Some of you might be learning for the first time about the existence of an another different Afghan SIV program that is only for interpreters / translators and issues 50 principal applicant visas per year. This program was created in 2006 and has the “SI visa class category“.
This program’s 50 visas per year is shared both by Afghans and Iraqi applicants. It has a very long waiting list for visa and one Afghan applicant waited 10 years to get visa issued under this program.
This program does not have expiration date and is permanent, unless the US Congress changes the law.
The other program that majority of Afghan applicants have been applying was created in 2009, has visa capacity limit and has expiration date to apply for COM approval, which gets extended almost every year in NDAA defense bills by the US Congress.
This program has the “SQ visa class category“.
1. How can I apply for the SI or SQ visa class category? Where do I select it?
Answer: When you are filling out your Form i-360 application, you have the choose to select the L. “Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National who worked with the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator” or N. “Special Immigrant Afghanistan National who was employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
The ” L ” visa classification is for interpreters and only issues 50 principal applicant visas per year shared by both Afghan and Iraqi applicants.
The ” N ” visa classification is for all other qualified Afghan applicants that have worked for the US government in Afghanistan.
2. Where can I check if my visa class is “SI” or “SQ”?
Answer: You can check your visa class in your DS-260 application page on the upper right corner as shown in this sample screenshot.