Integrity Legal

Archive for November, 2010

30th November 2010

Those who are regular readers of this blog will no doubt be aware that the issue of 221(g) denials promulgated in relation to visa applications brought before at US Missions, Embassies, and Consulates outside of the United States can be very concerning for those seeking American Immigration benefits for a foreign loved one. In the case of the US Embassy in Vietnam, most US family visa cases are processed out the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. It would seem that the American Consulate in HCMC is considered by State Department officials to be a “high volume” Post as a significant number of visa applications are adjudicated in that jurisdiction each year. Meanwhile, as is the case for any US Mission abroad, the officers at the US Consulate in HCMC take visa fraud seriously and therefore heavy scrutiny is placed upon pending visa applications in an effort to ensure that those receiving visa benefits are legally entitled to such benefits. Furthermore, Consular Officers also review US family visa applications very carefully in order to ascertain whether or not a prospective foreign beneficiary has the requisite subjective intent. Subjective intent is often of great concern in K1 visa applications as the applicant must have a genuine intention to marry their American fiance within 90 days of entering the USA.

The culmination of the US visa process is usually the visa interview which is generally conducted at the US Mission with Consular jurisdiction to adjudicate the visa application. However, in some cases, a Consular Officer may feel that further documentation is necessary in order to complete the adjudication. The American State Department refers to the 221(g), which is a reference to section 221(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, as a refusal although for purposes of the Department of Homeland Security the 221g is considered a denial. This can be an important distinction for foreign nationals holding the passport of a country which participates in the US Visa Waiver Program as the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) considers 221g refusals to be denials which must be disclosed by travelers through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). It should noted that Vietnam is not currently a participant in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.

In some cases, 221g denials are highly complex and may cause frustration to the applicant and/or their American counterpart. Some find that attorney assistance can be beneficial. An American Immigration attorney can provide insight into the overall process and also assist in making a follow-up with the US Consulate regarding a 221g denial. Furthermore, American Immigration attorneys based in South East Asia can deal with such matters before the Consulate in real time. This can be especially beneficial if the 221g evolves into a situation in which the visa application is denied due to a legal finding of inadmissibility. This can sometimes occur and in such an event the finding of inadmissibility may only be overcome through use of an I-601 waiver. In some cases, there may be no remedy if the applicant is found inadmissible for reasons that cannot be waived. Those thinking about filing for immigration benefits should always be aware that putting on the best case at the outset is the most efficient way of attempting to ensure visa issuance.

For related information please see: US Visa Vietnam or US fiance visa.

more Comments: 04

26th November 2010

Recently, this blogger was reading a report from the Department of State regarding the statistics pertaining to the United States Visa Process. To quote the report directly:

Immigrant visa issuances during fiscal year 2011 are limited by the terms of INA 201 to no more than 226,000 in the family-sponsored preferences and 140,000 in the employment-based preferences. (Visas for “Immediate Relatives” – i.e., spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 years, and parents – of U.S. citizens are not subject to numerical limitation, however.) It should by no means be assumed that once an applicant is registered, the case is then continually included in the waiting list totals unless and until a visa is issued. The consular procedures mandate a regular culling of visa cases to remove from the count those unlikely to see further action, so that totals are not unreasonably inflated. If, for example, a consular post receives no response within one year from an applicant to whom the visa application instruction letter (i.e., the consular “Packet 3″ letter) is sent when the movement of the visa availability cutoff date indicates a visa may become available within a reasonable time frame, the case is considered “inactive” under the consular procedures and is no longer included in waiting list totals.

It has be routinely noted on this blog and elsewhere online that the American visa process is somewhat restrictive when it comes to non-immediate relative petitions as there are limited numbers of visas available to the immediate family of American lawful permanent residents and the non-immediate relatives of American Citizens. That said, this was not the portion of the above citation that this author felt was noteworthy. Instead, a central issue for this blogger is that of “culling visa cases”. For those who do not have a great deal of experience dealing with US Immigration matters it may seem rather heavy handed to simply cancel a visa file. However, it should be pointed out that a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad is responsible for reviewing, adjudicating, and processing a large number of visa applications each year. Therefore, in the name of organization and efficiency it is often necessary for cases to be removed from the processing queue lest the whole system become overloaded and inefficient.

