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Posts Tagged ‘CR-1’

1st September 2021

The lockdowns in Bangkok and other highly populated areas of Thailand appear to be abating as it has recently been decreed that certain retail businesses may reopen while restaurants and other eateries may again serve dine-in customers from today onward. There seems to be an implication that further easing will be forthcoming, but we have seen that attitude before only to see things suddenly reverse. Hopefully, the business community in Bangkok and Greater Thailand has finally come through the worst of these rather stringent measures and things can move on.

Meanwhile, various destinations in Thailand are attempting to “Move On“. Notably, Phuket has implemented initiatives in the “Phuket Sandbox” program to allow travelers in that location to travel to other destinations after an initial 7 days on the island in the “7+7” program. Although this is definitely good news tourism numbers remain far below normal and therefore it remains to be seen how many people will actually avail themselves of this opportunity. The sandbox initiative has not garnered the tourism interest that many had hoped, but with high season coming this could change. It is worth noting that a number of non-immigrant Thai visa holders have availed themselves of the sandbox scheme as it is viewed as less cumbersome compared to dealing with 14 days of quarantine when traveling to other parts of Thailand.

It is notable that Thailand is one of the only jurisdictions in Southeast Asia which is permitting tourists to enter the country. Not to mention non-immigrant visa holders (most of whom were completely barred from reentry last summer). That stated, issues still arise for foreign nationals in Thailand as there are those who have problems either maintaining their status due to unforeseen work issues or no longer meet the requirements of their lawful status. Under such circumstances it is optimal to avoid falling into overstay and attempt to obtain a Thai visa conversion in order to remain in the Kingdom.

American immigration is not moving as quickly as was the case prior to 2020. That stated, things are moving more quickly compared to the situation in 2020. Although appointments for non-immigrant visas to the USA such as tourist visas are difficult to come by and even obtaining an appointment for a K-1 visa interview can be difficult. There are those who hope that a change in administration in the USA will result in concrete changes to the American immigration apparatus, but any improvements remain to be seen.

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10th August 2021

As the current economic situation in Thailand continues down a precarious path due to lockdowns. There are many who fear tourism may not return to Thailand in high numbers any time in the near future. In fact, quarantine rules do not look like they are going away and the Phuket sandbox has proven to be less of a draw than initially anticipated. There are some who have speculated that Thailand may have come to overly rely upon tourism as an integral component of the overall economy. Whether or not this is true is difficult to ascertain, but it should be noted that anyone predicting the events of 2020 and 2021 in, say, the year 2018 would have been called worse names than crazy so the notion that Thailand came to overly depend upon tourism is only an argument that operates logically in hindsight.

Although the Phuket sandbox has been discussed a great deal as of late, there is also a similar program which has been initiated in Samui and those wishing to avail themselves of this tourism opportunity may do so by traveling through Bangkok in “sealed terminals” in order to undergo “sandbox quarantine” for 14 days on that island. Presently, travel restrictions in Thailand have precluded wide travel latitude for those wishing to leave the Phuket sandbox, but this does not appear to currently be an issue in the Samui system. Those wishing to travel to Bangkok from abroad may do so, but they are still required to undergo quarantine in a Bangkok hotel via the Alternative State Quarantine system.

Business travelers to Thailand are not precluded from using either the Samui or Phuket sandboxes so those with a Thai business visa and/or Thai work permit may return to Thailand without undue hardship. It is worth pointing out that Thailand is one of the few jurisdictions in Southeast Asia which is trying to maintain tourist travel as well as admitting non-immigrant visa holders such as the aforementioned B visa holders as well as those holding an O visa for marriage to a Thai or for retirement. Thai Embassies and Consulates are still issuing O-A retirement visas to those retirees abroad. Thailand remains one of the few countries in Southeast Asia actively issuing visas to foreign retirees.

Those seeking visas to the USA may continue to do so under present circumstances although appointment scheduling has proven somewhat cumbersome in recent months as the American Embassy in Bangkok appears to be either understaffed or unable to process a large caseload due to restrictions associated with the response to COVID-19. However, appointments are available, albeit it in a relatively limited number.

