Congressional funding bill authorizes additional Special Immigrant Visas for eligible Afghans | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.

Press Release

Congressional funding bill authorizes additional Special Immigrant Visas for eligible Afghans

Global Refuge Staff

March 22, 2024

Budget legislation adds 12,000 SIVs for Afghans allies seeking visas; extends application deadline


March 22, 2024

Contact: Jason Lucas |

Baltimore, MD – Congress included a provision in the final version of the FY 2024 State Department appropriations bill that authorizes an additional 12,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and extends the program through December 31, 2025. The State Department was expected to run out of visas to grant to the tens of thousands of Afghan allies who stood by our servicemembers during diplomatic efforts in their country.

The provision that adds additional Special Immigrant Visas to the funding bill and extends the program another year comes after a request from the Biden administration and support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who recently appealed to Senate leadership to include 20,000 additional visas for eligible Afghans in the budget legislation. Currently, there are more than 140,000 Afghans who have pending SIV applications.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge – a national refugee resettlement agency that has assisted more than 11,000 Afghan visa recipients since 2009.

“We commend Congress for including SIVs in this funding bill. While we applaud this incremental step forward, we urge this administration and lawmakers to do more to uphold our promises to the hundreds of thousands of Afghan allies who are uncertain about their future here or remain under serious threat in Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s oppressive regime.”

“The bipartisanship it took to secure additional Afghan visas is encouraging, but it’s still deeply concerning that it took the Biden administration and Congress being on the brink of a government shutdown to take action. Lawmakers’ approach to this situation continues to cause undue stress and trauma to Afghans who risked their lives to serve our mission in Afghanistan.”

“We’re witnessing demand for green cards through the SIV program outpace the State Department’s supply in part because of Congress’ inability to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide more direct paths of protection for evacuees. If this legislation were in place, it would reduce the demand for Special Immigrant Visas from Afghan evacuees seeking long-term stability in this country — preserving precious visas for our Afghan allies seeking to escape the most dangerous circumstances in Afghanistan.”

“The additional Afghan visas are a welcome stopgap measure, but since the budget negotiations are already underway for fiscal year 2025, we call on Congress to continue working to secure protections for vulnerable Afghans who need to seek refuge in the U.S. so that they aren’t living in legal limbo.”


About us:

Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is a nonprofit serving newcomers seeking safety, support, and a share in the American dream. For 85 years, we have welcomed those seeking refuge, upholding a legacy of compassion and grace for people in crisis. We walk alongside individuals, families, and children as they begin their new lives in the United States through our work in refugee resettlement, welcome and respite services for asylum seekers, economic empowerment and employment, and family unification for unaccompanied children. To date, we have served over 750,000 people from around the globe. At Global Refuge, welcoming newcomers isn’t just our duty—it’s an inherent part of our identity, rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired values, and serving as a testament to our unwavering commitment to those in search of refuge.

The Latest

  • Press Release

    April 9, 2024

    U.S. Refugee Admissions Program finds new life in FY 2024

    The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is on track to resettle the most refugees in three decades, and potentially meet the Biden administration’s goal of resettling 125,000 refugees this year.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    April 8, 2024

    A Global Refuge in Guatemala: new program serves repatriated youth

    Global Refuge's “Camino a Casa” program provides educational, vocational, and mental health support to youth returned to Guatemala.

    Read More
  • News

    April 5, 2024

    Harvesting Hope in Fargo

    The Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program stands at the forefront of the sustainable food movement, championing a future where access to nutritious, locally grown produce is within everyone's reach.

    Read More
  • News

    April 2, 2024

    Harrowing experience for immigrant women means challenging path to American dream

    On a small island off the coast of Lower Manhattan, a statue stands as a testament to the promise of the American dream. It’s not the towering Statue of Liberty – Mother of Exiles – but rather the likeness of Annie Moore, an Irish teenager who etched her name into history as the first immigrant to step onto U.S. soil through Ellis Island in 1892.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    March 26, 2024

    Global Refuge Statement on Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

    "We know our city is strong. We know we can and we will rebuild. And we also know the contributions of our immigrant brothers and sisters will continue to be essential in that effort."

    Read More