Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘American Embassy Bangkok’

2nd May 2020

The past 6 weeks have been very eventful in terms of the response to the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) lock down in Thailand. This crisis has also had a significant impact upon the American visa process. By way of an update, the Thai government has recently announced an easing of restrictions associated with the lock down of business and social interaction in Thailand. It now appears that as of May 3rd, small eateries, parks, hair salons, stores selling certain retail as well as electronic goods, and pet shops will be allowed to reopen. Thai government officials have announced that further phased reopening measures will be implemented in coming weeks should circumstances permit. Concurrently, it was initially announced that the ban on the sale of alcohol in Thailand would be extended throughout the month of May. There was some speculation that a “grace period” would be permitted on Mat 1st and 2nd to allow the public time to “stock up” on alcohol products in anticipation of further restrictions over the forthcoming month.

Shortly after these predictions and the announcement that the ban on alcohol sales would continue, it was announced that retail alcohol sales could recommence beginning May 3rd. Further, it appears that those eateries which maintain an alcohol license and usually sell alcohol in the course of their day-to-day business will be permitted to sell alcohol on a “take-away” basis. Therefore, for the forthcoming days small restaurants and other venues will be reopened to the public and life in Thailand appears to be normalizing somewhat. Notwithstanding these measures, restrictions on pubs and entertainment establishments remain.

While all of this is unfolding in Thailand, in the USA the US immigration system appears to be preparing for further delays associated with the processing of visa cases. The following announcement from USCIS recently came to this blogger’s attention:

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended routine in-person services to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS plans to begin reopening our offices on or after June 4, unless the public closures are extended further.

In prior announcements it had been noted that May 4th would be the presumptive date of reopening. It now appears that there will be at least another month delay for in-person services with USCIS. At the same time, the new Immigration Ban remains in effect although it is unlikely to have any impact upon those seeking a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, or K-1 visa from Thailand as the ban specifically excludes spouse visas and only pertains to immigrant visas. Therefore, as a fiance visa is not, by definition, an immigrant visa, the provisions this new ban do not apply to fiances of American citizens. However, notwithstanding the fact that the immigration ban does no directly impact most family based visas from Thailand it is effectively a moot point for the immediately foreseeable future due to the fact that the Immigrant Visa Unit and the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit at the US Embassy in Bangkok are not currently holding visa interviews nor are the issuance immigrant and non-immigrant visa as they remain closed due to the coronavirus. We, in this office, are currently looking at the USCIS presumed reopening date as the best indication of when it seems prudent to presume that the Embassy will reopen for interviews. That stated, the ultimate date of reopening remains to be seen, but we will try to keep you up to date on this blog.

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22nd April 2020

An Executive Order has been issued by the Trump administration regarding suspension of immigration to the United States for the forthcoming 60 days. However, the order does not appear to apply to those seeking a K-1 visa to bring a foreign fiance to the USA. Concurrently, it also does not appear to apply to American visas for the spouses and children of U.S. Citizens. To quote directly from the relevant sections of the order as posted on the White House website:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions.  I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1.  Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  The entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.

Sec2.  Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  (a)  The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall apply only to aliens who:

(i)    are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;

(ii)   do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and

(iii)  do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

(b)  The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:

(i)     any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii)    any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees;  and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;

(iii)   any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;

(iv)    any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;

(v)     any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

(vi)    any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;

(vii)   any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;

(viii)  any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or

(ix)    any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

Sec3.  Implementation and Enforcement.  (a)  The consular officer shall determine, in his or her discretion, whether an immigrant has established his or her eligibility for an exception in section 2(b) of this proclamation.  The Secretary of State shall implement this proclamation as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish in the Secretary of State’s discretion.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this proclamation as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretion.

(b)  An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

(c)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws of the United States.

Sec4.  Termination.  This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary.  Whenever appropriate, but no later than 50 days from the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend whether I should continue or modify this proclamation.

Sec5.  Effective Date.  This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.

Sec6.  Additional Measures.  Within 30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and shall recommend to me other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.

Sec7.  Severability.  It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the interests of the United States.  Accordingly:

(a)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby; and

(b)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements to conform with existing law and with any applicable court orders.

