US Awards Visas to More Iraqis - Global Visas

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The US government has claimed it has changed the criteria against which it vets Iraqi interpreters and embassy staff, according to a report by Global Visas.

The interpreters and embassy staff have helped the US mission in the country to allow them to move to the US.

As a result of the tweaks, more former US aides have resettled in the US in the first half of the 2012 fiscal year than in the entire previous fiscal year.

Since October 2011, some 715 special immigrant visas were issued to Iraqis, compared with the 706 issued the year before.

Although the visa scheme was set up in 2007, Global Visas assert that the criteria against which the visas were issued was very restrictive. This resulted following concerns that Al Qaeda was trying to take advantage of the programme.

This, however, has all changed according to Andrew Blinken, the security adviser to the Vice President. He voiced that, "What I can tell you today is that think we have now a way forward that will show demonstrable progress in bringing people to the United States, while making sure that our security is upheld."

Blinken added that it is in the interest of the US immigration to help the former aides resettle in the US in order to ensure others are willing to help in the future.

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Daniel Leary
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