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24th May 2021

The overall posture of American immigration has improved considerably since the beginning of 2021. With the transition to a new administration there have been a number of changes in how immigration cases are processed. As noted previously, the public charge rule has reverted back to pre-Trump criteria. Concurrently, it appears the current administration has rolled back a potentially disturbing policy regarding collection of biometric data from not only intending immigrants to the United States, but American petitioners and sponsors as well. Presently, there are a number of backlogs holding up cases at various points in the US immigration process. For example, processing times at USCIS are longer overall. Meanwhile issues at the National Visa Center are prolonging case processing. Finally, the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand has had to postpone a number of appointments citing the COVID situation. Although it seems the Embassy is prioritizing family based Immigrant Visa Unit matters over the non-immigrant visa unit as some level of priority seems to be conferred to cases such as applications for the K-1 visa (for fiances of America citizens) and the marriage visa cases (K-3, IR-1, and CR-1 visas). There does seem to be some hope on the horizon that things will start looking better as this administration does not seem as intent on being deliberately obtuse with respect to processing immigration cases.

Turning to Thai immigration news, the situation in Thailand has turned less positive since April and the upshot in an immigration context is the re-extension of the quarantine time in Thailand. As of the time of this writing, all travelers (including those vaccinated) arriving in Thailand are required to undergo a 14 day quarantine. On a more general note, Thailand remains under a state of pseudo-lockdown which is having a tremendously negative impact upon the SME sector. However, there is hope that things will begin to turn around as the COVID vaccination is rolled out in early June. Key officials in Thailand have also stood firm behind their commitment to reopen Phuket for the “sandbox” initiative in July. This is apparently still moving forward and, as yet, this doesn’t seem likely to be cancelled. That stated, many initiatives (such as “travel bubbles” or reduced quarantine) have been proposed and ultimately shot down or have been rolled out only to be rolled back. Therefore, it is difficult to predict exactly how things will progress moving forward in the course of the next few weeks, but hopefully these days ahead will be better than those recently transpired.

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7th July 2020

The Immigration systems of both the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand have arguably been subjected to more changes recently than they have undergone in many years. Recently, President Trump announced an expansion of his travel ban on certain foreign nationals. The relevant portions can be found in the excerpt from the White House’s website:

Sec2.  Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  The entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas is hereby suspended and limited, subject to section 3 of this proclamation:

(a)  an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;

(b)  a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien; and

(c)  an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.

It should be noted, although the expanded ban appears to have rather wide ranging effects, those seeking the K-1 visa for a foreign fiancee, a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa for the spouse of an American citizen are unaffected by this recent proclamation. That stated, while this ban does not have a direct impact, the fact that US Embassies and Consulates overseas are still not open for visa processing continues to stall immigration matters.

Meanwhile, Thailand is taking stringent measures in an attempt to forestall any further spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. With nearly 6 weeks of zero in-country transmissions, Thailand is a proving to be a global success story in the “fight” against Coronavirus. These measures appear to be bearing fruit, but Thailand remains in lock down from an international travel context. It was recently announced that some foreigners would be allowed to enter Thailand. At the same time, Thai officials are attempting to implement a “travel bubble” scheme which will allow some tourists to enter Thailand under specific conditions. As of the time of this writing, the initiation of “travel bubbles” has yet to be seen, but they are expected to come online in September. Thereafter, there will be a phased program of increasingly less stringent restrictions with the culmination presumably manifesting as tourism to resume as normal. It should be noted that the countries surrounding Thailand appear to be taking similar positions to that of Thailand with respect to inbound tourist arrivals, at least for the foreseeable future.

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3rd January 2017

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the officials of the Royal Thai Immigration Police have made policy changes regarding passport holders of certain countries. It appears that passport holders from 37 different countries will now be able to obtain a 30 day visa exemption stamp by crossing a land border into Thailand. The recently announced list includes the following countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bahrain, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey

It should be noted that most holders of passports on the above list were already eligible to receive 30 day exemption stamps when arriving at one of Thailand’s many international airports. However, 30 day exemption stamps were apparently not available when arriving at land borders. While this liberalization is likely welcome news to prospective tourists who wish to travel to countries surrounding Thailand it should be be analyzed in conjunction with recent announcements regarding so-called border runs.

