Luria votes to expedite special immigrant visa process for Afghan interpreters, contractors, security personnel
Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) this week voted for the Honoring Our Promises through Expedition (HOPE) for Afghan SIVs Act of 2021 (H.R. 3385).
The legislation waives the requirement for Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants to undergo a medical examination while in Afghanistan.
The Afghan SIV Program provides much-needed safety for Afghan interpreters, contractors, and other personnel who aided the U.S. government in Afghanistan, many of whom are under threat from the Taliban. Many SIV applicants identify medical examinations, which can cost thousands of dollars, as a significant hurdle.
Currently, there is only one facility in Afghanistan that conducts all immigrant visa examinations. This bipartisan bill, which Congresswoman Luria cosponsored, would help reduce the backlog of SIV applications while repaying many Afghan nationals for their service to our nation.
“Many Afghan residents have provided crucial support to members of our military as they conducted operations in Afghanistan,” Luria said. “As we prepare to withdraw forces from Afghanistan, we must ensure that our Afghan partners and their families, who worked closely with our Armed Forces, have the assistance they need. I voted to send a message that our nation stands with our partners in war, and we will always honor their sacrifice and invaluable service.”