Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Fiance Visa Thailand’

19th September 2018

In what may be one of the most significant developments in immigration practice in quite some time, it recently came to this blogger’s attention via a policy memorandum from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that the USCIS is radically changing their policies with respect to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). For those unaware, an RFE is issued in a case where the adjudicating officer of an immigration petition is not fully satisfied that the beneficiary and/or the petitioner meet the legal requirements. An NOID is similar and may allow the petitioner to rectify a petition notwithstanding prior inadequacy.

That being stated, the procedures regarding issuance of RFEs and NOIDs have been fundamentally altered pursuant to policy memorandum PM-602-0163 dated July 13, 2018 entitled “Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM)Chapter 10.5(a), Chapter 10.5(b)” The provisions of this memo dictate new guidelines for adjudicators of immigration petitions. To quote directly from the USCIS website:

The 2013 PM addressed policies for the issuance of RFEs and NOIDs when the evidence submitted at the time of filing did not establish eligibility. In practice, the 2013 PM limited denials without RFEs or NOIDs to statutory denials by providing that RFEs should be issued unless there was “no possibility” of approval. This “no possibility” policy limited the application of an adjudicator’s discretion.

The policy implemented in this guidance restores to the adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate.

Although the ramifications may not be immediately apparent, especially to those who do not deal with the immigration apparatus on a regular basis, this change in policy is rather profound. The prior doctrine which required that an adjudicator denying a petition without first issuing an RFE or NOID show that there was “no possibility” that a case could receive approval provided a great deal of limitation upon an adjudicator’s ability to unilaterally deny an immigration petition. The removal of this policy encumbrance allows future adjudicators a great deal more discretion in issuing immediate petition denials. The sources noted above go on to note that the primary reason for the change in policy stems from the desire to discourage so-called “placeholder” or “frivolous” filings (which under certain circumstances is laudable as such cases can unnecessarily clog up the immigration processing channels), but there could be significant ramifications for cases which would not necessarily fit those descriptions.

For example, in K-1 visa petitions it is now more likely that more denials will be issued in the future in such cases where it has not been incontrovertibly proven that the couple has in fact met in person within 2 years of filing for the benefit (the so-called Meeting Requirement). Furthermore, in cases involving petitioning for a fiance visa it seems logical to infer that future adjudications may result in a  denial where the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that both parties maintain the requisite intention to marry in the USA.

It is difficult to speculate at this time exactly how this change in policy will be implemented and the full consequences associated therewith. However, two things are clear: 1) visa petitions are likely to be more susceptible to denial moving forward and 2) those thinking of undertaking a do-it-yourself approach to petitioning for a fiancee or marriage visa are well advised to seriously consider the negative aspects of failing to seek professional legal assistance in immigration matters as failure to fully delineate a case clearly and concisely in the initial petition for immigration benefits could result in a denial and thereby a loss of time and resources.

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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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29th October 2010

In recent postings on this blog, the administration has noted that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is poised to raise some of the costs and fees associated with American Immigration. To quote directly from the official website of USCIS:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers that its new fee schedule goes into effect Nov. 23, 2010.  Applications or petitions postmarked or otherwise filed on or after this date must include the new fee, or they will be rejected.

USCIS published the new fee schedule in the Federal Register on Sept. 24, following a comprehensive review of public comments received after publication of the proposed rule this summer.

The new fee schedule increases application and petition fees by an average of about 10 percent but does not increase the naturalization application fee.

Although no one likes to see fee increases, there are some who argue that an increase in processing fees is a necessary consequence of both inflation and the rising cost of the services sought. It should be noted that USCIS recently posted a shortfall and the recent fee increase would seem to be one response to this issue.

The new policy will also usher in new fees that have not previously existed. As they did not exist before it is not really correct to call the new fees “increases,” but as they result in new overall costs, the term increase could be used since the fee was technically increased from nothing to the new fee. To quote from another page of USCIS’s website:

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.