Sec8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or,

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

Clearly, there are many who might see their cases negatively impacted by this order. To preface any further analysis, it should be noted that visa processing has been suspended at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand as well as the US Embassy in Vientiane, Laos and the US Embassy in Phnom Phen, Cambodia due to the COVID-19 outbreak. So regardless of this order, it is not currently possible to obtain a visa from these posts as interviews have been suspended. Bearing the above in mind, the following analysis will demonstrate that this order will NOT have an impact on fiance visa and marriage visa cases for the fiances and/or spouses of American citizens:

The executive order states: “The entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.” The K-1 visa is designed for the fiance of an American citizen to to travel to the United States with the intention of marriage. It grants the bearer 90 days of lawful status in the USA in which to marry their American fiance and file for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (aka Green Card status). It is important to note: the K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, albeit a dual intent visa. For purposes of processing it is treated as an immigrant visa (for example K-1 cases process through the Immigrant Visa Unit of the American Embassy in Thailand), but pursuant to United States law it is in fact a non-immigrant visa. The above cited executive order only pertains to immigrant visas. Therefore, this order does not have any bearing upon the processing of a K-1 fiance visa case.

What about cases involving the spouse of an American citizen where the spouse would enter the USA and be granted an I-551 stamp thereby granting permanent residence to the foreign spouse upon entry? The above executive order speaks directly to such a situation: “The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:…(iv) any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen“[Emphasis Added]. Clearly the suspension ordered in Trump’s executive order will exempt spouses of Americans. Therefore, those foreign spouses of American citizens seeking a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa will not be adversely impacted by the provisions of this executive order.

Finally, the following should be noted: “This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date…This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.” Thus, unless this order is extended it will expire 60 days from now. We will keep readers updated on this blog as the situation progresses.

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18th April 2020

Those following this blog are likely well aware that that the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) is having a dramatic impact upon logistical issues around the world. In Thailand, the Immigration Bureau has promulgated regulations to allow certain tourists stranded in Thailand to automatically extend Thai visa status. Meanwhile, while the American Embassy in Bangkok has been assiduous in providing up to date information regarding the ongoing ramifications of the crisis with respect to travel arrangements to the USA, a recent segment of a Health Alert from the Embassy drew this blogger’s attention. To quote directly from the Embassy’s website:

When booking a flight out of Thailand we urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity, ideally within the next several days.  If you have booked a flight after this time period, you should consider rebooking for an earlier date or make plans to stay in Thailand indefinitely. [Emphasis Added]

Although readers were likely aware that COVID-19 is causing consternation in booking travel arrangements, this particular warning definitely made this reader acutely cognizant of the possible long term ramifications of failing to make timely travel arrangements back to the USA. On the one hand the term “indefinitely” could be viewed simply as “unspecified period” or “foreseeable future,” but, on the other hand, it certainly has a somewhat ominous undertone. Therefore, those with an intention to return to the USA sooner rather than later are well advised to make all necessary arrangements as soon as possible in order to forestall a situation wherein one’s return to the USA is delayed for a substantially prolonged period of time. Concurrently, those wishing to remain in Thailand are strongly advised to fully ascertain the posture of their visa status as falling into overstay could result in the precarious predicament of being stuck in Thailand out of visa status while simultaneously being unable to return to the USA. This could lead to a situation wherein one finds themselves arrested and/or placed in the Thai Immigration Detention Center. Under such circumstances detention could prove to be a prolonged ordeal as  arranging an expedited deportation could prove difficult in light of the fact that international flights have been severely truncated and the latitude of travel for the deportee may be restricted as other countries may not wish to accept such an arrival especially if onward travel to the USA cannot be readily arranged.

Although we will be updating this blog as the situation evolves, the administration of this platform strongly urges readers to seriously ponder their situation as failure to make a decision in a timely manner could have serious consequences in the future.

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19th March 2020

It now appears that all visa services provided to foreign nationals at American Embassies and Consulates abroad have been suspended. In a recent article from Reuters, the following was reported:

The United States is suspending all routine visa services as of Wednesday in most countries worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak, a spokeswoman for the State Department said, an unprecedented move that will potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people…The State Department spokeswoman said U.S. missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services “as resources allow,” and that the services to U.S. citizens will remain available.

