Special Immigrant Visa Holder
(01/01/22 – 12/31/22)
Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders are individuals who enter the United States (U.S.) under a special visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to Iraqi and Afghani citizens. These visas entitle the noncitizen to the same benefits and services as refugees.
Afghan arrivals or refugees admitted in the United States under the Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) generally fall within one of four arrival categories. OAW, formerly known as OAR (Operation Allies Refuge) is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-led effort across the federal government that began in 07/2021. The goal of this program is to support vulnerable Afghans as they safely resettle in the U.S.
The following are the four arrival categories:
Special Immigrant Lawful Permanent Resident (SI LPR)
Special Immigrant Conditional Permanent Resident (SI CPR)
NOTE An SI CPR becomes an SI LPR after DHS removes the conditions on their LPR admission. When these SI CPRs complete a medical examination and USCIS determines they are not medically inadmissible, DHS removes their conditions and they become an SI LPR.
Special Immigrant Parolee (SI Parolee)
Non-SI Parolee (sometimes referred to as a “humanitarian parole” or “OAR parole”)
NOTE Some Afghan arrivals may have been eligible for and admitted in one of many other immigration categories, either at the time of their arrival at a port of entry or through a change afterwards.
Afghan SI LPRs and SI CPRs:
Afghan SI LPRs and SI CPRs meet the immigration status requirement for NA and CA benefits under section 602(b)(8) of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note).
When all other eligibility requirements are met, these participants are potentially eligible for NA and CA benefits indefinitely without a waiting period.
The SI LPRs generally have foreign passports with a DHS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stamp admitting them with any of the followings Class of Admission (COA) codes:
SQ1 (Arrival - Principal)
SQ2 (Arrival - Spouse of SQ1)
SQ3 (Arrival - Unmarried Child of SQ1)
SQ6 (Adjustment - Principal)
SQ7 (Adjustment - Spouse of SQ6)
SQ8 (Adjustment - Child of SQ6)
The SI CPRs generally have foreign-issued passports with a DHS, CBP stamp admitting them with any of the following COA codes:
CQ1 (Principal)
CQ2 (Spouse of CQ1)
CQ3 (Child of CQ1)
Some of the SI LPR or SI CPR arrivals may not have a physical immigrant visa or temporary Form I-551 stamp in their passport. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is also issuing a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, to these SI LPRs and SI CPRs. In addition, regardless of the documentation presented, the Verified Legal Presence (VLP) in HEAplus can provide initial verification of these arrivals except those whose case involves something unusual that may require additional verification.
Afghan SI Parolees and Non-SI Parolees:
Afghan SI and Non-SI parolees are both paroled into the U.S. under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Both groups may have a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), with a C11 category and/or a CBP “PAROLED” stamp in their passport.
The following Afghan SI and Non-SI parolee participants are potentially eligible for NA and CA without a waiting period effective 09/30/2021 until 03/31/2023 or until the end of their parole term, whichever is later:
Afghan citizens or nationals paroled into the United States between 07/31/2021 and 09/30/2022
Their spouses or children paroled after 09/30/2022
Their parents and guardians paroled after 09/30/2022 when the Afghan citizen or national is an unaccompanied child
SI Parolees have a separate, printed page on CBP letterhead with their Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. SI Parolees are assigned the following COA codes:
SQ4 (Principal)
SQ5 (Dependent)
The printed page contains information including the following notation, and is signed and dated by a USCIS officer:
Special Immigrant Status (SQ/SI) Parolee
Sec 602(b)(1) AAPA / Sec 1059(a) NDAA 2006
Date ______ USCIS officer: ______
Non-SI parolees may also have a Form I-94 printed from the CBP Form I-94 website with any of the following COA codes:
OAR (CBP implemented August 2021)
PAR, DT (these or other parole COAs used instead of OAR before August and occasionally afterward)
For both SI and Non-SI Parolees, the Verified Legal Presence (VLP) in HEAplus can provide an initial verification response.
The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) fact sheet includes detailed information and examples regarding Afghan arrival categories, documentation, and SAVE responses.
Afghan arrivals entering Arizona may contact a Voluntary Agency (VOLAG). When the VOLAG determines that a participant may be eligible for FAA assistance, VOLAG staff assist the participant in completing the official FAA application.
All Afghan arrivals or refugee applications for FAA assistance during their first 12 months in the U.S. must be processed at designated FAA Refugee Offices. The 12 months start from the date of the refugee's entry into the U.S. and end on the first day of the 13th month after entry. The arrival month is included in the 12-month count.
An FAA application of an Afghan arrival or refugee must be submitted only to the FAA Refugee Office. When it is discovered that an application of an Afghan non-citizen is submitted in error through HEAplus or to an FAA office other than a Refugee office, transfer the application to the appropriate FAA Refugee office within one workday and complete one of the following:
Notify the FAA Refugee Unit via an email at [email protected]
Upload the paper application to OnBase
Fax the paper application to (623) 931-5676
NOTE When faxing documents containing confidential information use the Fax Cover Sheet (DES-1078A) form.
Change the site code on the CARC screen in AZTECS to one of the following when the case is already keyed:
285 - Applications received in Pima County
169 - Applications received in all other counties.
After the first 12 months are completed, Afghan arrival or refugee applications must be processed at any FAA office.
NOTE The refugee office staff are the only staff that key the RE Citizenship code on IDCI. In order to keep track of these cases, they also set a free form ACTS alert for the month after the end of the 12th month. After 12 months, the refugee office staff change the citizenship code for Afghan arrivals to EA and move the case out of their caseload.