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FOIA: SIV employment eligibility and the Chief of Mission process

IRAP filed a lawsuit to compel the release of U.S. Department of State policies and guidance regarding employment eligibility for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and adjudication at the Chief of Mission (COM) stage.


COM is the first stage in the SIV process for Afghan and Iraqi nationals whose lives are at risk because of their work on behalf of the U.S. government. During this stage, the State Department’s COM evaluates whether an SIV applicant has shown that they hold or held qualifying employment to be eligible for an SIV. This lawsuit seeks to improve transparency around the COM process, as the State Department has published virtually no information about this critical step in the SIV application process.

Case status

The Department of State has been producing records to IRAP on a monthly basis.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is representing IRAP in this case.

Follow the Case

  • June 19, 2020 Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act

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  • August 14, 2020 Amended Answer

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