Integrity Legal

14th June 2010

On this blog, we regularly discuss the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. However, we relatively rarely discuss the US Embassies and Consulates located throughout Southeastern Asia. There are many other American Diplomatic and Consular facilities in Southern Asia and one of those Posts is the US Embassy Jakarta. This Embassy is located in the capital city of Indonesia and routinely processes US visas such as the K1 visa, the K3 Visa, as well as the CR1 and IR1 visa categories. Just like any other US Consulate, the Consulate at the US Embassy in Jakarta is also tasked with adjudicating non-immigrant visa applications for categories such as the B1 visa, the B2 visa, the F1 visa, and the J1 visa (to name just a few).

Recently, this author came across an interesting statement from the US Embassy in Indonesia’s website which is quoted here:

The decision whether or not to hire a lawyer is yours alone.  We cannot tell you whether or not to obtain representation, nor can we recommend any specific lawyers.  If you do hire an attorney or other representative, that person may accompany you to your visa interview but may not/not answer questions on your behalf.  You, the applicant, must answer the consular officer’s questions.  If your case is complicated, or if you cannot devote the necessary care to properly prepare, then we encourage you to find a lawyer qualified in immigration law by visiting www.aila.org.

Generally, each Consulate sets its own rules regarding participation by American attorneys in the Consular processing phase of the US Immigration process. Some posts refuse to allow anyone except the beneficiary into the Consulate on the date of interview (this policy is generally based upon space considerations) while others allow virtually unfettered participation by American attorneys. Many ask: which is the better approach? For the most part, there is no “best” approach to Consular processing as each country is unique and certain considerations in one country may lead to one type of policy while different circumstances in another country results in a different policy decision by the US Consulate in that country. Furthermore, circumstances are always fluid and policies can change. For this reason, it is always wise to frequently check the status of the regulations at any facility in which one’s visa petition or application is awaiting adjudication.

Recently discussed fee increases are likely to impact those processing through US Embassies and Consulates worldwide as the Department of State recently raised the fees associated with many visa categories most notably those visas categorized as K visas.


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