Those wishing to obtain a visa to the USA should be cognizant of the fact that failure to follow up with the US Mission with Consular jurisdiction could result in the canceling of one’s visa application thereby resulting in an end to the entire proceeding. This is also true for those who receive a 221g denial as failure to respond within one year of the denial’s issuance could result in the culling of the case file.

Some find that the assistance of an American Immigration attorney can be highly beneficial as such an individual can provide insight into and assistance with the United States visa process. Furthermore, American attorneys working overseas can provide real time assistance with Consular processing at American Missions abroad.

For related information please see: Consular Processing.

more Comments: 04

23rd November 2010

The administrator of this blog recently came across a press release from the United States Mission in India. The following is quoted directly from the press release as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

New Delhi – In an effort to make the visa application process more convenient for all Indians, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad now accept visa applications from across India at all visa facilities, regardless of the applicant’s home address or city of residence. This is part of Mission India’s ongoing effort to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States.

Following the opening of Consulate General Hyderabad in 2008, the U.S. Mission has looked for ways to best capture the dynamism of India’s growth across the nation. As a result, we also redesigned our consular districts. Therefore, effective immediately, our consular districts will be reorganized as follows: Embassy Delhi: Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bhutan; Consulate Mumbai: Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Diu and Daman, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Consulate Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh, Orissa; Consulate Chennai: Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Consulate Kolkata: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal

U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said, “With these changes, we believe our Consulates General and our Embassy in New Delhi will be even better positioned to support and serve Indian visa applicants, as well as American citizens and businesses throughout India.”

Actions such as those noted above can have a tremendous positive impact upon those Indian Nationals seeking United States Immigration benefits as the ability to process such travel documents at any Post in India generally results in a great deal more convenience compared to the policy of keeping Consular jurisdictions mutually exclusive.

Each year, many Indian Nationals seek visa benefits of the United States of America. While some may seek US family visa benefits in order to reunite with loved ones. Other applicants seek non-immigrant visas for short terms stays in the USA. Still others seek employment based visas to the US such as the L1 visa. Meanwhile, there are some who opt to seek United States Permanent Residence by investment through use of the EB-5 visa program.

Policies such as the aforementioned one adopted by the US Mission in India should be applauded as this shows a sincere effort on the part of the Mission in India to take measures which may be beneficial to those seeking visas to America.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa India.

more Comments: 04

20th November 2010

In an effort to provide clarity to those interested in the United States Immigration process the administration of this blog routinely posts the estimated processing times of the service centers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS is tasked with adjudicating immigration petitions and applications for those seeking visa or immigration benefits. The following was quoted directly from the official website of USCIS:

Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: September 30, 2010
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation August 12, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional August 12, 2006
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister March 1, 2005
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal November 20, 2008
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) November 20, 2008
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 6 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal 3.5 Months
I-90A Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement for Special Agricultral Workers (SAW) 3.5 Months
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
N-643 Application for Certification of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship on behalf of an adopted child 5 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: September 30, 2010
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad July 1, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. July 1, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. July 1, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 February 8, 2007
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister September 1, 2006
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension May 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing May 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension May 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing May 16, 2010
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 September 12, 1997
Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: September 30, 2010
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation December 28, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional December 28, 2007
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister 5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal April 1, 2009
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) April 1, 2009
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications May 10, 2010
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago April 25, 2010
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States September 30, 2008
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension November 30, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing November 30, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension November 30, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing November 30, 2009
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition April 5, 2010
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement March 2, 2010
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal October 1, 2009
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: September 30, 2010
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad July 10, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. July 10, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. June 5, 2010
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister 5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver December 31, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses December 31, 2008
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal 4 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors June 5, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications June 5, 2010
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 6 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
N-643 Application for Certification of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship on behalf of an adopted child 5 Months

Those seeking information about the US visa process should note that the USCIS processing times do not take into consideration processing at the United States National Visa Center nor the United States Mission, Embassy or Consulate overseas where the alien national may be processing their visa application. Consular processing times and NVC processing times generally depend upon the caseload of the US Embassy or US Consulate adjudicating the visa application.

