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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Special Immigrant Visa Program for Iraqi Nationals Who Worked For or On Behalf Of the U.S. Government Extended

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces that Congress passed a bill extending the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government, which the President signed into law on Oct. 4, 2013.

This program covers Iraqi nationals who—during the period between March 20, 2003 and Sept. 30, 2013—were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for a period of at least one year. It was created by section 1244 of Public Law 110-181, as amended by Public Law 110-242.  The program had expired with respect to principal applicants on Sept. 30, 2013, but has now been extended.

The extension permits USCIS to approve petitions or applications for visas or adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident in any Iraqi SIV case under section 1244 that were pending with USCIS or with the Department of State (DOS) when the program expired on Sept. 30, 2013. USCIS may also approve an additional 2,000 cases as long as the initial applications to the DOS Chief of Mission in Iraq are made by Dec. 31, 2013.

The authority to grant derivative SIV status to spouses and children of principal Iraqi SIVs did not sunset on Sept. 30, 2013, and is not numerically capped.

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