AS tragedy continues to strike in Afghanistan following President Joe Biden’s decision to pull American troops out, many Afghans are looking for a way out.
One way they are doing so is by applying for a Special Immigrant Visa.
What is SIV in Afghanistan?
Enacted on July 30, as part of the 2009 Afghan Allies Protection Act, the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations has authorized 8,000 additional SIVs for Afghan principal applicants.
According to the U.S. Department of State, SIV’s “authorizes the issuance of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) to Afghan nationals who meet certain requirements.”
Those requirements include those who were employed in Afghanistan:
- by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan
- by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission, in a capacity that required the applicant to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF or to perform activities for the U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF.
The 2021 enactment also “amended the eligibility requirements for the program, including by reducing the minimum time in service requirement from two years to one year.”
Who can apply for an SIV?
Applicants must meet all required criteria in order to be approved.
The U.S. Department of states reports that those requirements include:
- Being a a national of Afghanistan
- Being employed in Afghanistan for a period of at least one year between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2023 by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government; or by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission in a capacity that required you (1) to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF, or a successor mission, or (2) to perform activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF
- Must have provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S. government, or ISAF
- Must have experienced or be experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of such employment
Those who wish to apply have until December 31, 2023.
Why is President Joe Biden speeding up evacuation from Afghanistan?
On August 26, 2021, it was revealed by Biden that a group called Isis-K are the reason for speeding up evacuation.
Following America’s decision to pull troops out, Isis-K and the Taliban have been fighting for control of the country.
The group is allegedly responsible for a hundred attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2015 and 2017 according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS].
Isis-K is known as an enemy of the Taliban and Biden is looking to get troops home safely while preventing any more casualties.