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19th November 2010

บล็อกเกอร์ได้พบโดยบังเอิญว่าประเด็นที่ถกเถียงกันในช่วงเวลานี้คือ นิทรรศการระดับโลกของจีนสำหรับผู้ที่ไม่ได้ติดตาม ที่เชี่ยงไฮ้ จีนเป็นเจ้าภาพงานนิทรรศการระดับโลกซึ่งคล้ายๆกับมหกรรมงานแฟร์ของโลกซึ่งเป็นครั้งที่จีนเป็นผู้มีบทบาทสำคัญ อ้างโดยตรงจาก Cenlaw

เหวิน เจียเป่ายกย่องงานแฟร์เมื่อวันอาทิตย์ว่า เป็นงานที่ยอดเยี่ยมและเป็นการรวมคนทั่วโลกอย่างแท้จริง นิทรรศการระดับโลกนี้แ)นการแสดงออกถึงแรงบันดาลใจและความคิดของมนุษย์ ตั้งแต่ปี 1851ครั้งที่มีการจัดนิทรรศการที่ยิ่งใหญ่ทางอุตสาหกกรรมของหลายๆชาติที่เมืองลอนดอน นิทรรศการระดับโลกได้แสดงถึงความโดเด่นในฐานะที่เป็นงานที่ยิ่งใหญ่ทางเศรษฐกิจ วิทยาศาสตร์ เทคโนโลยี และการแลกเปลี่ยนทางวัฒนธรรมซึ่งเป็นเวทีในการแสดงถึงประสบการณ์ทางประวัติศาสตร์ การแลดเปลี่ยนความคิดสร้างสรรค์ การแสดงออกถึงความสามัคคีและวิสัยทัศน์ของอนาคตข้างหน้า

นิทรรศการมักจะเป็นเวทีที่ชาติที่เป็นเจ้าบ้านแสดงออกถึงความสำเร็จต่อชาติอื่นๆในโลก กรณีของจีน บางคนที่ไม่ได้ตระหนักถึงความสำเร็จของเศรษฐกิจประเทศจีนในช่วงเวลาหลายๆปีที่ผ่านมาในฐานะที่เป็นชาติที่หนาแน่นมากที่สุดในโลก เนื่องจากมีนโยบายทางเศรษฐฏิจที่มีประสิทธิภาพ ซึ่งจีนยังกลายเป็นประเทศที่มมีเศรษฐกิจขนาดใหญ่ที่สุดเป็นอันดับสองของโลก อ้างจากเซ็นลอว์(Cenlaw) ดังนี้

นิทรรศการปี 2010ที่เซี่ยงไฮ้ประเทศจีนมุ่งเน้นไปที่นวัตกรรมและความสัมพันธ์ต่อกัน นวัตกรรมเป็นจิตวิญญาณ ในขณะที่ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างวัฒนธรรมเป็นภารกิจที่สำคัญของนิทรรศการระดับโลก ในยุคใหม่นี้ งานเอ็กซ์โปร 2010ที่เซี่ยงไฮ้ ประเทศจีนสร้างการพัฒนนาศูนย์กลางของมนุษย์ วิทยาศาสตร์และเทคโนโลยี ความหลากหลายทางวัฒนธรรม และความร่วมมือที่เท่าเทียมกันเพื่อพัฒนาอนาคตที่ดีกว่า เหล่านี้ประกอบกันเป็นสิ่งที่สำคัญที่จะสร้างนวัตกรรมและความสัมพันธ์ในทศวรรษใหม่

