The authorization for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the United States government will expire on Sept. 30, 2013. The expiration date also applies to spouses and unmarried child(ren) accompanying or following to join the principal applicant. Individuals applying under this program, including family members, must be admitted to the United States or adjust their statuses before Oct. 1, 2013.
This program covers Iraqi nationals who—during the period between March 20, 2003, and the present—have been employed by or on behalf of the United States government in Iraq for a period of not less than one year.
As announced at its inception, the Iraqi SIV program will expire on Sept. 30, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. EDT unless Congress extends the program. After Sept. 30, 2013, USCIS will reject any petitions or applications filed based on the Iraqi SIV program. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, USCIS will suspend processing of any pending Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, filed based on the Iraqi SIV program.
However, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for U.S. affiliated Iraqis remains in place and will continue to be available after September 30, 2013 regardless of whether the Iraqi SIV program ends at that time. SIV applicants have an option to seek out information about the USRAP as the eligibility criteria are very similar to those of the SIV. For more information on the USRAP for U.S. affiliated Iraqis, visit http://iraq.usembassy.gov/refugeesidpaffairs.html.