Exclusive: U.S. Channel for Emergency Afghan Visas Crashes

State Department mailbox crashes under weight of thousands of SIV applications


The email in-box for emergency visa applications for Afghans who worked with the U.S. has crashed, according to a former Air Force serviceman trying to help his local counterpart escape the advancing Taliban.

Sam Lerman, a former sergeant who helped protect Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base during a 2011-2012 tour of duty, showed SpyTalk the response he got Sunday to a Special Immigrant Visa application he filed for his Afghan counterpart. It says, “the recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Please try resending the message later, or contact the recipient directly.”

“The State Department apparently forgot to take the size limit off of it, so all of these thousands of emails coming in from Afghans trying to get out are just bouncing,” Lerman said. “I first submitted an SIV application at 6:00 am, and it was bouncing, and has been ever since.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But late Sunday afte…

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