Concurrently, the following message was issued by the US Embassy in Thailand:

Information for Immigrant Visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: As of March 19, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulate in Thailand are cancelling Immigrant Visa appointments until further notice.  We will resume routine Immigrant Visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Once we resume Immigrant Visa operations, we will contact you with a new appointment date. Applicants who had their Immigrant Visa interviews cancelled due to the cessation of operations will be given first priority for rescheduling.

Meanwhile, it now appears that all intending entrants to Thailand will be required to present a medical certificate prior to boarding a plane for Thailand. To quote directly from a recent article in the Bangkok Post:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand now requires all air passengers, Thai and foreign, to show Covid-19-free health certificates and Covid-19 insurance before boarding their flights to Thailand…Airlines must require passengers to present health certificates issued no more than 72 hours before the  flight departs. The certificates must guarantee that the passengers are free of Covid-19, regardles where they board. Airlines must also require that passengers have insurance covering Covid-19 treatment in Thailand, up to at least US$100,000.

We will keep this blog updated as the situation evolves.

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25th October 2018

It recently came to this blogger’s attention, via a press release from the US Embassy in Bangkok, that the Embassy seems to be in the process of discontinuing issuance of income affidavits pertaining to verification of finances in the context of application for certain types of Thai visa extension. To quote directly from the press release:

As of January 1, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai will cease to provide the income affidavit for the purpose of applying for Thai retirement and family visas and will not notarize previous versions of the income affidavit.  The Royal Thai Government requires actual verification of income to certify visa applicants meet financial requirements for long-stay visas.  The U.S. government cannot provide this verification and will no longer issue the affidavits.

Those unaware of the importance of these documents should take note of the fact that in the past notarized income affidavits were used in connection with applications for either a Thai retirement visa or a Thai marriage visa. Such documents were utilized in lieu of presenting evidence of a lump sum in a Thai bank account (800,000 THB for a retirement visa, and 400,000 THB for a marriage visa) or proof of a prolonged history of income in a Thai bank account (65,000 THB per month for a retirement visa and 40,000 per month for a marriage visa). These documents were generally issued by the American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the US Embassy. In the past, a notarized income affidavit from the US Embassy which was legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was sufficient to meet the evidentiary requirements of the Thai Immigration officers adjudicating financial documentation in connection with applications for visa extensions. As seems to be the case in matters pertaining to British income letters, American officials appear to be unwilling to continue issuance these instruments in light of the recent official Thai requests that the veracity of the information in the affidavit be verified rather than merely the authenticity of the signature on the document. It seems that although the Embassy is unable to continue issuing such documentation as it was issued in the past, they will continue to notarize other documentation.

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6th February 2018

It has recently been announced that the Trump administration is creating a new “National Vetting Center”. The following article is intended to shed light on what this institution is designed to do and how it will fit into the overall immigration process.

It should first be noted that the National Vetting Center should not be confused with the preexisting National Visa Center which acts as a sort of clearing house and central repository for documentation pertaining to visa applications through the Department of State. The National Visa Center’s function is to gather relevant documentation and forward cases to the appropriate US Embassy or US Consulate for visa interview scheduling.

The National Vetting Center would seem to have a different mandate, although not altogether different as both institutions deal with matters pertaining to US Immigration. In an effort to provide further insight it is necessary to cite a recent article from the website of USA Today:

The National Vetting Center will be run by the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the intelligence community and the departments of State, Justice and Defense. Its mission: To “collect, store, share, disseminate, and use” a broad range of information about people who seek to enter the United States, with a goal of identifying people who may be a threat to national security or public safety. “This is yet another step towards knowing who is coming to the United States — that they are who they say they are and that they do not pose a threat to our nation,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a statement.

Although disregarded by some at the time as overreacting, this blogger has noted in prior discussion of so-called extreme vetting policy that although it was initially discussed in a very narrow geographical and situational context the establishment of the National Vetting Center and the presumption that all future US Immigration processing will involve said institution shows that this policy will have broad ramifications for all visa applicants.

What does this mean for the timing of US visa applications? At this time it is too soon to say whether the addition of National Vetting Center protocols will result in slower processing times. However, it stands to reason that adding an entirely new institutional bureaucracy to the overall immigration framework will result in at least some delays in the processing of petitions and applications.