As previously noted on this blog and other sites, Thai border runs are effectively a thing of the past as recent laws have been enacted which bar individuals from making border runs more than 2 times per calendar year. Although this new rule is unlikely to impact genuine tourists in Thailand, those who have used ostensibly temporary visas and visa exemption stamps to live in Thailand are likely to find maintaining their status in this way to be very difficult in the future. This news comes at the same time as a number of foreign owned or managed businesses in Thailand are reporting significant increases in immigration inspections as well as well known hostels are being raided by those seeking not only criminals, but over-stayers in particular. How this will all play out in 2017 remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: staying long term in Thailand is becoming increasingly difficult, expensive, and time consuming.

Meanwhile, as Thai Immigration cracks down, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has made new regulations regarding the forms which must be submitted in connection with petitions for various immigration benefits. Forms such as the I-130 (associated with spousal immigration petitions for visas such as the CR-1 or the IR-1) have been upgraded and apparently the USCIS will no longer accept forms of an older pedigree. The same is apparently true with respect to the I-129f (the form associated with the K-1 visa used to bring fiancees of American Citizens to the USA) as that form has been updated.

Concurrently, it appears that there has been an across-the-board increase in the fees associated with the filing of certain immigration petitions. It is advised that those interested in this matter either speak with a qualified professional or conduct their own research to ascertain the current costs and fees associated with a visa to the USA.

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4th November 2010

การบริการคนเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองอเมริกัน (USCIS) รับผิดชอบในการวินิจฉัยและขั้นตอนการทำคำขอเพื่อสิทธิประโยชน์คนเข้าเมืองอเมริกัน เรื่องหลักๆส่วนมากแล้ว ผู้ยื่นคำขอประสงค์ที่จะยื่นคำขอในสหรัฐอเมริกา อย่างไรก็ตามในบางกรณี อาจมีความเป็นไปได้ที่การยื่นขอสิทธิประโยชน์ของวีซ่าคู่แต่งงานอาจยื่นที่สำนักงานUSCISที่อยู่ต่างประเทศ หรือยื่นโดยตรงที่กงสุลอเมริกา สถานทูตที่อยู่ต่างประเทศ

ภาคส่วนการปฏิบัติการ USCIS ระหว่างประเทศ สำนักงานนโยบายเละโครงสร้าง สำนักงานความผูกพันสาธารณะเชิญคุณเข้าร่วมในการประชุมทางไกลเพื่อที่จะอภิปรายถึงการเปลี่ยนแปลงในการวินิจฉัยฟอร์ม I-130 คำร้องของญาติคนต่างชาติซึ่งยื่นโดยผู้ยื่นคำขอที่พักอาศัยอยู่ต่างประเทศ ในเวลานี้ ผู้ยื่นคำขอที่อาศัยอยู่นอกสหรัฐอเมริกาอาจจะยื่นฟอร์ม I-130 และคำขอนั้นจะวินิจฉัยโดยสำนักงาน USCIS หรือกงสุลอเมริกันที่อยู่ในต่างประเทศ USCIS กำลังทบทวนทางเลือกที่จะมีการวินิจฉัยฟอร์มI-130อย่างเป็นการภายใน ในระหว่างช่วงนี้ USCISจะจัดการภาพรวมที่อาจจะกระทบต่อการยื่นแบบฟอร์มและคำวินิจฉัยในขณะเดียวกับการตอบคำถามและคลายความกังวลจากผู้ถือผลประโยชน์

ไม่ว่านโยบายที่เสนอไปนั้นจะเกิดผลหรือไม่ แต่ถ้านโยบายนี้มีผลบังคับใช้แล้ว การทำวีซ่าถาวรจะมีความเป็นไปได้ที่จะยื่นขอรับผลประโยชน์วีซ่าในสหรัฐอเมริกา

