Aug 6 2006
Afghani and Iraqi Translators May Now Apply for U.S. Citizenship
According to the Department of Homeland Security, Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have worked with the U.S. military as translators are now eligible to submit requests for special immigrant status. This new category, created by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2006, allows these translators and their families to legally enter the U.S., apply for permanent residency and eventually become U.S. citizens. Translators should file a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Form (Form I-360) with evidence showing that the applicants meet the following criteria:
- Be a national of Iraq or Afghanistan,
- Have worked directly with the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator for a period of at least 12 months,
- Have obtained a favorable written recommendation from a General or Flag Officer in the chain of command of the unit supported by the translator,
- Have cleared a background check and screening as determined by a General or Flag Officer in the chain of command of unit supported by the translator. The Department of Defense will determine the type of background check and screening required on a case-by-case basis, and
- Be otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa and otherwise admissible to the United States for permanent residence. In determining such admissibility, the grounds for inadmissibility relating to “public charge” shall not apply.
Required evidence at time of filing include the following:
- A copy of the passport or birth certificate showing the alien is a national of Iraq or Afghanistan,
- Proof, issued by the U.S. Armed Forces, of working as a translator with the Armed Forces for at least 12 months,
- Proof of background check and screening by the U.S. Armed Forces. The Department of Defense will determine the type of background check and screening required on a case-by-case basis,
- A recommendation letter from General or Flag Officer, and
- A copy of the front and back of the applicant’s Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) if filed in the United States.