Tennessee Office for Refugees

Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs)

Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holder is an Iraqi or Afghan national who has been employed by the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator or interpreter, or been employed by or a contractor of the United States government overseas. SIVs are eligible for the same resettlement benefits as refugees for up to eight months after arrival in the U.S. They arrive with Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status and can apply for U.S. citizenship after five years in the U.S.

Quick Facts:

  • Since the first Special Immigrant Visa awarded in 2007, a total of 33,102 Iraqi and Afghan nationals and their families have arrived in the US
  • 86% of SIV recipients in 2014 were from Afghanistan.
  • In 2014, 10,793 Iraqi and Afghan SIVs resettled in the United States. However, from 2007 - 2014 the average number of SIV entrants per year was 3,707.

Facts compiled from the U.S. Department of State. Please visit the Resources section for more information.

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