It is interesting to note that one of the newly instituted fees involves the EB-5 visa (also referred to as an investor visa). There are those who posit that the EB-5 visa might become increasingly popular in the upcoming months as the American dollar remains somewhat low compared to other currencies. Therefore, some foreign nationals could invest in EB-5 programs at comparatively cheaper rates due to the current exchange rate with the dollar. This is a net benefit to the United States as influxes of foreign capital would likely prove beneficial in a monetary sense while the infusion of foreign investors with a stake in the American economy could prove to be a catalyst for future innovation, economic activity, and overall growth.

As noted in a previous posting, the USCIS fee associated with the K-1 visa is expected to decrease when the final rule in promulgated. Although, Department of State fees associated with the K1 visa interview have recently been increased.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Thailand or K1 Visa Thailand.

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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 September 2010

Those who read this blog on a regular basis may have noted that recently less attention has been paid to the K1 visa than in the past. This development is partly due to the fact that there has been little to report regarding the US fiance visa as there have been few dramatic changes to the K1 visa process since the beginning of the year 2010. That said, with Comprehensive Immigration Reform possibly on the horizon, there are those who believe that many changes will be made to current US Immigration protocols. In a recent announcement, the American State Department sought comments regarding the DS-156K. This form is specifically used for Consular Processing of the K1 fiance visa. To directly quote an excerpt from the announcement as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to: Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary to properly perform our functions. Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, Abstract of proposed collection: Form DS-156K is used by consular officers to determine the eligibility of an alien applicant for a non- immigrant fiancee visa. Methodology: The DS-156K is submitted to consular posts abroad.

In the past, the DS-156K might have also been utilized in a K3 Visa application pending before a US Consulate or US Embassy. However, the National Visa Center announced this year that many of the K3 visa applications will be “administratively closed” in cases where the underlying I-130 petition (used for spouse visas such as the CR1 Visa and the IR1 Visa) arrives at NVC simultaneously or prior to the arrival of the I-129f petition for a K3 visa.

In the context of the K1 visa, this request for comments would appear to be an attempt by the State Department to assess the utility of the DS-156K in an effort to streamline the processing of future K visa applications. How the comments will ultimately be used remains to be seen, but any attempt to make the visa process more efficient should be greeted positively by this author as the visa process can sometimes prove to be confusing and cumbersome those American Citizens wishing to bring a loved one to the United States.

For further information please see: K1 Visa Thailand or K3 Visa Thailand.

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16th July 2010

This blog is dedicated to providing relevant information for those with pending Immigration petitions before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). With that in mind, it is particularly important to provide relevant information to military personnel who have a spouse or loved one processing through the American Immigration system. This author recently discovered that USCIS has posted a set for frequently asked questions  (and their answers) regarding the US Immigration process for military personnel and their families. Below is a list of Questions and Answers promulgated by USCIS and distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

Questions and Answers for Members of the Military


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers immigration services and resources specifically for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families who are stationed in the United States and abroad. USCIS established a military assistance team to ensure that the military community receives quick and secure access to accurate information. Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions received by our military assistance team.


Adjustments


Q. What is the fee for the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) filed by spouses of military members?


A. The filing fee for the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) is $675 ($595 plus a biometrics fee of $80). Individuals who submit FD-258 Fingerprint Cards directly to USCIS with their applications are not required to pay the biometrics fee. Applicants filing from within the United States should submit a single check or money order of $675 made payable to Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Q. I am a military member stationed abroad with my dependents. Can my dependents have their naturalization interviews conducted overseas?


A. Yes. Certain spouses or children of service members residing abroad with that service member (as authorized by official orders) may be eligible to become naturalized citizens without having to travel to the United States for any part of the naturalization process. Please see “Fact Sheet: Requirements for Naturalization Abroad by Spouses of Members of the U.S. Armed Forces” and “Overseas Naturalization Eligibility for Certain Children of U.S. Armed Forces Members” on www.uscis.gov/military for more information.


