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Posts Tagged ‘American Visa Indonesia’

27th December 2010

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Embassy in Indonesia has made great progress in showcasing the USA to the people of Indonesia. In fact, it was recently reported that a new cultural center has been opened in Jakarta, Indonesia with the sole purpose of encouraging American and Indonesian exploration of new technology. To quote directly from the website America.gov:

NEW AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER IN JAKARTA

After many months of planning, @america, the United States’ first high-tech cultural center, opened to the Indonesian public December 2…

According to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, @america is a one-of-a-kind, high-technology American cultural center where visitors can explore, experience and express their interests about the United States in innovative ways. In the physical and virtual spaces of @america, visitors will experience cutting-edge technology, interactive games and live events designed to facilitate people-to-people exchanges virtually and in real life.

The new center, developed by the embassy in collaboration with Indonesian and U.S. partners, aims to expand engagement between young Indonesians and young Americans. The Indonesian firm PT Ganesha Aggies Jaya designed and will manage @america. The center is located in the Pacific Place Mall in Central Jakarta and admission is free.

This author must point out the obvious fact that this new technology center could prove to be a significant platform for cross-cultural communication. It would appear that in the coming years the United States and Indonesia may have increasingly close relations both diplomatically and economically as Indonesia (along with many other countries in Southern and Southeastern Asia) matures both as a nation and as an economic, trade, and manufacturing center. The details of future American-Indonesia relations remain to be seen, but it is clear that both countries can be very beneficial to one another as increased ties and trade is generally a mutually beneficial phenomenon.

Recently, the American President Barack Obama made a highly celebrated visit to Indonesia. It would appear that trip was a success with the Citizens of Indonesia as the President remains popular in this Southeast Asia nation. As many nations in Asia experience economic growth and success the United States of America will hopefully act as a role model for other countries in matters pertaining to technology as the technology sector in the United States remains vibrant compared to industries which were more hard hit by recent economic downturns. It could be argued that through greater technological integration the USA and countries such as Indonesia could form mutually beneficial relationships which result in innovation and increased business opportunities.

For related information please see: US Visa Indonesia, K-1 Visa Indonesia, or  EB-5 Visa Indonesia.

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11th November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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15th October 2010

Those American Citizens with an Indonesian spouse sometimes posit: “Would it be possible for me to obtain a K3 visa for my Indonesian husband or wife?” Although, the answer to this question is not exactly “cut and dried” it is a qualified No. However, this does not necessarily mean that there is not another US Marriage Visa category available to the Indonesian husband or wife of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

The reason that a K3 marriage visa is likely unavailable to the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen (K visas are not available to lawful permanent residents, this includes the popular K1 visa which is often used to bring fiances of American Citizens back to the USA) is due to the fact that the US State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) has promulgated a policy whereby all K3 Visa applications will be administratively closed if the I-129f petition arrives contemporaneously with, or before, the arrival of an I-130 petition. As the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has recently reduced their backlog when adjudicating I-130 petitions this has lead to a situation where I-130 petitions are arriving at NVC prior to their I-129f counterparts. In a way, circumstances as they exist under the aforementioned scenario negate the need for the K3 visa in most situations.

The K3 visa was created under the language of the so-called “Life Act” which was promulgated during the latter part of the Clinton Administration. At that time, the backlog of I-130 petitions was rather large and the K3 visa was created to allow expedited marriage visa processing for the spouses of US Citizens. As technology improved and USCIS overcame their I-130 backlog the USCIS processing time for the K3 visa and the Immigrant visa categories (CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa) came into alignment. Therefore, the K3 visa became somewhat redundant and the National Visa Center seems to have made the decision to “phase out” these types of visas when they are no longer needed.

This does not mean that American marriage visas are no longer available at all. Instead, more and more couples seek visa benefits by using the classic I-130 petition. This petition, if approved, can be used to obtain a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa for the spouse of an American Citizen (Lawful Permanent Residents are eligible to petition for CR1 or IR1 immigration benefits, but it generally takes longer to process such requests). Currently, it takes approximately 11-12 months to obtain an Immigrant visa for the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen taking into account USCIS adjudication (currently taking approximately 5-6 months), NVC processing, and Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Indonesia or K3 Visa Indonesia.

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29th September 2010

A frequently asked question from those Americans with a special someone in Indonesia is: “Can I get my Indonesian girlfriend (or boyfriend) a US Tourist Visa?” In many cases, the answer to this question is: No. However, a better understanding of the relevant laws and regulations  can be highly illuminating for those with an Indonesian significant other.