As has been discussed previously on this blog and through some of our firm’s videos: the Trump administration’s policies with respect to Immigration could have wide ranging and long lasting ramifications for those seeking visas in the future. Furthermore, if a deal can be reached with respect to Comprehensive Immigration Reform it looks as though the era of so-called “chain migration” (allowing extended family of Lawful Permanent Residents and American citizens to seek visa benefits)  and the visa lottery will likely come to an end.

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4th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is poised to begin exclusively offering routine services at the American Citizen Services section of the Post by appointment only. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

Beginning September 1, 2011, all non-emergency consular services will require an appointment. We hope that this will assist us in providing prompt and efficient consular services to American Citizens residing in Thailand.  Please plan accordingly.

For those who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to United States Missions abroad it should be noted that an American Citizen Services section of a US Embassy, US Consulate, or American Institute provides many services for Americans resident abroad. Such services include, but are not limited to, US Passport issuance, Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, Notary Services, and issuance of additional pages to a previously issued US Passport. It has always been this blogger’s personal experience that the ACS unit of the US Embassy in Bangkok handles matters in an efficient and courteous manner. That stated, the unit always seems hectically busy and it would appear that the new policy is aimed at streamlining the processing of pertinent requests.

Those seeking information regarding visas and immigration to the United States should look for information regarding Immigrant Visa Units and/or Non-Immigrant Visa Units at US Posts abroad as those sections are generally tasked with adjudicating applications for visas such as the B-2 visa, the K-1 visa, the CR-1 visa, and the IR-1 visa.

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11th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that information posted in the previous posting on this blog may not have been entirely accurate as it would appear that the Kingdom of Thailand is not slated to be added to any kind of “terrorism risk list”. To provide more insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from an announcement posted on the official website of The Nation, NationMultimedia.com:

Re: “Naming of Thailand on new US terror risk list worrying” Editorial, July 10

We’d like to take the opportunity to correct some confusing statements that have been reported in the media recently. Thailand has not been placed on a new “terror risk list” of any kind. In fact, as President Obama highlighted in his June 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism, the US considers Thailand a key ally in fighting global terrorism.

In addition, we would like to emphasise that there has been no change in the processing of visas or security checks for Thai citizens travelling to the United States. As has been the case for many years, the overwhelming majority of Thai who apply for US visas receive them, and we’re proud of the robust exchange of travellers between the US and Thailand for tourism, business, education and many other fields. For more information on travelling to the United States, we encourage everyone to visit our web page at http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/.

Walter Braunohler

Spokesman,

Embassy of the United States of America, Bangkok

The administration of this blog apologizes for any inconvenience or consternation that the previous posting may have caused as this blogger was under the impression that the previously cited quotation contained accurate information.

– Benjamin Walter Hart

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28th March 2011

หลายๆเดือนนี้มีแนวโน้มที่รัฐบาลจะปิดดูเหมือนจะเป็นการยิ่งทำให้นัการเมืองต่างๆในสหรัฐอเมริกาแบ่งพรรคแบ่งพวกกันมากขึ้น ในข.ระเดียวกัน ข้อถกเถียงในเรื่องการปิด(แม้แต่การขยายเวลาการทำงานในระหว่างการปิด) ในเวลาเดียวกัน หลายๆฝ่ายวิพากษ์วิจารณ์การปิด  โดยไม่คำนึงถึงความเห็นของฝ่ายหนึ่ง ดูเหมือนการปิดนั้นจะเป็นไปได้และในกรณีที่มีการปิด กระบวนการทั้งหลายที่เกี่ยวกับการเข้าเมืองอาจจะมีการศึกษาถึงผลกระทบว่าการปิดอาจจะมีผลต่อกระบวนการเข้าเมือง

อ้างข้อความข้างล่างโดยตรงจากบทความในเว็บไซต์ CaldwellTeaParty.org:

เดือนต่อมาจะมีการเจรจาอย่างเข้มข้นเกี่ยวกับเพดานหนี้และ GOP จะมีการตัดสินใจว่าจะปิด หรือมีการรวมพรรค งบประมาณซึ่งมีการจัดการกับเคนท์ คอนราดและพันธมิตร

ข้อความที่อ้างข้างต้นอาจจะเป็นที่ชัดเจนและกระชับในการที่จะสรุปถึงกรณีที่เกี่ยวข้องกับความเป็นไปได้ในการปิด หน่วยงานทาปกครองแนะนำให้ผู้อ่านคลิกที่ลิงค์ซึ่งเป็นประเด็นที่ค่อนข้างซับซ้อน ผู้ที่สนใจในการยืนยันการปิดอาจจะเป็นเรื่องที่หาได้จากโดยหน่วยทางปกครองอ้างโดยตรงจากวิกกิพี่เดีย

