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Green Card for an Afghan Who Assisted the U.S. Government

The Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, Section 602(b), as amended, has been extended. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2015 expands the Afghan SIV program to include certain Afghans who were employed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

In addition to any unused balance for this special immigrant status carried over from FY 2014, the total number of principal aliens who may be provided special immigrant status under this section shall not exceed 4,000 for the period beginning on the December 19, 2014 (the date of enactment) and ending on September 30, 2016. The principal alien seeking special immigrant status shall apply to the Chief of Mission no later than December 31, 2015.  The period during which an alien must have been employed must terminate on or before September 30, 2015. The authority to issue visas shall terminate on March 31, 2017.

For more information on this program see the “Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 22.3 (AFM Update AD10-04): Special Immigrant Visas under Section 602(b) of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009” page.

Application Process

To obtain a green card as an Afghan who assisted the U.S. government, whether you live inside or outside the United States, you must first file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. For more information on filing Form I-360 as an Afghan who assisted the U.S. government, see the “Form I-360” page.

If You Live Outside the United States

If your Form I-360 is approved, USCIS will forward the approved petition to the Department of State for consular processing of the special immigrant visa. For more information on getting a special immigrant visa overseas, see the “Consular Processing” webpage.

If You Live Inside the United States

If your Form I-360 has been approved, but you did not enter the United States on this special immigrant visa, you will need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to obtain a green card through adjustment of status.

Adjustment of Status Eligibility for Principal Applicant

You may be eligible for adjustment of status if:

  • You were inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States;
  • You are physically present in the United States;
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa because you are the beneficiary of an approved special immigrant Afghan petition (Form I-360);
  • An immigrant visa number is immediately available to you at the time you file your application; (NOTE: This occurs when your priority date for your immigrant category is current. Visit our "Visa Availability & Priority Dates" webpage for information on Visa Availability and Priority Dates and the Department of State website to view the visa bulletin.); AND
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

Note: If you entered the United States as a refugee, you cannot adjust status as an Afghan who assisted the U.S. government; you need to apply for adjustment of status as a refugee. For more information on obtaining a green card through refugee status, see the “Green Card for a Refugee” webpage.

Bars to Adjustment

Unless exempt, you are ineligible for adjustment of status if any of the bars to adjustment apply to you. You can find these bars listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 245(c).

You may be exempt from some of the bars to adjustment and eligible to adjust status even if:

  1. You are now employed or have ever been employed in the United States without authorization;
  2. You are not in lawful immigration status on the date you file your application;
  3. You failed to continuously maintain your lawful status since entry into the United States; or
  4. You have ever violated the terms of a nonimmigrant visa after admission to the United States as a nonimmigrant.

Grounds of Inadmissibility

If you are inadmissible to the United States, you may not adjust to lawful permanent resident status. You can find the grounds of inadmissibility listed in INA section 212(a) at www.uscis.gov.

If you apply for lawful permanent resident status as a special immigrant Afghan, these grounds of inadmissibility do not apply to you:

  1. INA section 212(a)(5)(A) (labor certification); and
  2. INA section 212(a)(4) (public charge).

If you are inadmissible based on other grounds listed in INA section 212(a), you may be eligible for a waiver or other form of relief. If your waiver application or other form of relief is granted, your application to adjust status may be approved.

You can learn more about waivers and other forms of relief by reading the instructions for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal.

Supporting Evidence for Principal Applicant’s Form I-485

You should submit all of the following evidence with the Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age
  • Copy of government issued identity document with photograph
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable) NOTE: The Form I-94 number is on the Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record and is sometimes noted as the Departure Number. If U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided you with an electronic Form I-94 upon arrival/admission to the United States, you may print out a paper version of the Form I-94 from the CBP website at www.cbp.gov/I94.
  • Copy of Form I-797, Approval Notice for the special immigrant petition, Form I-360
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (You also may submit Form I-693 later or when USCIS asks you to submit it.)
  • Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable)
  • Waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief (if applicable)
  • Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 status (if applicable) 
  • Applicable fees

Work & Travel Authorization

Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, it is possible for you to apply for authorization to work in the United States and to seek advance parole (advance permission to travel and be admitted to the United States upon your return). For further information, see the “Employment Authorization” and “Travel Documents” webpages.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/05/2015