ผู้เขียนเห็นว่า สิ่งที่น่าสนใจคือ ชาวจีนตัดสินใจที่จะสร้างเศรษฐกิจในแบบที่ได้รับประโยชน์ร่วมกันทั้งสองฝ่ายโดยทางความร่วมมือกันและโครงสร้างที่สร้างสรรค์ หวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่า ความพยายามนี้จะส่งผลให้เศรษฐกิจมีความก้าวหน้ามีความสัมพันธ์ที่ดีทางการทูตสำหรับจีน สหรัฐอเมริกา ไทยและหลายๆชาติในเอเชียซึ่งจะได้รับผลประโยชน์จากการเปิดโอกาสทางการค้าและธุรกิจ

ในเรื่องที่ได้มีการโพสต์ไปก่อนหน้านี้ ผู้เขียนกล่าวไว้ว่า สถานทูตอเมริกาประจำประเทศจีนได้มีการดำเนินการเกี่ยวกับการขอวีซ่าประเภทผู้ที่ไม่ใช่คนเข้าเมืองจากกประเทศจีนซึ่งกระบวนการดังกล่าวจะอยู่ในกรอบเวลาที่มีความเป็นไปได้ ด้วยความพยายามที่จะจัดการกับความต้องการที่มากมายเกี่ยวกับวีซ่า อย่างเช่น วีซ่าอเมริกาประเภทท่องเที่ยว ภารกิจของอเมริกาในจีนนั้นที่กำลังทำอยู่ปัจจุบันนี้คือการนัดสัมภาษณ์ในช่วงวันหยุดสุดสัปดาห์ หวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่า ผลลัพธ์ของความพยายามทั้งหมดนี้จะช่วยเพิ่มจำนวนนักท่องเที่ยวที่จะเดินทางไปยังสหรัฐอเมริกาได้

ในช่วงหลายสัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมา  มีประเด็นที่เป็นที่ถกเถียงกันท่ามกลางงความตึงเครียดจากความไม่มีเสถียรภาพระหว่างสหรัฐอเมริกาและสาธารณรัฐประชาชนจีน จากมุมมองที่ผ่านมาในอดีต สถานการณ์ความตึงเครียดของโลกนั้นเกิดขึ้นเนื่องจากการปรากฏตัวของผู้ที่มีบทบาททางเศรษฐกิจใหม่ๆ สถานการณ์ของจีนดูเหมือนว่าจะไม่แตกต่างจากในอดีตที่ผ่านมาในปรากฏการณ์เดียวกัน(ตัวอย่างที่โด่งดังคือ ตัวอย่างของสหรัฐอเมริกาหลังสงครามโลกครั้งที่สอง) แม้ว่าอาจจะมีช่วงเวลาของการปรับเปลี่ยน หวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่า การเติบโตทางเศรษฐกิจของจีนและโอกาสทางการค้าจะช่วยฟฟื้นฟูเศรษฐกิจโลก กล่วโยสรุปแล้ว ผู้เขียนหวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่า “น้ำที่กำลังขึ้นย่อมยกเรือขึ้นทุกลำ” ทั้งในจีน สหรัฐอเมริกา และประเทศต่างๆทั่วโลก

To view this information in English please refer to the previous posting.

more Comments: 04

18th November 2010

This blogger recently came across an interesting periodical in which the recent World Exposition in China was discussed. For those who are unaware, Shanghai, China recently played host to a World Exposition which is similar to the Worlds’ Fairs which were once a mainstay of the international social order. To quote directly from the periodical of Cenlaw:

Premier Wen Jiabao praised the fair Sunday as a “splendid event” that “truly brought together people around the globe.”

World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts. Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future.