การปิดของรัฐบาลเกิดขึ้นเมื่อรัฐบาลไม่ได้จัดการกับสิ่งที่สำคัญ  โดยทั่วไปแล้ว การบริการซึ่งจะคงดำเนินต่อไปโดยไม่คำนึงถึงการปิดของรัฐบาล เช่น ตำรวจ การดับเพลิง การทหาร สาธารณูปโภค การจัดการทางอากาศ และการควบคุมประพฤติ

การปิดสามารถที่จะเกิดเมื่อครบองค์ประกอบทางกฎหมาย (เช่นมีอำนาจในการออกร่างกฎหมายของการวีโต้โดยสมาชิกระดับสูง) มาสามารถอนุมัติงบประมาณในการจัดสรรเงินของแผนงานรัฐบาลในระหว่างปีงบประมาณ การขาดแคลนกองทุน รัฐบาลทำงานไม่ต่อเนื่องในการจัดสรรบริการที่สำคัญที่จะกระทบต่อการเริ่มต้นปีงบประมาณ ลูกจ้างของรัฐผู้ที่มห้บริการสาธารณะ มักจะอ้างถึง “ความสำคัญของลูกจ้าง เพื่อใหห้ภารกิจต่างๆบรรลุเป้าหมาย”

แม้ว่าการอ้างข้างต้นจะช่วยจัดการกับประเด็นที่เกิดขึ้นโดยการปิดของรัฐบาล คำถามนี้มีแนวโน้มว่า ผู้ที่ชาวต่างชาติอยู่ในระหว่างขั้นตอนกระบวนการเข้าเมือง การปิดของรัฐบาลจะกระทบอย่างไรกับวีซ่าของคู่หมั้น คำตอบก็คือ การปิดของรัฐบาลกลางจะส่งผลให้ขั้นตอนต่างๆในกระบวนการเข้าเมืองของรัฐบาลกลางชะงักลง  ดังนั้น การปิดของรัฐบาลกลางอาจจะส่งผลเล็กน้อย ถ้าหากมี กรณีนี้คำนึงถึงการขอวีซ่าที่สถานทูตหรือสถานกงสุล ข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมอาจจะติดต่อโดยตรงจากบทความ Diplopundit

ในปี 1995 การยื่นคำขอวีซ่าทั้งหมดเป็นแบบยื่นด้วยตัวเอง ทุกวันนี้มีการยื่นคำขอวีซ่าจำนวนมากผ่านทางระบบออนไลน์ นั่นหมายความว่า การนัดวีซ่าจะต้องยกเลิกและมีการนัดหมายใหม่ถ้ามีการปิดลง ส่วนของกงสุลจะเปิดให้บริการเกี่ยวกับชีวิตและและความตาย นั่นหมายถึงคำขอในกรณีที่พาสปอร์ตสูญหาย การแจ้งการเกิดในต่างประเทศ การรับบุตรบุญธรรม การรับรองลายมือชื่อ และอื่นๆ จะต้องคอยจนกว่ารัฐบาลกลางเปิดอีกครั้งหนึ่ง

ผู้เขียนบทความนี้ขอแนะนำให้ผู้ที่สนใจที่ต้องการรายละเอียดเพิ่มมากขึ้นคลิกในลิงค์ข้างบนที่อ้างถึงซึ่งเกี่ยวกับประเด็นข้างต้นนี้

เป็นที่ปรากฏอย่างชัดเจนว่า การอนุมัติของการปิดลงของรัฐบาลจะเป็นเรื่องที่ยุ่งยากมากสำหรับผู้ที่อยู่ในกระบวนการการขอวีซ่า ในขณะเดียวกัน เป็นที่ปรากฏชัด แม้ว่า USCIS จะดำเนินการปฏิบัติการปกตินอกจากจะเป็นไปได้ในการปิดตัวลง อ้างโดยตรงจากเว็บไซต์ Martindale.com:

