The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program gives certain people who helped the U.S. government abroad the opportunity to become American citizens. You may qualify for this type of visa. To find out, it pays to partner with an Augusta immigration lawyer.
Barrios Virgüez Attorneys has handled dozens of SIV cases to date. If you want help with a visa request, please let us know. Our Augusta immigration attorney can guide you through the process of getting a Special Immigration Visa.
What You Need to Know About a Special Immigrant Visa
A special immigrant refers to a person who is not a U.S. citizen but can qualify for a Green Card if they meet various criteria, according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). To obtain a Special Immigrant Visa, an individual must submit a petition to USCIS. A person may be eligible to get an SIV if they were employed by or worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan or Iraq.
A Special Immigrant Visa program is available to those who served as translators or interpreters in Afghanistan or Iraq. The program offers visas to up to 50 people annually. Anyone who wants to submit a visa request based on this program must meet the following requirements:
- Be an Afghanistani or Iraqi national
- Worked as a translator or interpreter with the U.S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission (COM) authority for a minimum of 12 months
- Have received a favorable General or Flag Officer written recommendation
If you have questions or concerns about how long it takes to get a Green Card or other aspects of a visa request, Barrios Virgüez Attorneys can help you. For more information about SIV requests, please get in touch with us. Our immigration lawyer in Augusta can help you fill out and submit your SIV application.
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The Process to Get a Special Immigrant Visa Can Be Difficult to Complete
For those who qualify for a Special Immigrant Visa, you can apply for one at any time. Here are the steps you will need to complete to receive your visa.
1. File Your Petition
You must submit a petition to USCIS. When you do, you must include the following:
- A copy of your birth certificate or passport that indicates that you are a national of Afghanistan or Iraq and a certified English translation of your document
- Proof that shows you worked as a translator or interpreter for the U.S. Armed Forces or COM for at least one year
- Completed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
- Proof that you have undergone a U.S. Armed Forces or COM background check
- Recommendation letter from a General or Flag Officer with the U.S. Armed Forces or COM to support your request for an SIV
- Payment for your petition
Once you submit these documents and your payment, USCIS will review your request and decide whether to approve your petition. If USCIS accepts your petition, your case gets moved to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). You will then receive a welcome letter that includes information so you can log in to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) and continue with the application process.
2. Submit Your Online Visa Application
At this point, you will need to complete Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. You can fill out and submit the application through CEAC. In addition, you will need to scan and include any supporting documents with your application.
When it comes to submitting supporting documents with Form DS-260, it is crucial to review CEAC’s requirements in advance. You can include certain types of files with your application. Also, you must make sure that any scans can be easily seen and read.
An immigration attorney in Augusta takes the guesswork out of submitting all of your SIV application materials. They will do everything they can to help you prepare your materials and avoid having your case reviewed by USCIS. On top of that, your attorney can offer tips, recommendations, and insights to help you seamlessly move through each step of the SIV process.
3. Complete Your Interview
It can take up to eight weeks for NVC to review your visa application. NVC will notify you if any corrections are required or missing documents. They will give you instructions on how to address these issues.
From here, NVC will schedule a visa interview appointment with you. It will send you an email with a date and time for your appointment. You will need to complete a medical examination prior to your meeting and bring certain documents with you.
You must show up for your interview, and if you choose not to do so, your case may be terminated. Following your discussion, you will find out if your request for a visa has been approved or denied. In the best-case scenario, you will get your SIV without delay.
Tips to Help You Get a Special Immigrant Visa
If you want to get a Special Immigrant Visa, you need to plan ahead. Here are tips to help you seamlessly move through the SIV process:
- Review the visa requirements. Make sure that you fill out each form correctly and submit all required documentation associated with it.
- Do not rush through the process. Take as much time as you need to complete your visa application. If you speed through the process, you risk mistakes that could cause your request to get denied.
- Reach out for support. If you have concerns or questions, share them with USCIS.
Along with these steps, you can partner with an immigration law firm in Augusta. The firm can put you in touch with an immigration attorney in Augusta who can help you navigate the SIV process. Your attorney will do what it takes to help you get your visa application approved as quickly as possible.
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Get Started with a Special Immigrant Visa Request
Barrios Virgüez Attorneys can help you with your request for a visa. To learn more, please contact us today.