If you have an appointment for a naturalization interview and you have transferred overseas, contact USCIS by calling the Military Help Line by telephone: 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) or email: militaryinfo.nsc@dhs.gov and request to have your case transferred to your nearest USCIS overseas office.


Submitting Biometrics


Q. I am an active duty military member and am required to submit biometrics at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC). Do I need an appointment?


A. No. Active duty military members do not need an appointment and will be accepted on a walk-in basis at any ASC in the United States. You should bring your military ID with you to the ASC.


Q. Can I submit fingerprints before I file the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)?


A. Yes. You may submit fingerprints even if you have not yet submitted an Application for Naturalization.


Q. Where can military members or dependents that are living abroad go to have the fingerprints taken?


A. Military members and dependents stationed abroad can submit 2 properly completed FD-258 Fingerprint Cards taken by the Military Police, Department of Homeland Security officials or U.S. Embassy or Consulate officials.


Q. If my military installation does not use FD-258, can I submit another type of fingerprint document instead?


A. FD-258 is the preferred document used to submit fingerprint, however USCIS may be able to accept a comparable document, such as the Department of Defense SF-87, in place of the FD-258. Please contact the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) for more information.


General Information
Q. What are the criteria to have an application or petition expedited for military personnel?


A. USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of situations that may
qualify for expedited processing include:
• Pending military deployment
• Extreme emergent situation
• Humanitarian situation
Please contact your local USCIS office or the USCIS Military Help Line at 1 877 CIS 4MIL (1-877-
247-4645) for more information.


Q. I am an active duty military member stationed abroad. How do I check the status of my application?


A. You can check their status of any application by clicking on the “Check My Case Status” link on the right-hand side of this page. Note: when checking the status of an I-751, you must use the receipt number from the ASC appointment notice. You may also call the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645).

It is admirable that USCIS took the time to provide this information to those serving in the American military. Many feel that one of the positive aspects of the US immigration system is the care and attention provided to members of the Armed Services and their families.

For information about Immigration options for Thai spouses and Fiances of US Citizens please see: US Marriage Visa or Fiance Visa Thailand.

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27th May 2010

For those who bring a foreign fiance or fiancee to the United States of America, an often asked question is: “What if my fiancee wants to work in the USA prior to her adjustment of status?” The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. When a foreign fiancee or spouse enters the United States on a non-immigrant K1 visa or K3 Visa, the entrant is generally not authorized to take up employment in the USA until that alien either adjusts status to permanent residence (Green Card) or obtains employment authorization. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that, in an effort to decrease immigration fraud, new Employment Authorization Documents are to be issued. The following is a direct quote from USCIS’s official statement:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card.. This update to the EAD is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. Starting May 11, USCIS began issuing the revised EAD cards. The machine-readable zone is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. USCIS also removed the two-dimensional bar code on the backside of the card and moved the informational box of text to just beneath the magnetic stripe on the card. The revised card retains all of its existing security features.

In most cases, foreign fiancees or spouses of US Citizens opt to wait for permanent residence before taking up employment. However, in some instances this is not the case as there are increasing numbers of foreign fiancees and spouses who work for multi-national companies. These international businesses sometimes wish to have their non-US Citizen employee start work in the USA as soon as they can. Therefore, there are situations in which speedy employment authorization is a necessity.

In the past, K3 Visa holders could seek employment authorization at the port of entry when they entered the USA. As the K-3 Visa is being increasingly phased out, this method of receiving employment authorization is being employed less frequently. Another issue that often arises in the context of Employment Authorization is that of advance parole. Holders of a US fiance visa cannot leave the United States prior to adjustment of status and simultaneously maintain their lawful K1 status unless they apply for, and receive, an advance parole travel document.  In some cases, couples making an application for advance parole will also make an application for an EAD in order to work in the USA.

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23rd May 2010

Please be advised that the following was posted on the official website of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

Updated Warden Message: Curfew Extended, Embassy to Reopen on May 25

(May 23, 2010) This warden message alerts U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand that the Royal Thai Government through the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) has announced that it will impose a shortened curfew for at least one more day and will evaluate the need to extend the curfew on a day-to-day basis.  To find out if the Royal Thai Government has extended the curfew, please refer to local media and our website.  We will not send out another email warden message solely regarding the curfew, but will update this message on our website.

