Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Fiance Visa China’

24th September 2010

In previous posts on this blog, this author has discussed proposed fee increases of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In a recent announcement from USCIS, this matter again came to this author’s attention as USCIS announced a final rule on the issue. To quote directly from the actual announcement as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions. The final rule follows a period of public comment on a proposed rule, which USCIS published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2010. After encouraging stakeholders to share their input, USCIS considered all 225 comments received. The final rule will increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent but will not increase the fee for the naturalization application. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow,September 24, and the adjusted fees will go into effect on November 23, 2010.

“USCIS is grateful for the valuable public input that we received as we prepared the final fee rule,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “We remain mindful of the effect of fee increases on the communities we serve, and we will continue to work to enhance the services we provide.”

The final fee rule establishes three new fees, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation, and a fee to recover USCIS costs to process immigrant visas granted by the Department of State. Additionally, the final rule reduces and eliminates several fees, including some for servicemembers and certain veterans of the U.S. armed forces who are seeking citizenship-related benefits. The final rule also expands the availability of fee waivers to additional categories.

USCIS is a primarily fee-based organization, with about 90 percent of its budget coming from fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. The law requires USCIS to conduct fee reviews every two years to determine the funding levels necessary to administer the nation’s immigration laws, process immigration benefit requests and provide the infrastructure needed to support those activities. The final fee rule announced today concludes a comprehensive review begun in 2009.

USCIS’s fee revenue in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 was much lower than projected, and fee revenue in fiscal year 2010 remains low. While USCIS received appropriations from Congress and made budget cuts of approximately $160 million, this has not bridged the remaining gap between costs and anticipated revenue. A fee adjustment, as detailed in the final rule announced today, is necessary to ensure USCIS recovers the costs of its operations while also meeting the application processing goals identified in the 2007 fee rule.

Those with foreign fiances may take note of the fact that within this same announcement it was noted that the petition fees for the fiance visa will be reduced from 455 United States dollars to 340 United States dollars. On the whole, there are some who may not particularly welcome this announcement, but it would appear that the costs associated with providing Immigration services have reached the point that a fee adjustment is in order.

It should be noted that the fees noted above may not be the only costs that arise during the processing of a United States visa. This is due to the fact that the US visa process is somewhat bifurcated as USCIS is tasked with adjudicating the initial immigration petition while a US Embassy or US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction is responsible for processing visa applications for travel documents sought outside of the United States of America. Recently, the US Department of State announced an increase in fees associated with adjudication of K1 visa applications abroad. That said, other fees were reduced. These fee adjustments seem to correlate to the underlying costs and fees associated with the adjudication of these applications.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand.

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22nd July 2010

This author recently discovered that the United States Embassy in China has announced that those seeking non-immigrant visas to the United States of America may seek such travel documents at any US Consulate in China. To quote directly from the website of the American Embassy in China:

Residents of China may apply for a non-immigrant visa at any U.S. Consular Section in China, regardless of the province or city of residence.  We have Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang.

Although the basic application process is the same, specific times and application procedures at each visa issuing office can vary.  Before applying for a visa, applicants should check each post’s web site for procedures specific to that post.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China provide the following estimates of the next available non-immigrant visa interview appointment date for your reference.  Please be aware appointments are scheduled continuously, and the next available appointment date can change dramatically on short notice.

All appointments must be booked through the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333, which has the most current information about appointment wait times.  Specific appointment procedures can be found here: http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_appointment.html.

The information below is a rough guide only.  Please note this information was last updated on 21 Jul, 2010.

Business/ tourist visa appointments (B1, B2, and B1/B2 visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 3-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 17-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 23-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 31-Aug


Student (F, M, J visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 28-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 6-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 27-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 4-Aug

Appointment wait times for particular groups such as petition-based employment applicants, group leisure tours, Amcham applicants, and public affairs passport holders may be different.  Please contact the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333 for more information.

If you require an earlier visa appointment for immediate travel for urgent medical treatment, to meet the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, or for another emergency reason, please see our information about expedited appointments http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_expedite.html.

The information on how to apply can be found below:

The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu:
http://chengdu.usembassy-china.org.cn/appointment.html

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou:
http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv-how-to-apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai:
http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/how_to_apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shenyang:
http://shenyang.usembassy-china.org.cn/consular5.html

The U.S. Consulate in Hongkong:
http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/niv_apply.html

It is interesting to note this recent policy shift as most US Diplomatic and Consular missions in other countries require the applicant to apply for their non-immigrant visa at the Consulate with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. However, these jurisdictional rules may be altered by officials of the Department of State depending upon the prevailing circumstances in the host country. That said, China is a unique country insofar as it has a large landmass as well as a massive population. As a result, special considerations probably ought to be taken into account when discussing those issues associated with optimally serving those Chinese nationals wishing to travel to the USA.

As the economic and diplomatic relationships between the USA and China become increasingly close, Immigration matters will become more important for those conducting Sino-American business or for those from China who simply wish to visit the United States for recreational purposes.

It should be noted that the above announcement would seem to only apply to those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B2 visa or the F1 visa. Therefore, the above information does not appear, at the time of this writing, to be applicable to those seeking an Immigrant visa such as a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa. Furthermore, it would also seem as though those seeking visa benefits under the K visa category (K1 visa, K2 visa, K3 Visa, K4 visa, etc.) will not be able to “forum shop” for the Post of their choice for the ultimate visa interview.

For more information about US Immigration from China please see: US Visa China.

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