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Special Information for Syrian Applicants

Special Information for Syrian and Libyan Applicants

Nonimmigrant Visas:

All nonimmigrant visa applicants must overcome Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  This statute contains a presumption that nonimmigrant visa applicants are intending immigrants.  Visa applicants can overcome this presumption by proving that they have a permanent residence abroad which they have no intention of abandoning.

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for individuals fleeing war zones to overcome the presumption of immigration if they have no safe home to which they can return.  This is generally established by the documentation of family, social, employment, economic, academic connections to another country that will lead them to return there after a temporary stay in the United States. 

For information on scheduling an appointment, see our website:

Immigrant Visas:

U.S. Embassy Ankara is currently able to accept I-130 immigrant visa petitions filed for Syrian and Libyan relatives of American citizens for immediate processing. Parents, spouses, and children of U.S. citizens can apply for immigrant visas at the Embassy.  

For detailed information about how you can file an I-130 Immigrant Visa Petition at our office please click here. 

Returning Residents:

Applicants who were Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S. but who have stayed outside of the United States for more than one year may be eligible for Returning Resident status. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate to the consular officer’s satisfaction that they departed the United States with the intention of returning to an unrelinquished residence and that their stay abroad was for reasons beyond their control.

More information on this procedure can be found here:  

If you believe that you qualify for this status, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at for additional details and to schedule an appointment. 

American Citizens:

A U.S. citizen parent can transmit U.S. citizenship to the child if

  1. He/she was a U.S. citizen when the child was born
  2. and if he/she can prove that he/she has been physically present in the U.S. for five years (two of which were after age 14) before the child was born. 

Please Note: If you were a U.S. citizen at the time of your child’s birth and have the necessary physical presence, you cannot file an IV petition for your child. You need to get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for your child.

For more information please visit: how to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

For Refugee Inquiries:

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is not a designated post for refugee case processing. In Turkey, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has responsibility for assistance to, and protection of, refugees.

Please direct your questions to The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Ankara.


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