Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘US Embassy Kuala Lumpur’ Category

13th January 2011

The administration posts the holiday closing schedules of many of the American Missions in Asia in an effort to forestall Americans abroad from traveling to an American Mission that is closed in observance of an American or Foreign holiday. The following is the holiday closing schedule of the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as quoted directly from the Post’s official website:

The U.S. Embassy will observe the following official U.S. and Malaysian holidays.

2011

Official Date Date Observed Day Holiday Country
January 1 (Saturday) Dec 31 Friday New Year’s Day U.S./Malaysia
3rd Monday in January Jan 17 Monday Martin Luther King’s B’day U.S.
January 20 Jan 20 Thursday Thaipusam Malaysia
February 3 & 4 Feb 3 & 4 Thursday & Friday Chinese New Year Malaysia
February 15 Feb 15 Tuesday Prophet Muhammad’s B’day Malaysia
3rd Monday in February Feb 21 Monday Presidents’ Day U.S.
May 17 May 17 Tuesday Wesak Day Malaysia
Last Monday in May May 30 Monday Memorial Day U.S.
July 4 July 4 Monday Indpendence Day U.S.
August 30 & 31* Aug 30 & 31* Tuesday & Wednesday Hari Raya Puasa Malaysia
August 31 Aug 31 Wednesday National Day Malaysia
1st Monday in September Sept 5 Monday Labor Day U.S.
September 16 Sept 16 Friday Malaysia Day Malaysia
2nd Monday in October Oct 10 Monday Columbus Day U.S.
October 26* Oct 26* Wednesday Deepavali Malaysia
November 6 (Sunday) Nov 7 Monday Hari Raya Qurban Malaysia
November 11 Nov 11 Friday Veterans Day U.S.
4th Thursday in November Nov 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day U.S.
December 25 (Sunday) Dec 26 Monday Christmas Day U.S./Malaysia

* Subject to change

Each year, many American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents seek services from a US Mission abroad. In many cases such services can only be provided by an American Citizen Services Section of a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Such services include, but are not limited to: issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, issuance of US Passports, or additional visa pages for a previously issued American Passport.

Those seeking temporary US visas such as the B-2 visa for tourists, the F-1 visa for foreign students, the B-1 visa for temporary business purposes, or the J-1 visa for cultural exchange visitors are often required to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission abroad. Meanwhile, those seeking US family visa benefits for travel documents such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa generally process such requests through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit of a US Mission abroad. Even though the K-1 visa is a non-immigrant US fiance visa it is often treated in much the same way as an immigrant visa for processing purposes.

Those seeking an EB-5 visa or an L-1 visa are often required to process an immigration petition and receive approval of such a petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Those wishing to visit the official website of the US Embassy in Malaysia please click HERE.

Those seeking related information should see: US Visa Malaysia.

more Comments: 04

5th January 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention, thanks to the efforts of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), that the Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate is being altered and updated in an effort to take further steps to ensure less forgery of such vitally important documents. To quote directly from the American State Department’s official website:

The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). The CRBA is an official record confirming that a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The redesigned document has state-of-the-art security features that make it extremely resistant to alterations or forgery.

CRBAs have been printed at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world since their introduction in 1919. Effective January 3, 2011, CRBAs will be printed at our passport facilities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and New Orleans, Louisiana. Centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank form stock throughout the world ensures improved uniform quality and lessens the threat of fraud.

Applications for U.S. passports and the redesigned CRBA will also use the title of “parent” as opposed to “mother” and “father.” These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.

It remains to be seen whether these changes will have a significant impact upon incidences of fraud in connection with Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). That said, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad is an extremely important document as it is evidence of nationality for Americans born outside of the United States of America. Frequently, parents obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad immediately prior to obtaining a US Passport on behalf of a child born overseas.

This blogger found it interesting that the Department of State has taken steps to make such documents more gender neutral. In a similar move, in 2010, the State Department announced that measures had been implemented to allow transgender individuals to change their sex on their US Passport. It would appear that the efforts toward gender neutrality implemented in the updating of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad take into account the fact that the traditional gender roles within families and the family structure itself are in something of a state of flux as American families are becoming increasingly unorthodox compared to times past.

