Posted on March 21, 2024

US to Lift Afghan Visa Limit Under Biden, Congress Deal

Reuters, March 19, 2024

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has reached a compromise deal with Republicans in House of Representatives to lift the number of resettlement visas for Afghans who worked for the United States, U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The congressionally-authorized limit of 38,500 Special Immigration Visas (SIVs), which offer a path to U.S. citizenship, had been expected to be reached sometime around the August anniversary of the 2021 U.S. troop withdrawal.

The Republican who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Michael McCaul, said the agreement would allow for 12,000 more visas. The Biden administration and Senate Republican lawmakers had sought 20,000.


As of March 1, there were more than 80,000 Afghans who were in the visa process, about a quarter of whom had already been cleared for final interviews and vetting outside of Afghanistan, according to a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.