USCIS has issued a memo reminding Iraqi nationals that if they wish to apply for a special immigrant visa based upon prior service provided by said Iraqi nationals to the U.S. government, that the deadline to file for such a visa is September 30, 2013. Individuals and their family members who wish to file under this program must adjust status prior to October 1st. It is unclear and rather unlikely that Congress will extend the program.
The memo expressly recognized the danger facing Iraqis who have assisted U.S. forces in Iraq, but notes that the agency has no legal authority to extend the program beyond the deadline. For Iraqis who have an approved visa but whose family members cases remain pending, the government recommends that the approved person go to the US and wait for the family members. It is not entirely clear how appealing such an approach would be for people in this situation.
The government also promises that its Iraqi Refugee Resettlement Program will continue beyond the deadline.
If you have questions about special immigrant visas, feel free to give us a call at (314) 961-8200 or visit our contact us page for more information.