These expositions have often been the stage upon which the host nations display their achievements to the rest of the world. In the case of China, few are unaware of the achievements which the Chinese economy has boasted in recent years as the most populous nation on Earth (once something of an economic backwater) has risen, due in no small part to effective economic policy, to become the second largest economy in the world. To continue to cite Cenlaw further:

Expo 2010 Shanghai China focused on innovation and interaction. Innovation is the soul, while cultural interaction is an important mission of the World Expositions. In the new era, Expo 2010 Shanghai China contributed to human-centered development, scientific and technological innovation, cultural diversity and win-win cooperation for a better future, thus composing a melody with the key notes of highlighting innovation and interaction in the new century.

This author finds it interesting to note that the Chinese seem determined to create economic “win-win” situations through cooperation and innovative strategy. Hopefully, these efforts will result in fruitful economic and diplomatic relationships for China, the United States, Thailand, and the many nations in Asia which could stand to benefit from increased trade and business opportunities.

On a related note, in a previous posting on this blog, this writer noted that the US Embassy in China has taken steps to see to it that non-immigrant visa applications from China are processed in as timely a manner as possible. In an effort to deal with the large demand for visas such as the US tourist visa, the American Mission in China has gone so far as to schedule interviews on weekends. Hopefully, the upshot of all of this extra effort will be an increase in the number of tourists traveling to the United States of America.

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding tensions arising from currency imbalances between the United States of America and the Peoples’ Republic of China. At many points in history there have been situations where global tension came about due to the emergence of a new economic player. China’s situation seems no different from earlier examples of this same phenomenon occurring throughout history (most notably: the example of the United States after the end of the Second World War). Although there may be a period of adjustment, hopefully the rise of the Chinese economy and the trade opportunities and efficiencies arising therefrom will fuel a new resurgence in the global economy. In short, this writer truly hopes that a “rising tide raises all ships” in China, the USA, and throughout world.

For related information please see: American Visa China.

more Comments: 04

17th November 2010

For those who regularly read this blog it is likely well known that the administration regularly posts information regarding the holiday schedules of US Missions abroad in an effort to forestall fruitless trips to an American Mission abroad due to lack of knowledge regarding official American recognition of bot US and foreign holidays. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Iraq:

U.S. Mission Baghdad will observe the following holidays in calendar year 2010.

Date

Day

Holiday

Country

December 31, 2009 Thursday New Year’s Day US
January 17 Sunday Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday US**
February 14 Sunday Presidents’ Day US**
February 28 Monday Prophet’s Birthday Iraq*
May 1 Saturday Labor Day Iraq
May 30 Sunday Memorial Day US**
July 4 Sunday Independence Day US
July 14 Wednesday Republic Day Iraq
September 5 Sunday Labor Day US**
Sep 10-12 Fri-Sun Eid Al-Fitr Iraq*
October 10 Sunday Columbus Day US**
November 17-19 Wed-Fri Eid Al Adha Iraq*
November 11 Monday Veterans’ Day US
November 25 Thursday Thanksgiving US
December 8 Wednesday Islamic New Year Iraq*
December 26 Sunday Christmas US

* This Iraqi holiday is determined by the lunar cycle. Exact dates must be confirmed by local authorities and are subject to change.

** In keeping with the spirit of the Monday Holiday Bill, the intention of which is to provide three-day holiday weekends, U.S. holidays covered by the Monday Holiday Bill will be observed on Sundays.

The Embassy will consider moving the observation date of local holidays (religious and secular) falling on weekends in the event that the Iraqi Government issues guidance mandating that the private and public sectors change the observance date.

The situation in Iraq is likely more turbulent at the time of this writing when compared to other jurisdictions in which a US Mission is present. That said, there are still those who may need services which can only be provided by an American Citizen Services (ACS) post abroad. Services that are often sought include, but are not limited to: notary services, Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, US passport renewal, and addition of visa pages. Those interested in requesting such services from the American Citizen Services section of the United States Embassy in Iraq are well advised to check the official website of the Post in order to ascertain whether or not an appointment can be made online. Setting an online appointment can greatly facilitate the processing of requests with ACS as Consular Officers can prepare in advance to provide necessary services.

