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Project Rabbit and Afghan SIVs

Project Rabbit was the Department of Defense's initial effort, beginning in August 2021, to assist the Department of State with verifying the employment of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (ASIV) applicants who claimed to have worked for a Department of Defense contractor or sub-contractor. DoD changed the name of Project Rabbit to the DoD ASIV Support Team (DAS-T). At this time, it appears that DAS-T only supports the effort on the part of large firms that had contracts in Afghanistan.

Important Announcement for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Applicants:

The Project Rabbit website input form died an early death. The Department of Defense has quietly, without a notification or explanation, 'retired' the online form used by Afghan at-risk individuals to submit information that would help substantiate employment verification. It probably is asking too much for the Department of Defense to offer an explanation of why the input form was retired and to offer a course of action for those who wish to get their documents to Project Rabbit officials.

Apparently, according to posts on social media, the Department of State (DoS) is forwarding SIV cases to the Department of Defense (DoD) for review. Human Resources (HR) representatives and senior level personnel of companies or firms can directly contact the people at Project Rabbit to register their fimr and input information, but the mechanism for that is not widely publicized. The DoD matches the case with information provided by former employers of Afghans who worked on U.S. related contracts and provides the information back to the DoS. How this is working remains to be seen. There is very little official mention of Project Rabbit and almost no information is provided to the public by the DoS or DoD on this topic.

FAQ's on Letter of Recommendation and Human Resources Letter for SIV application:
by International Refugee Assistance Project, IRAP

- - - - - - Archived Information Below - Dated Information - - - - - -

The Office of the U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment has partnered with the Defense Digital Service and Department of State’s Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) team on Project Rabbit.

The goal of this partnership is to simplify the Employment Verification & Letter of Recommendation portion of the pre-Chief of Mission (pre-COM) phase of SIV application. Simplification is critical as this is the most burdensome part of the application process for both SIV applicants and companies. Effective immediately; automated data matching techniques will be utilized to perform employment verification and letter of recommendation on behalf of both the applicant and their former employer.

The purpose of Project Rabbit is to streamline the process by replacing the need for companies to write employment verification letters and letters of recommendation for each current or former Afghan local national who is applying for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) status. By using electronic HR data as provided to the U.S. Government by companies, and in support of expediting evacuation, current or former Afghan employees will be automatically matched through the Project Rabbit data base and moved to the Chief of Mission (COM) phase of the SIV process.

Ensure registration in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) System to obtain a Case ID.

If not already registered; SIV Applicants must: Visit the Department of State web page and initiate an application. Applicants must initiate this process even if data is incomplete to be provided a Case ID.

Please note: Letter of Recommendation and Letter of Referral from your former employer is no longer required in order to register as this action will now be accomplished automatically.

You can provide information to the "Project Rabbit" employment verification team if you already have a pending SIV account.

A Department of Defense spokesperson told a reporter that by mid-January 2022 Project Rabbit had supplied employment records for 4,800 SIV applicants. Around 3,100, or 64.6%, of these applicants received chief of mission (embassy) approval, compared with the 40% approval rate for most SIV applicants.

Additional Information

If an Afghan worked in support of a Department of Defense contract, the Department of State will forward the SIV case to DoD for review and assistance with employment verification.

The DoD will try to match data in the SIV application with Human Resources data and employment records. DoD contractor companies provide this data voluntarily. The DoD will then submit the available employment verification data directly to DoS for their review and further processing.

As of late December 2022, reports on social media indicated that the Department of Defense had reviewed close to 8,000 applications in Project Rabbit. Of these, DoD certified almost half of them. Once certified, the DoD returns the case to the office of COM where a final COM approval may be rendered.



Books about the Kabul non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) of August 2021,
evacuation of AMCITs, LPRs, SIVs, and others, and the Afghan Evac community and effort.

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