Under certain circumstances, children born to some Americans outside of the USA are not automatically vested with United States Citizenship. Should that be the case, then the American parent may be able to see that their children become US Citizens by filing a petition for immigration benefits pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) of 2000. Those children of American Citizens who become US Citizens by operation of law pursuant to the CCA may obtain a Certificate of Citizenship which is very similar to a naturalization certificate although the bearer is not technically a naturalized US Citizen.

For related information please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

more Comments: 04

25th December 2010

This author recently came across an interesting piece of information on the official website of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Apparently, the United States legislature has enacted legislation that would simplify the adoption process for Americans adopting a child, or children, outside of the United States of America. To quote directly from a recent AILA posting:

On 11/30/10, President Obama signed into law the International Adoption Simplification Act (P.L. 111-287).

The law amends the INA to include in the definition of “child,” and thus in the exemption from required admissions vaccination documentation, certain children who have been adopted in a foreign country that is a signatory to the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) or who are emigrating from such a country for U.S. adoption.

It includes in such definition and exemption a child who is under the age of 18 at the time an immediate relative status petition is filed on his or her behalf, has been adopted abroad or is coming for U.S. adoption, and is the natural sibling of: (1) an adopted child from a Hague Convention signatory country; (2) a child adopted under the age of 16 who has lived with the adoptive parents for at least two years, or a child who has been abused; or (3) an orphan who was under the age of 16 at the time an immediate relative status petition was filed on his or her behalf.

The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on 7/21/10, and passed by the House of Representatives by a voice vote on 11/15/10.

It should be noted that not all countries are signatories to the Hague Convention noted above. However, for the USA, which has joined the Hague Convention, the simplification of the adoption process could result in families being reunited in the USA much more quickly compared to the process in the recent past.

In many ways, the foreign adoption process is somewhat similar to the process of obtaining American immigration benefits for a child purusuant to the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The CCA’s provisions can grant United States Citizenship by operation of law to the natural born child or children of an American Citizen. That said, the process for obtaining such benefits is often very much the same as the process utilized by those Americans wishing to bring a step-child of foreign nationality to the USA. The major difference between these two processes occurs at the United States Port of Entry where children of American Citizens born abroad become US Citizens by operation of law upon admission to the USA on an Immigrant visa in the company of the American parent.

Fore related information please see: Child Citizenship Act.

more Comments: 04

20th December 2010

This blogger recently came upon a press release detailing the enactment of a final rule regarding E-2 visas for those wishing to invest and conduct business in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a final rule in the Federal Register that creates a nonimmigrant investor visa classification in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The “E-2 CNMI Investor Visa” allows foreign long-term investors to reside in the CNMI through December 2014. Petitions for the E-2 CNMI Investor classification will be accepted beginning Jan. 18, 2011. Petitions received before Jan. 18, 2011, will be rejected.

Authorized by the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (CNRA) of 2008, the E-2 CNMI Investor Visa will be issued for two years, is renewable, and is valid only in the CNMI. The investor’s spouse and children may also apply for status as dependents of the investor.

For those who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to the CNMI it should be noted that only recently was this jurisdiction folded into the group of jurisdictions which utilize the Department of Homeland Security to set and enforce immigration law and policy. In the past, the CNMI maintained relatively autonomous status when it came to immigration matters, but newly enacted rules have made CNMI Immigration rules very similar to those of the rest of the USA.