Those interested in issues pertaining to visas are well advised to check with either the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit or the Immigrant Visa Unit in order to ascertain the proper procedure for requesting a visa to the USA. It should be noted that for purposes of processing the K1 visa is considered to be an immigrant visa.

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16th November 2010

In a previous posting on this blog, this author noted that Russian National Viktor Bout, suspected international arms dealer and supposedly one of the individuals who was an inspiration for Nicholas Cage’s character in the film Lord of War, was facing extradition proceedings which could ultimately lead to charges being brought in a Court of competent jurisdiction in the United States of America. Furthermore, extradition of Mr. Bout means that he would be transferred to the care of American authorities in the lead up to his trial. To quote directly from the recently released Associated Press article on this topic:

The Thai government extradited accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the United States on Tuesday to face terrorism charges, rejecting heavy pressure from Moscow for him to be freed.

The Cabinet approved Bout’s extradition Tuesday after a long legal battle, and Police Col. Supisarn Bhakdinarinath said the 43-year-old Russian was put aboard a plane in Bangkok at about 1:30 p.m. (0630 GMT; 1:30 a.m. EST) in the custody of eight U.S. officials.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the government sided with an earlier appeals court decision that Bout could be extradited.

The issue of Mr. Bout’s extradition has been a complex and politically charged one in recent months as Thai Courts have struggled with the case in an effort to come up with a fair ruling. Exacerbating the tension for Thai authorities are the authorities in Moscow and Washington DC: each vying to see Mr. Bout sent to either Russia or the USA, respectively. To quote further from the aforementioned AP article:

A Thai court in August of 2009 originally rejected Washington’s request for Bout’s extradition on terrorism-related charges. After that ruling was reversed by an appeals court in August this year, the U.S. moved to get him out quickly, sending a special plane to stand by.

However, just ahead of the appeals court ruling, the United States forwarded new money-laundering and wire fraud charges to Thailand in an attempt to keep Bout detained if the court ordered his release. But the move backfired by requiring a hearing on the new charges. Those were dismissed in early October.

Russia says Bout is an innocent businessman and wants him in Moscow. Experts say Bout has knowledge of Russia’s military and intelligence operations and that Moscow does not want him going on trial in the United States.

The outcome of this case remains to be seen as Mr. Bout will likely face trial in America. Therefore any mention of possible outcomes in the United States Court system would be an exercise in pure speculation. However, one could surmise that after the expense of substantial time and resources on the part of the United States government to see Mr. Bout extradited to the USA it is safe to assume that a prosecution of Mr. Bout will be conducted with alacrity.

Extradition of high profile international criminals is not common, but when it does occur, the USA tends to pursue prosecution rather quickly. An interesting analogy to Mr. Bout’s situation is the American apprehension of Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian quasi-dictator captured and prosecuted in the early 1990′s for crimes related to drug trafficking and racketeering. Although Mr. Bout was not a South American dictator, this author believes that the cases are similar as they show how the United States government can be very determined when trying to apprehend individuals engaged in the international trade of contraband.

For related information please see: criminal warrant.

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15th November 2010

As mentioned previously on this blog, the United States dollar is weakening relative to other currencies as other economies around the world strengthen. In a recent report from Reuters in India:

Foreign funds have so far in 2010 bought shares worth a record $28.3 billion, in addition to last year’s $17.5 billion. The rupee has gained 5 percent so far this year.

In terms of international trade, the announcement of a declining dollar could be viewed negatively. However, a comparatively weak United States dollar could turn out to be a boon for those Indian nationals interested in making a qualified investment in the USA while also accruing the benefit of United States Lawful Permanent Residence.

The EB-5 visa program was designed to provide a travel document and Lawful Permanent Residence to those who make an investment in the USA which meets the eligibility criteria set forth by American Immigration authorities such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State. Those interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa should note that the investment in the United States must be substantial and should exceed at least five hundred thousand United States dollars ($500,000), or one million dollars (1,000,000) if the investment is not a “targeted” investment. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status means that the Indian national in said status has the right to reside and work in the United States permanently. LPR status is highly sought after by those in countries outside of the United States since the benefit is substantial, but immigration law may preclude many visa seekers from obtaining a travel document that confers Lawful Permanent Residence (also referred to as “Green Card” status).

