CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KRON) — U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell, who represents parts of the Bay Area, is offering assistance to Afghan families who want to check on their Special Immigrant Visa status.

Afghans who already reside in the U.S. are able to check on the status of a loved one who may be trapped in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has just taken over.

He said local residents can stop by his office at certain times or make an appointment with one of his caseworkers to get an update on pending SIV applications.

His office is located at 20990 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, Calif. It is open from 2-5 p.m. on Monday, and from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Tuesday.

The office can not accept any new applications.

According to the U.S. Department of State, a special immigrant is a person who qualifies for lawful permanent residence under one of several programs. A total of 26,500 visas are allocated under this program since December 19, 2014. 

Section 602(b) of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, as amended, is a special immigrant program, which authorizes the issuance of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) to Afghan nationals who meet certain requirements and who were employed in Afghanistan:

  • by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan, or
  • by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission, in a capacity that required the applicant to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF or to perform sensitive and trusted activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF.

The turmoil in Afghanistan has caused a rush to evacuate the country. Seven people have died on Monday morning after rushing onto the tarmac at the airport in Kabul, some clinging on to a U.S. military jet that arrived to evacuate U.S. citizens.

If you have a loved one waiting for a Special Immigrant Visa, learn more about what you can do here.