Written by attorney Wendy Renee Whitt

The Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa Program

What is the Iraqi SIV Visa?

The bi-partisan 2008 Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act established the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program which authorize 5,000 special immigrant visas annually for Iraqi nationals who have provided service to the US government in Iraq.

Who can file a petition for the Iraqi SIV?

Iraqi nationals must self-petition for the SIV.

What are the requirements for the Iraqi SIV?

The Iraqi SIV applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a national of Iraq.
  • Must have been employed by, or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq, on or after March 20, 2003, for a period of not less than one year;
  • Must have provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government, which is documented in a letter of recommendation from the employee’s supervisor that is approved by the Chief of Mission (COM), as described below;
  • Must have experienced or be experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of the employment by the United States Government, as determined through a risk assessment conducted by the Chief of Mission (COM) or the designee of the COM;
  • Must be able to clear a background check and appropriate screening as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security(DHS); and
  • Must be otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa and otherwise admissible to the United States for permanent residence

How much does it cost to file the SIV petition?

There is no filing fee for the Iraqi SIV petition. The Whitt Law Firm, PLLC, provides assistance with the petition to Iraqi refugees on a pro bono basis.


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