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Immigration Law

DHS, DOS Streamline Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program

Stakeholder email, July 18, 2022:

Statement by Secretaries Antony J. Blinken and Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Ongoing Efforts to Support Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Applicants

The United States continues to demonstrate its commitment to the thousands of brave Afghans who stood side-by-side with us over the course of the past two decades. We have already undertaken substantial steps to improve the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program and today’s announcement reflects our commitment to do so.

Today the U.S Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are announcing a change to the SIV Program that will simplify and streamline the application process for Afghan applicants. Starting this week, new Afghan SIV Program applicants will only need to file one form, a revised form DS-157, as their SIV petition. New applicants will no longer need to file the Form I-360, Petition for Special Immigrant Status, with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This new streamlined process, which is part of our ongoing efforts to make the program more efficient, will help to eliminate barriers for applicants and reduce application times. This change does not reduce or remove any of the robust security vetting processes required before the benefit is granted. 

This is one of many steps we have taken to improve the SIV process while safeguarding national security. Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, we have surged resources to this vital program and have reviewed every stage of the statutorily required application process to streamline wherever possible.