may qualify under both programs. For information on that program, see Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters.
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy would like to remind all Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants that the only official source of information and policy regarding the SIV program is the U.S. Embassy itself. We do not comment or post information on social media sites that are not clearly identifiable as belonging to the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.
As a reminder, the U.S. Embassy does not charge for applying to the SIV program and encourages anyone who is charged to file an application to contact the Fraud Prevention Unit at KabulFPU@state.gov.