We understand you may have questions regarding the Special Immigration Visa process for yourself or someone you know. The SIV processing and decisions are solely handled by the US Government. Mission Essential is not a part or party to the process or decision making. However, we are happy to direct you to the appropriate State Department web pages.

Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters (

What about my family? Can my family member immigrate with me?  If you participate in the SIV program, your spouse, as well as unmarried children younger than 21, may be granted SIVs, and may travel with you or may follow to join you after you have been admitted to the United States.

Please note, Mission Essential is only able to provide referral letters for those previously contracted to work with Mission Essential.

I do not qualify for the Special Immigration Visa Program, what options should I explore?  U.S. Refugee Admissions Program Priority 2 Designation for Afghan Nationals - United States Department of State

Visa Denials:

Information on next steps if your visa has been denied can be found here: Visa Denials (

Specific questions may include:

Can I reapply for a visa?

After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply in the future. If you reapply for a visa after being found ineligible, with the exception of 221(g) refusals, you must submit a new visa application and pay the visa application fee again. If you were found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA, you should be able to present evidence of significant changes in circumstances since your last application. See more information below under INA section 214(b).

Can a friend or relative inquire about my denied visa application?

Department of State visa case records are confidential under INA section 222(f), so information can only be provided to visa applicants, with some exceptions. Certain information can be provided to U.S. sponsors, attorneys representing visa applicants, members of Congress, or other persons acting on behalf of and with the permission of applicants.

Waivers of Ineligibility:

What is a waiver?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains provisions that may allow a visa applicant who was denied a visa for a particular ineligibility to apply for a waiver of that ineligibility. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adjudicates all waivers of ineligibility. Waivers are discretionary, meaning that there are no guarantees that DHS will approve a waiver for you. If the waiver is approved, you may be issued a visa.

Can every applicant who is ineligible apply for a waiver?

No. If you are found ineligible for a visa, the consular officer will inform you if can apply for a waiver of ineligibility. The following factors will determine if you may apply for a waiver:

  • Whether a waiver of ineligibility is available for the particular section of law you are ineligible under;
  • You must be fully qualified for the visa you applied for, except for that specific ineligibility, in order to be able to apply for the waiver;
  • If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa, generally whether the consular officer who found you ineligible recommends to DHS that you receive a waiver; and
  • If you are applying for an immigrant visa, whether a waiver is available for your particular situation. (For example, for certain visa ineligibilities when applying for an immigrant visa, you can only apply for a waiver if you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent who would endure extreme hardship if you were not able to immigrate.)

How do I apply for a waiver?

If you can apply for a waiver, the consular officer at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you applied will inform you how to apply. Immigrant Visa and K Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants - If you can apply for a waiver, you must mail Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility, with few exceptions. Learn more on the USCIS website.

Further Denial Questions:

I was found ineligible for a visa, and I have further questions. Who should I contact? You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you applied.