Many Americans are unfamiliar with section 214 (b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. This legislation creates a legal presumption that an American Consular Officer must take into consideration when adjudicating non-immigrant visa applications. The section requires the Consular Officer to presume that the applicant for a non-immigrant visa is actually an undisclosed intending immigrant unless the applicant can produce strong evidence to the contrary. This creates a so-called “strong ties” vs. “weak ties” analysis whereby the applicant must show “strong ties” to their native country, or another country outside of the United States of America and “weak ties” to the USA. Therefore, the Indonesian girlfriend (or boyfriend) of an American Citizen (or Lawful Permanent Resident) must show that they have strong ties to Indonesia and weak ties to the USA. In general, the mere existence of an American significant other is enough to mitigate against many “strong ties” outside of the USA and thereby lead to a denial of an American B2 tourist visa application.

The reason for this state of affairs is first due to the fact that the the presumption contained in section 214b is quite stringent when applied to the facts of many individual cases. Many who are rejected under this provision feel that the denial is some sort of personal rejection. Nothing could be further from the reality of the situation as a US Consulate or US Embassy will routinely issue these denials for no reason other than the application of relevant law. Meanwhile, there are some who speculate that part of the reason for the relative increase in these denials over the course of the past 10 years is due in part to the tragedy of 9/11 which lead to increased scrutiny of all immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications. Furthermore, there have been those who inappropriately use the US tourist visa to circumvent the comparatively longer processing time associated with a US fiance visa (K1 visa) or a US Marriage Visa (K3 Visa, CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa).

Those who have a foreign girlfriend (or boyfriend) and can show genuine ties to countries abroad may still be able to get a US Tourist Visa. That said, this post is merely meant to explain the relatively higher denial rate that seems to exist in B2 visa applications for the significant others of Americans. Those with a bona fide relationship and genuine intentions may be able to obtain an American fiance visa or marriage visa, but it should be noted that no one should ever enter into a relationship strictly to obtain visa benefits. A family based visa application should be based upon a bona fide relationship.

For related information please see: US Visa Cambodian Girlfriend or K1 Visa Indonesia.

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7th February 2010

As explained in previous posts on this blog, the United States Embassies and Consulates overseas generally close for both national US holidays as well as those holidays recognized by the host country. The US Embassy in Indonesia closes in recognition of many Indonesian holidays as well as American holidays. Below is the scheduled closings for the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. The following holiday schedule is posted on the American Embassy in Jakarta’s website:

New Year’s Day New Year’s Day January 1 Friday
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. January 18 Monday
Chinese New Year 2561 February 14 Sunday
Washington’s Birthday
[President Day]
February 15 Monday
Muhammad’s Birthday February 26 Friday
Nyepi Saka 1932 March 16 Tuesday
Good Friday April 2 Friday
Ascension of Christ May 13 Thursday
Waisak 2554 May 28 Friday
Memorial Day May 31 Monday
Substitute for Independence Day (U.S.) Sunday, July 4th July 5 Monday
Ascension of Muhammad July 10 Saturday
Indonesian Independence Day August 17 Tuesday
Labor Day

September 6 Monday
Idul Fitri
1 Syawal 1431 H
September 10-11 Friday, Saturday
Columbus Day

October 11 Monday
Veteran’s Day

November 11 Thursday
Idul Adha 1431 H November 17 Wednesday
Thanksgiving Day November 25 Thursday
Muslim New Year 1432 December 7 Tuesday
Substitute for Christmas Day, Dec 25th December 24 Friday
Christmas Day Christmas Day December 25 Saturday
Substitute for New year’s Day December 31 Friday

Oftentimes it is difficult to go to a US Embassy abroad for those who are living, working, or traveling through a foreign country. Expatriates and prospective immigrants who have lives to lead in the host country often find that going to the US Embassy requires a whole day to get an important issue resolved. Therefore, we have provided the above information on this blog in an effort to forestall a fruitless trip to an Embassy due to lack of foreknowledge on the part of American expats regarding the Post’s operating hours.

That being said, a Diplomatic or Consular Post is not required to be open at all times and there are times when Embassies and Consulates close without warning. For this reason, it may be prudent to go directly to the United States Embassy website in order to check if the post will be open at a certain time. To proceed to the US Embassy in Jakarta’s official website please click here.

For those American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents  overseas who wish to obtain a new passport, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a notarized document, or other services at the Embassy it may be possible to make an appointment with American Citizen Services (ACS). This provides convenience to the individual as well as the post as the Consular personnel can anticipate the needs of the Citizen and plan accordingly.

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