Some individuals have posed the question: “Does the United States allow Citizenship by investment?” The simple answer is: no. However, the EB-5 visa could be viewed as a means of setting oneself on the “path to citizenship” by investment. This is due to the fact that an EB5 visa holder, who meets the legal criteria, may be able to apply for naturalization to US Citizenship after remaining in the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time in lawful permanent resident status.

The American immigration process and the laws which support the United States Immigration system are complex and can be frustrating to those who are unaccustomed to American law and procedure. For this reason, some individuals and families opt to utilize an American attorney to assist with the process. That said, those interested in retaining professional assistance are well advised to check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American immigrations matters as only a licensed American attorney is entitled to provide advice and counsel in matters pertaining to United States Immigration law.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa India.

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11th November 2010

In recent weeks there has been a great deal of discussion in the international media about the United States Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” of the American monetary system. Many leaders in Asia are apprehensive that the United States’ policy will result in a relative appreciation of local currencies against the dollar which for export-based nations has been a critical component of economic stability. To quote a recent article on PBS.org:

President Obama landed in Seoul, South Korea today for the Group of 20 Summit, where he will meet with leaders of the world’s most powerful economies to address issues facing the global economy…The G20 Summit is in some ways reminiscent of South Korea’s hosting of the 1988 summer Olympics, seen as an arrival of sorts on the world stage, and the 2002 World Cup, which South Korea co-hosted.

Many feel that one of the most important issues to be discussed at the G20 summit will be the recent currency fluctuations resulting from the American announcement of quantitative easing which is likely to result in capital inflows to Asian economies such as Indonesia. To quote the Voice of America website:

Uwe Parpart is the chief Asia economist and strategist in Hong Kong for the U.S. securities dealer Cantor Fitzgerald…”There are serious concerns that when the U.S. floods the world with dollars that find their way into equities, into stocks in Asia, whether in Hong Kong, in Thailand or Indonesia, the effect of that on the local economies can be quite difficult to cope with,”

Although seemingly counter-intuitive to some, the inflow of so-called “hot money” into an economy can sometimes have a negative impact upon traditional import/export relationships and also create bubbles in an economy which could ultimately prove harmful. Inflows of capital can also be beneficial. In the case of Indonesia, one upside of relative appreciation of Indonesian currency compared to the United States dollar is the fact that investors hoping to benefit from the EB-5 immigrant investor program can obtain benefits at a comparatively lower overall cost in real terms since the dollar has weakened compared to other currencies. This is no less true in the case of Indonesia as a weakening dollar can cause an appreciation of the Indonesian Rupiah. In the event that this occurs, a prospective Indonesian Immigrant Investor wishing to both invest in the United States and also accrue the benefit of United States Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card status) would be doubly fortunate when the dollar is weak as such an investment can be made more “cheaply” in terms of local currency.

Those Indonesian nationals interested in obtaining an EB-5 Visa should note that an investment of at least 500,000 United States dollars (at a minimum) must be made in order to be eligible for EB5 visa benefits. Furthermore, those seeking such a visa must also meet the eligibility requirements as set forth under relevant United States law. Those interested in immigrating to the USA as immigrant investors are well advised to contact a licensed American attorney in order to gain insight into the EB5 visa process and make informed decisions regarding immigration options.

Some are under the mistaken impression that the EB-5 visa program is a Citizenship-by-Investment program. In fact, this is not the case as an EB-5 visa merely grants the visa holder the right to reside in the United States as a Permanent Resident. That said, should an EB-5 investor, Indonesian or otherwise, remain in the USA for a statutorily prescribed period and meet other eligibility requirements, then such an individual may be eligible to naturalize to United States Citizenship. For this reason, some refer to the EB-5 program as a “path to citizenship” by investment.

For further information please see: EB-5 Visa Indonesia.

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