ขั้นตอนการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกานั้นขึ้นอยู่กัข้อเท็จจริงที่หลากหลายและประเภทของวีซ่า ดังนั้นผู้ที่มองหาวีซ่าประเภท CR1 หรือ IR1จะไม่ต้องประสบกับขั้นตอนเดียวกับผู้ที่กำลังทำวีซ่าประเภท K1 ผู้ที่กำลังจะมองหาสิทธิประโยชน์ของวีซ่าประเภทไม่ถาวรในขณะเดียวกันผู้ยื่นคำขอก็ไม่ประสงค์ที่จะเริ่มยื่นคำขอเกี่ยวกวับการเข้าเมืองในสหรัฐอเมริกา อย่างไรก็ตาม ผู้ยื่นคำขอสำหรับวีซ่าประเภทไม่ถาวรจะต้องได้รับการตรวจสอบตามบทบัญญัติมาตรา 214บี พระราชบัญญํติสัญชาติและคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาซึ่งมีแนวโน้มที่อาจจะได้รับการปฏิเสธวีซ่าเมื่อเปรียบเทียบวีซ่าประเภทอื่น

หลายๆคนอาจจะสนใจที่จะใช้บริการจากผู้เชี่ยวชาญในกระบวนการเข้าเมืองในขณะเดียวกับการหาคำแนะนำที่น่าเชื่อถือจากผู้ที่มีประสบการณ์เกี่ยวกับกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา ทนายความอเมริกันเท่านั้นที่จะมีสิทธิที่จะเรียกเก็บค่าธรรมเนียมจากการให้คำแนะนำและคำปรึกษาในเรื่องการเข้าเมือง

To read this post in English please refer to the previous posting on this blog.

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15th March 2009

The CR-1 Visa is one of, if not the, most common US Visa sought for Thai Loved ones seeking to journey to the USA (The K1 Fiance Visa from Thailand is another widely used US Immigration tool from Thailand, please see Fiance Visa Thailand for more details). The reason for this is likely due to the fact that many Thai-American couple’s situation fits the criteria of a CR-1 Visa.

CR-1 stands for “conditional resident 1,” in practical terms this means that a person in the US on a CR-1 Visa has conditional permanent residence. In practical terms, the difference between conditional permanent residence and unconditional permanent residence is that a conditional permanent resident could lose their permanent residence status. A situation in which one might lose their permanent residence would be where a Thai/American married couple obtains a Cr-1 Visa on behalf of the Thai wife. Subsequent to obtaining the CR-1 Visa and entering the US, the couple divorces, but not before they file for a “lift of conditionality.” (A lift of conditions of a CR-1 Visa is generally filed by the American Citizen spouse at the 2 year anniversary of the permanent resident’s entry into the USA) If the lift of conditions has not been granted and the couple has divorced, then the condition upon which the visa was granted has ceased to exist and therefore the visa should be revoked. There are exceptions that allow for a Cr-1 visa to have the conditions lifted without the US Citizen Spouse’s consent (Most notably the violence against women act), but these situations are limited.

An IR1 visa does not have these conditions. In order to apply for this visa, the Thai-American couple must have been married for at least 2 years. If they meet this requirement then after obtaining the visa at the US Embassy in Thailand, then the Thai spouse will enter the US on an Ir-1 Visa which confers unconditional permanent residence from the moment the Thai spouse enters the United States.

The form necessary to obtain a CR-1 Visa is the I-130 petition. It should be filed with the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the area in which the US Citizen spouse resides. One of the reasons why a CR-1 Visa is sought over a K-3 in Thailand Visa is the fact that a K-3 Visa requires Adjustment of Status for a Thai wife. A Thai wife entering on a CR-1 Visa does not need to adjust her status in the USA, only obtain a lift of conditionality.

As with all US Immigration matters it is always wise to obtain the advice of a duly licensed US Immigration Attorney with experience dealing with US Immigration Law. Integrity Legal’s Managing Director is a licensed US Attorney and member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association. When seeking licensed a Immigration Lawyer AILA can be an invaluable resource.

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