E-2 visas are very useful travel documents for those wish to go to the United States of America (or in this instance, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) for business or investment purposes. Strictly speaking, E-2 visas are non-immigrant visas, but unlike the B-2 visa (US Tourist Visa) the E-2 is effectively treated as if it were a dual intent travel document in the same vein as an L-1 visa. One of the benefits of dual intent travel documents is that the applicant does not need to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent as set forth in section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

The E-2 visa is sometimes confused with the EB-5 visa. The United States EB-5 visa is an Immigrant Investor visa. Pursuant to the provisions of relevant American Immigration law the applicant for an EB-5 visa is accorded Lawful Permanent Resident status upon lawful admission to the United States in EB-5 status. It should be noted that the EB-5 visa process can be rather cumbersome as a petition must initially be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Furthermore, the EB-5 visa seeker must also undergo Consular Processing at a US Embassy, US Consulate, American Institute, or US Mission with appropriate Consular jurisdiction. Finally, the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) is tasked with inspecting and making findings of admissibility when any foreign national requests admission to the USA. As stated above, upon lawful admission to the USA, an alien national in EB-5 status will be granted conditional lawful permanent residence in the USA.

For related information please see: E2 Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

17th December 2010

Routinely, the administration of this blog posts the estimated processing times of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Centers in an effort to provide clarity and information to those interested in the US Immigration process. It should be noted that for visa petitioners seeking a K-1 visa or an Immigrant visa such as a CR-1 visa, these estimated processing times do not take into account the need to process many visa applications through the National Visa Center (NVC) and possibly a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Below are the estimated processing times for the Texas Service Center, the Nebraska Service Center, the Vermont Service Center and the California Service Center as quoted from the official website of USCIS:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: October 31, 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 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. 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 August 28, 2010
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 May 7, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 1, 2010
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 June 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing June 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension June 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing June 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

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Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: October 31, 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 23, 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 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. August 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. August 23, 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 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability August 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers August 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process August 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation August 23, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional August 23, 2006
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child June 2, 2006
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child June 2, 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 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 March 16, 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 11, 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 11, 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

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Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: October 31, 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 August 9, 2010
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 17, 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 17, 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 June 5, 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 May 18, 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 October 1, 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 December 1, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing December 1, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension December 1, 2009
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing December 1, 2009
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition July 1, 2010
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement December 31, 2009
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal 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

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Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: October 31, 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 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. June 26, 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 November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver November 2, 2007
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses November 2, 2007
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 June 26, 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 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 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors June 26, 2010
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications June 26, 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)] July 10, 2010
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] July 7, 2010
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 July 7, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing July 7, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension July 7, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing July 7, 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 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 April 2, 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
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 May 27, 2010

The above estimates are simply that: estimates. However, these time frames do represent a realistic assessment of the probable time it would take to process a visa petition at USCIS. Again, most visa cases require further processing by the Department of State so the above estimates do not reflect the full duration of the US visa process in most cases.

For related information please see: K-1 Visa Thailand or K-3 Visa Thailand.

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14th December 2010

Since recent economic developments have caused turmoil in the American economy, it is this blogger’s opinion that few are willing to look at the positive aspects of the United States economy. As a business platform the United States of America is still one of the best countries to host businesses conducting trade, providing services, or conducting manufacturing. To quote directly from another website, locationusa.com, which discusses issues surrounding the United States economy at length:

U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employ more than five million U.S. workers and support millions more indirectly. There is no question that investing in the United States brings with it many advantages. With a population of more than 300 million and the largest economy in the world, the United States is the most important market for any global company. The American work force ranks as one of the best educated, most productive, and most innovative in the world. As a place to do business, the United States offers a predictable and transparent legal system, outstanding infrastructure, and access to the world’s most lucrative consumer market.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first blush, legal immigration has a tremendous positive impact upon local economies. This is especially true where immigrants are investing in the United States economy or setting up a business in the USA. One of the primary ways in which immigrants can be beneficial to the USA is through foreign direct investment. Any money invested in the United States could be viewed as a net positive if one were looking at global competition for foreign direct investment as a “zero sum” game. Furthermore, investment in the USA creates jobs. As stated above, the United States labor market is one of the most sophisticated and efficient on the planet. This is one of the many reasons why foreign companies set up offices in the United States as American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents are some of the best educated and best equipped to handle complex and difficult tasks. Also, the infrastructure of the United States is ranked high compared to other nations around the globe. In short, the United States of America is an optimal location to engage in business activity aimed at attracting customers from both the USA, which has a very dynamic consumer market, and the world at large.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa is a very useful travel document for those who wish to both invest and work in the United States. This visa is a highly sought after travel document since it provides the bearer with lawful permanent residence upon lawful admission to the USA at a Port of Entry. Those interested in obtaining an EB-5 Visa should conduct research and take note of the fact that Immigrant Investors wishing to enjoy an EB5 visa should be willing to invest a minimum of five hundred thousand (500,000) United States dollars. Those seeking to invest in an “un-targeted” EB-5 program should note that such an investment must generally be at least one million (1,000,000) US dollars.