The curfew is in place tonight, Sunday, May 23 from 11:00pm to 5:00am.  This curfew applies to the Bangkok metropolitan area and to the Thai provinces listed below.  Royal Thai Government officials may change this list after this Warden Message is sent out, so please refer to media or local officials for the latest information.  Reports indicate that troops have authority to shoot on sight in response to acts of inciting unrest.  American citizens should maintain a low profile and refrain from nighttime outside activity until the situation improves.

If you will be flying out of Bangkok in the next several days, we recommend that you leave for the airport well in advance of the curfew hours.  If you are arriving at a Bangkok airport during curfew hours, we recommend that you stay at the airport until after curfew hours.  Reports indicate that Airports of Thailand (AOT) may coordinate transportation for passengers from Suvarnabhumi Airport to a few central locations in Bangkok during curfew hours.  However, they are evaluating providing this service on a day-to-day basis.  Passengers may not be able to find any transportation from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok during curfew hours and may need to wait until after curfew hours to go to Bangkok.

The U.S. Embassy, including visa operations, will be closed Monday, May 24.  We will reopen all operations, including all consular services, on Tuesday, May 25.  On Monday, May 24, American Citizen Services (ACS) will be at our temporary location at the Westin Grand Sukhumvit.  Please see details in our recent announcement. ACS is also available by phone at 02-205-4049.  For after-hours emergencies, please call 02-205-4000.


A curfew from 11:00pm to 5:00am has been declared in the following provinces:

·       Ayuthaya

·       Bangkok metropolitan area

·       Chaiyaphum

·       Chiang Mai

·       Chiang Rai

·       Chonburi

·       Kalasin

·       Khon Kaen

·       Lampang

·       Mahasarakham

·       Mukdaharn

·       Nakhon Pathom

·       Nakhon Ratchasima

·       Nakhon Sawan

·       Nan

·       Nong Bua Lamphu

·       Nonthaburi

·       Pathum Thani

·       Roi Et

·       Sakon Nakhon

·       Samut Prakarn

·       Sisaket

·       Ubon Ratchathani

·       Udon Thani

U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence with little or no warning.  U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas that may be targeted for demonstrations and to exercise caution in their movements around Bangkok.

Since May 15, 2010, the Department of State has advised U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Bangkok and all non-essential travel to the rest of Thailand.  You should review the Department’s most recent Travel Warning for Thailand.

The Department strongly encourages U.S. citizens in Thailand to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or through the State Department’s travel registration website. For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens may also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Thailand and the Worldwide Caution, located at the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.  U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas.

The American Citizen Services section of the U.S. Embassy Bangkok is located at 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.  The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049 and by e-mail at acsbkk@state.gov.  The emergency after-hours telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.

Please note that the Embassy is scheduled to resume normal operations on Tuesday May 25th. That being said, routine follow-up matters for the Immigrant Visa Unit can only be dealt with on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Therefore, document remittances in response to 221g refusals for travel documents such as the K1 visa or the CR1 Visa will likely only be accepted on Wednesday May 26, 2010.

For more information about recent Post closures in Bangkok please see: US Embassy. For information about attorney assistance with American Immigration matters please see: US Visa Thailand.

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22nd May 2010

Please be advised that the following was posted upon the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. Embassy Visa Services Closed May 24, 2010

Due to continuing security concerns in the area and access issues on Wireless Road, the U.S. Embassy is currently operating under emergency personnel staffing only.  The Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visa sections will be closed May 24, 2010.  If you have a non-immigrant visa interview appointment scheduled for May 24, 2010, your appointment will be rescheduled.  As soon as the U.S. Embassy has determined the situation to be safe for Embassy Consular staff to return to work and for visa applicants to travel to the Embassy for visa appointments, we will advise those impacted through e-mail or phone with details on new appointment dates.  Please Note:  As a large number of people have been affected by these events, and the volume of appointments that have been scheduled for the upcoming weeks, it will not be possible to consider expedited appointments.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this has caused.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reschedule my appointment?

