Posted on September 22, 2021

Three Percent of Afghan Evacuees Already in US Have Special Visas

Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, September 21, 2021

Only a small percentage of the tens of thousands of Afghans who were evacuated and taken to the United States possess special immigrant visas.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill that only about 3%, or approximately 1,800, have SIVs of the roughly 60,000 Afghan evacuees who have landed in the U.S. already. Additionally, 7% of them are U.S. citizens, and 6% are lawful permanent residents.


The U.S. and coalition forces evacuated more than 110,000 people during the final two weeks in August after the Taliban overthrew the government during a military offensive as the U.S. military was embarking on the final stretches of the 20-year war.


Special Immigrant Visas are awarded after a 14-step process, and applicants must have helped the U.S. during the 20-year war on terror, though the State Department in late July broadened the visa pool.