Those who wish to invest in a small business in the United States may find the the US E-2 visa beneficial as this travel document may be used to travel to the USA to oversee an enterprise located stateside. It should be noted that the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa and therefore, those wishing to immigrate to the USA to reside may not be well served by an E-2 visa.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa China or EB-5 Visa Thailand.

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11th December 2010

The issue of immigration fraud is a serious one. Authorities of the United States government within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of State (DOS), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP), and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USICE) are all tasked with the responsibility of screening and investigating matters pertaining to visa and immigration fraud. It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, colloquially referred to as ICE, apprehended a Nigerian man in connection with US visa fraud. To quote directly from the ICE.gov website:

HOUSTON – A Nigerian man on Monday was stripped of his U.S. citizenship at his sentencing hearing for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, naturalization fraud, and making a false statement to a federal agency. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Ibraheem Adeneye, 33, who is originally from Nigeria and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, was convicted of the charges May 7 by a jury. He has been in federal custody on these charges for about six months. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Adeneye to the time he has already served in prison. The judge also granted the government’s motion to strip Adeneye of his U.S. citizenship. Adeneye is now subject to deportation.

Denaturalization is the process by which a person is stripped of United States Citizenship and returned to foreign national status. Regarding the issue of sham marriage and the United States Immigration process, the report went on to note:

The ICE HSI investigation was initiated in 2008. Adeneye indicated that he was engaged in brokering sham marriages between Nigerian nationals and U.S. citizens so that the Nigerians could obtain immigration benefits, ultimately leading to U.S. citizenship. In return, the U.S. citizen “spouses” received cash payments to assist the Nigerians in the deception.

Incorporating a sham marriage into an effort to obtain United States visa benefits is a serious crime as can be seen from the above cited report. Those thinking of filing for American Immigration benefits should note that it is NEVER a wise course of action to lie to immigration authorities or attempt to deceive the United States government or its officers. Even if one becomes a United States Citizen, then previous fraudulent activity during the visa process could result in possible de-naturalization and criminal charges.

It should further be noted that those seeking American visa benefits should consult a licensed attorney in an effort to gain insight into the immigration process as only an American attorney licensed and in good standing in at least one US state is entitled to provide advice, counsel, and/or possible representation before the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

For related information please see: K1 visa Thailand or K1 Visa Singapore.

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8th December 2010

For those who frequently read this web log will undoubtedly note that a frequent topic discussed within these pages is Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In a recent document promulgated by the Congressional Research Service and distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the matter of legal inadmissibility was discussed in the context of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The following is a direct quotation from the document published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and distributed by AILA:

Legislation aimed at comprehensive immigration reform may take a fresh look at the grounds for excluding foreign nationals that were enacted in the 1990s. All foreign nationals seeking visas must undergo admissibility reviews performed by U.S. Department of State (DOS) consular officers abroad. These reviews are intended to ensure that they are not ineligible for visas or admission under the grounds for inadmissibility spelled out in the INA. These criteria are: health related grounds; criminal history; security and terrorist concerns; public charge (e.g., indigence); seeking to work without proper labor certification; illegal entrants and immigration law violations; ineligible for citizenship; and, aliens previously removed. Over the past year, Congress incrementally revised the grounds for inadmissibility. Two laws enacted in the 110th Congress altered longstanding policies on exclusion of aliens due to membership in organizations deemed terrorist.

