This is a quick guide on how to start a congressional inquiry for your SIV case. Share this post with your American friends, supervisors and other Afghans living in USA wanting to help your case.
Why do I want one? How do I start one?
A Congressional inquiry is a request made on the SIV applicant’s behalf regarding the status of their case by a member of the US Congress. It is initiated by an American citizen or Green Card Holder (LPR) who knows the SIV well and can attest to the good character of the SIV and the work they have done for the US Government.
It can also help get information on why delays in the case are happening (though most times you will receive the standard answer of ‘the case is still under review / administrative processing’).
The inquiry helps to show the Embassy that the SIV applicant has strong support in the United States. Every time a formal Congressional Inquiry is made, it is noted on the SIV applicant’s case file. This is why we recommend them, even if all you get is the standard response.
Every Congressional office has it’s own rules for initiating a formal inquiry.
Instructions to request a Congressional Inquiry on your case status:
- Ask your supporting American contact (supervisor) or LPR contact if they will initiate a Congressional Inquiry on your behalf. This means any American citizen or Green Card Holder (LPR) who knows you well and can attest to your good character and the work you have done on behalf of the US Government.
- Tell your American / LPR contact to call the office of their local Congressional Representative. That information can be looked up here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative or here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.html
- When your American / LPR contact calls their local Representative’s office, they must ask to speak to the person who handles Immigration issues.
- Speak to the staff person. Tell them you want to open an official Congressional Inquiry on the behalf of an SIV applicant.
- There will be a PRIVACY RELEASE FORM that will need to be filled out by the SIV and their American / LPR contact Please ask for instructions on how to fill out the form properly. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. WITHOUT THE PRIVACY RELEASE FORM, THE EMBASSY/NVC WILL NOT SHARE ANY INFORMATION ON THE SIV CASE.
- When filling out the Privacy Release Form, the American / LPR contact should also include a short letter with a summary of the SIV’s case, and why the request for Congressional Inquiry is being made (for example: the case is taking too long, etc…). If there is any change in case that is of an urgent matter (medical expiring, security issues, danger, etc…..), this should be clearly expressed in the letter.
- Ask the immigration staff person if their office will automatically make additional inquiries, or will the American / LPR contact need to call the office again for additional inquiries. (Many offices do this automatically every 60 or 90 days.)