USCIS ประกาศว่า เพราะว่า เป็นบรการที่มีค่าธรรมเนียมม ควรจะยังคงเปิดในระหว่างที่รัฐบาลปิดทำการ การปฏิบัติการของศูนย์บริการสี่แห่งควรจะไม่ได้รับผลกระทบ สำนักงานของ USCIS ท้องถิ่นควรจะยังคงเปิดบริการอยู่

ผู้เขียนขอแนะนำอีกครั้งหนึ่งว่า ผู้ที่สนใจสามารถศึกษาได้เพิ่มเติมจากลิงค์ข้างบน

สิ่งที่พึงระลึกถึงคือ สิ่งที่อ้างถึงข้างต้นใช้คำว่า “ควรจะ” บทความนี้ชี้ให้เห็นว่า สิ่งที่ยากที่จะทำนายถึงผลกระทบของการปิดรัฐบาลที่จะมีผลกระทบต่อหน่วยบริการคนเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองสัญชาติอเมริกา (USCIS) เนื่องจาก หน่วยบริการมีความพยายามที่จะหาเงินทุนด้วยตนเองโดยผ่านทางค่าธรรมเนียมของการยื่นคำขอ อาจกล่าวได้ว่า ประเด็นทั้งหมดของการปิดตัวลงของรัฐบาลเป็นหลักฐานที่ชัดเจน แต่ไม่ควรจะหมายถึงว่า จะไม่เป็นเช่นนั้น ในความเป็นจริงแล้ว พลเมืองอเมริกันผู้ที่ประสงค์จะขอวีซ่ามีแนวโน้มที่เรื่องของพวกเขาจะช้าลงเนื่องจากการปิดของรัฐบาล (ควรจะที่จะเกิดขึ้นซึ่งยังคงที่จะสังเกตเห็นได้)

To view this posting in English please see: US Embassy.

หากต้องการที่จะทราบรายละเอียดเพิ่มเติม โปรดคลิกที่นี่ USCIS processing time.

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2nd February 2011

While surfing the World Wide Web, this blogger came across an interesting piece on the Diplopundit blog pertaining to the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers go to the Diplopundit blog to read the entry in its entirety. That said, the following was quoted directly from the aforementioned blog:

We understand that Bangkok’s FY 2009 NIV workload declined by over 20,000 cases from its FY 2008 high. The IV workload also declined from a FY 2006 high of approximately 8,500 to fewer than 3,000 cases in FY 2009. Still — we feel bad for the ELOs [English Language Officers] — no counseling, late performance reviews and a rotation program that spans 3-4 months — are not/not great introductions to a new career.

There is obviously a leadership disconnect here. The CG meets with the officers regularly but the Visa Chief reportedly does not, and neither were “regular participants in [visa] line work.” Ever wonder how this translates to — lead by example? Or building great teams?

The above quotation seems to drip with a certain level of sarcasm while maintaining a genuine concern for efficiency at American Missions abroad. That stated, this blogger cannot comment upon the caseload, processing policies, or personnel issues at the US Embassy in Bangkok due to a general lack of personal knowledge regarding the overall staffing situation at the Post. However, this blogger can state from personal experience that the officers at the US Embassy Thailand really did “go above and beyond” during the year 2010.

The Kingdom of Thailand saw a great deal of political, economic, and social turbulence in 2010. Most notable for those interested in matters pertaining to the US Embassy was the fact that the Post was closed for a number of days due to the riots in the late spring and early summer in Bangkok, Thailand. The so-called “Red Shirts” mounted a protest which eventually lead to a government crackdown, but not before causing major disruptions in the Bangkok Metropolitan area. The reason this riot is pertinent to this posting is the fact that this blogger personally saw, on more than one occasion, Consular Officers, of virtually every level, at the US Embassy in Bangkok going out of their way to assist and provide services to people leading right up to the actual crackdown (the same could also be said for the USCIS office in Bangkok, but that is a digression from the point of this posting).

In many ways, the situation in Bangkok could have been detrimental to the health and safety of the Consular Officers at the Post, but said employees continued to diligently perform their duties nonetheless. Although none of this goes precisely to the heart of the issues discussed in the Diplopundit blog posting this blogger felt that it should be noted in order to provide a human, if somewhat intangible, perspective on the situation in Bangkok over the past year. Perhaps this blogger is being “soft,” but it is simply the opinion of this blogger that credit ought to be given where it is due.

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

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