Terrorism has been a key concern for American government officials across the entire spectrum of agencies associated with Immigration and travel to the United States. Public health and safety are also significant issues for American Immigration and Consular Officers. To quote the aforementioned publication further:

The 110th Congress also revisited the health-related grounds of inadmissibility for those who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. More recently, the “H1N1 swine flu” outbreak focused the spotlight on inadmissibility screenings at the border. Questions about the public charge ground of inadmissibility arose in the context of Medicaid and the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the 111th Congress.

Influenza has been concerning to many health officials in recent years. However, for many the removal of HIV/AIDS from the list of diseases which can result in a finding of inadmissibility was a relief as many individuals who were previously inadmissible to the USA may have immediately become admissible after HIV/AIDS was no longer a legal grounds for finding someone inadmissible to the USA. This issue was especially acute in the LGBT community as HIV and AIDS issues seem to have a disproportionate impact upon individuals and couples within that community. The report went on to note that issues pertaining to legal inadmissibility are likely to be discussed in the context of proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation:

While advocacy of sweeping changes to the grounds for inadmissibility has not emerged, proponents of comprehensive immigration reform might seek to ease a few of these provisions as part of the legislative proposals. The provision that makes an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States for longer than 180 days inadmissible, for example, might be waived as part of a legislative package that includes legalization provisions. Tightening up the grounds for inadmissibility, conversely, might be part of the legislative agenda among those who support more restrictive immigration reform policies.

Many people are found inadmissible to the United States every year. Among those found inadmissible are those who are unable to seek a remedy in the form of either an I-601 waiver or an I-212 waiver application for advance permission to reenter the USA. Individuals who have been found inadmissible and cannot seek a waiver are colloquially referred to as being unwaivably excluded from the United States. Bearing this in mind, many findings of legal inadmissibility can be remedied through use of a waiver. That said, the waiver process and the standard of proof for obtaining a waiver can be difficult to overcome. For this reason, many bi-national couples opt to utilize the services of an American immigration attorney to assist in matters related to United States Immigration. It is always prudent to ask for the credentials of anyone claiming expertise in United States Immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is permitted to provide advice, counsel, and representation in pending matters before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the American State Department.

For related information please see: US Visa Denial.

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6th December 2010

In an interesting recent decision by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit the Court found that they indeed have the prerogative to review and rescind an I-130 denial. The following is a direct quotation from the Court’s opinion which was distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

In addition, interpreting the statutory language as the government advocates would force this court to classify every decision involving fact-finding by the Attorney General as discretionary and would remove all such decisions from judicial review. That is not a reasonable interpretation in light of the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act itself setting forth our standard of review for factual determinations in removal proceedings.

As one could likely gather from the above cited quote, the United States government’s position regarding denial of I-130 petitions basically could have created a situation in which Courts would not be able to review the decisions made by adjudicators at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It was interesting that the Court was not persuaded by this argument and reviewed the decision notwithstanding government objection.

For those who are unaccustomed to the US visa process, the I-130 petition is generally the first step in bringing an alien immediate relative to the USA. This petition is often utilized by those wishing to bring a foreign spouse to the United States. In cases where the I-130 petition is approved, the case file is usually forwarded on to the United States National Visa Center (NVC) which is an agency under the jurisdiction of the American State Department. The NVC acts as a sort of clearinghouse for visa applications. Therefore a Vietnamese spouse will likely process his or her visa application at the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City via the NVC. Meanwhile, a Thai spouse will likely process his or her visa application through the US Embassy in Bangkok by way of the National Visa Center. Chinese spouses may process through one of the many US Consulates in China or the US Embassy in Beijing. The same can be said for India as the US Missions in both countries have dramatically changes Consular Processing procedures to provide more convenient options to American visa seekers after NVC processing.

The issue of judicial review in matters pertaining to United States immigration is a complicated one. Therefore, differing aspects of the US visa process may be subject to varying levels of judicial review depending upon the circumstances of a given case. For this reason some bi-national couples opt to retain attorney assistance in processing visa petitions and applications as a licensed professional can provide significant insight into overall processing procedures and provide strategies for streamlining the visa process.

Fore related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand, IR1 Visa Thailand, or CR1 Visa Thailand.

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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.

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