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

The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes special immigrant status for Iraqi nationals who have been employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq on or after March 20, 2003, for a period of not less than 1 year. The total number of individuals who may be provided special immigrant status under this section may not exceed 5,000 per year for five successive fiscal years beginning with Fiscal Year 2008. 

Refer to Section 1244 of Public Law 110-181, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, as amended by Public Law 110-242 for the complete law. 

For more information on this program see the “USCIS Announces New Special Immigrant Visa for Certain Iraqi Nationals Who Worked for the U.S. Government” and “USCIS Policy Memo on Special Immigrant Visas under section 1244 for Iraqis who assisted the United States Government” webpages.  

Application Process

To obtain a green card as an Iraqi 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 Iraqi who assisted the U.S. government, see the “Form I-360” webpage. 

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, and you did not enter the United States. on a special immigrant visa, you need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to obtain a green card through adjustment of status.

Eligibility Criteria for Adjustment of Status

You may be eligible for adjustment of status if:

  • You were admitted as a nonimmigrant into the United States
  • You have an approved Form I-360 under section 1244 (as an Iraqi who assisted the U.S. government)
  • There is a visa immediately available for you at the time you file Form I-485

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

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485
You should submit all of the following evidence with 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 photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable)
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Applicable fees
  • Copy of the approval notice for Form I-360 (Form I-797, Notice of Action)
  • Certified copies of court records (if you have ever been arrested)

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 “Work Authorization” and “Travel Documents” webpages.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/02/2009