In April 2019, the United States government-designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Sepah or Pasdaran, a foreign terrorist organization. IRGC is, in fact, a branch of the Iranian armed forces that operate independently of the regular army. However, the IRGC designation marked Washington’s first branded foreign government entity, a terrorist group. Designating a group as a terrorist organization carries serious immigration repercussions for any individuals with any involvement with such organization, including grounds for inadmissibility that are nearly impossible to overcome. Such bars are founded in the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) strict bars to admissibility to the U.S. under terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG).
Our firm is familiar with the unique issues facing those seeking immigration to the United States from Iran.
In Iran, service in the military is mandatory for males, with limited exceptions. Importantly, the Iranian males so conscripted into service are given no choice as to the branch of the military to which they are assigned. What this means is that often the country’s best and brightest youth are assigned to the IRGC – again without any individual choice in the matter.
In addition, the broad scope of the TRIG bars to admissibility, and the law behind the designation of terrorist organizations as applicable to visa eligibility, permit U.S. government officials to apply the TRIG bars to Iranian nationals for any involvement with the IRCG dating back decades – long before the U.S. government’s 2019 designation. This might mean that an Iranian male with prior experience with the IRGC may be affected by the TRIG bar even for his role as a cook or a non-combat medic.
Kameli & Associates notes that it takes no position regarding the political relationship between the U.S. and Iran and the motivations underlying U.S. government’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. However, the implementation of the TRIG bars without substantive waivers relating to involuntary service and/or pre-designation involvement has created confusion and uncertainty and an ever-increasing problem applicable to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and U.S. employers. The current lawsuit filed by K&A eeks to help mitigate such increasing problems.
On December 23, 2021, we filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Washington D.C. to challenge this executive order. Doe v. Biden (US District Court, District of Columbia, Case Number 21-cv-3356)
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT IRANIAN APPLICANTS WORK WITH A US IMMIGRATION LAWYER WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH THE SPECIFIC ISSUES FACING IRANIAN APPLICANTS