The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced 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 in Iraqi. President Obama signed the bill into law on October 4, 2013. The SIV program had expired September 30th and has now been extended by three months until December 31, 2013. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the visa program was important because those affected had risked their lives to help the U.S. military.
The USCIS announcement stated, “The extension permits USCIS to approve petitions or applications for visas or adjustment of status 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.” For up-to-date information on the SIV program, check the USCIS website or call their National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283).
Source of Information:
USICS.gov, 10/10/13, News Alert Special Immigrant Visa Program for Iraqi Nationals Who Worked For or On Behalf Of the U.S. Government Extended
Travel.State.gov, Web Page Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters
TheHill.com, 10/2/13, Floor Action Blog Congress passes measure to extend Iraqi visa program