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In 2008, a special immigrant visa (SIV) program began for qualified Iraqis who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq. These Iraqi workers would be able to apply for an Iraqi SQ visa to enter and live in the United States as Lawful Permanent Residents. Originally, the program allotted 5,000 SQ Iraqi visas to be given out per year from 2008 to 2013 only. However, legislation since then has extended the program twice, so that as of January 1, 2014, an additional 2,500 of these SQ Iraqi visas are available to qualified applicants and the program will end once all of these visas are given out.
In order to qualify for an SQ Iraqi visa, an Iraqi national must have worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq as a contractor or employee for a period of at least one year, between March 20, 2003 and September 30, 2013. The prospective applicant must also have experienced (or is experiencing) an ongoing serious threat due to their employment with the U.S. government. Being granted an Iraqi SQ visa through this SIV program would allow the at-risk Iraqi to safely move to the United States along with their immediate family (spouse and minor unmarried children), and receive certain special resettlement benefits.
In order for an Iraqi who worked for/on behalf of the U.S. government to apply for an Iraqi SQ visa, he or she must first apply for Chief of Mission approval by September 30, 2014. The applicant must meet a variety of requirements in both the Chief of Mission approval process and the subsequent Iraqi SQ visa process. He or she must provide documentation and evidence of their work with the U.S. government, the dates of employment, a letter of recommendation, evidence of threats received, etc. As there are a limited number of these visas available, not all applicants may receive one. Things that may delay the process or result in a denial of visa approval include: misrepresented information or discrepancies in the application or documentation, receiving serious disciplinary actions while employed with the U.S. government, already living in the U.S. as a refugee, and any other circumstance which may be a conflict of interest with any of the requirements or conditions of the Iraqi SQ visa program.
Immigration attorneys are available to help Iraqis who worked for/on behalf of the U.S. government apply for an Iraqi SQ visa during the allotted time frame. These experienced immigration attorneys are familiar with the process of application and can help you successfully fill out each form and document, collect the proper evidence required, and present a strong case for you to obtain an Iraqi SQ visa as quickly as possible. There are a limited amount of these visas and the program will end as soon as they are all given out. Be sure you receive one of these visas before it is too late by utilizing the advantageous help of an immigration attorney immediately.
If you are an Iraqi who worked for/on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq and want to apply for an SQ Iraqi visa, contact Attorney Search Network. We can help you find an immigration lawyer who can help you.
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