U.S. simplifies application process for Afghan special immigrant visa

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FILE PHOTO: U.S Secretary of State Blinken speaks to the media before boarding his airplane at Yokota Air Base in Fussa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will simplify the application process for Afghan special immigrant visas with applicants only needing to file one form, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

New applicants, beginning this week, will no longer need to file a separate petition for special immigrant status, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the joint statement.

"This new streamlined process, which is part of our ongoing efforts to make the program more efficient, will help to eliminate barriers for applicants and reduce application times," they said.

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Caitlin Webber)

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