At present, we must ask applicants with visa appointments scheduled for the period of May 14 through May 24 to wait until the Embassy has determined when that it is safe to conduct visa appointments.  All those impacted by this unexpected closure will be notified through the e-mail address or phone number provided during the visa interview appointment process.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  I have urgent travel to the United States, what can I do?

Unfortunately, due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Visa Services is currently closed.  We are unable to reschedule any visa appointments for applicants who had appointments made for the period of May 14 – May 24 and will be unable to accommodate expedited appointments.  We suggest that you make alternate travel plans.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I reschedule my appointment at another U.S. Embassy in a neighboring country?

Each U.S. Embassy has its own scheduling system and requirements for visa applicants.  Fees paid in Thailand for the visa interview cannot be used abroad.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I reschedule my appointment for the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai?

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai has its own appointment system and you must live within their consular district to schedule an appointment there.  Please see http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/ for more information.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I make a special request?

Due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Visa Services will be closed for the period of May 14 – May 24.  As such, we will be unable to reply to visa inquiries and/or special requests during that period.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our disruption of service has caused.

I am an immigrant visa applicant – can I come in for my scheduled appointment, to drop off documents, or to pick up my visa?

If you had/have an immigrant visa appointment for the period of May 14 – May 24, it will be rescheduled.  You will be contacted with a new date and time once the Embassy reopens.  If you have been told to bring in documents on Mondays or Wednesdays, or to come in to pick up your visa, please do not come in until the Embassy reopens.  Please look for announcements on the Embassy website.

The documentation mentioned above is likely referencing 221g refusals or requests for other types of documentation related to the issuance of travel documents such as, but not limited to, the K1 visa, the K3 Visa, or Immigrant visas such as the CR1 Visa and the IR1 Visa.

For further information about American attorney assistance in Immigration matters as well as Consular Processing in Bangkok, Thailand please see: US Embassy Bangkok and/or US Embassy Thailand.

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21st May 2010

To see this information in English please see: US visa denial

อย่างที่ผู้เขียนได้เคยพูดไว้ในกระทู้ก่อนๆ เหตุผลหลักๆที่ทำให้วีซ่าอเมริกาถูกปฏิเสธขึ้นอยู่กับเหตุที่ทำให้ไม่สามารถเข้าเมืองได้ ในเคสนั้นๆ เหตุหนึ่งก็คือ เจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลพบว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าทำความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม ( CIMT ) นั่นหมายความว่า บางครั้งก็เป็นเรื่องยากที่จะวินิจฉัยว่าความผิดที่ผู้ขอวีซ่ากระทำนั้นเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมหรือไม่ คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศกล่าวถึงลักษณะของความผิดที่เป็นความผิดเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมเอาไว้ ด้านล่างคือข้อความบางส่วนที่ตัดตอนมา

ข้อ9 คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศ 40.21(a) N 2.3-1 ความผิดต่อทรัพย์สิน

( CT. VISA-1318;09-24-2009 )

เอ. ความผิดทางอาญาส่วนใหญ่ที่ถือว่าเกี่ยวข้องกับศีลธรรมอันเป็นความผิดต่อทรัพย์สินได้แก่ ฉ้อโกง การกระทำความผิดฐานฉ้อโกงถือเป็นความผิดต่อศีลธรรมไม่ว่าจะเป็นการกระทำต่อบุคคลหรือความผิดต่อแผ่นดิน ความผิดฐานฉ้อโกง โดยทั่วไป

เกี่ยวกับ

(1) ทำให้บุคคลอื่นหลงเข้าใจผิด

(2) รู้ถึงข้อความที่หลอกลวงซึ่งทำขึ้นโดยตัวผู้ก่อการ

(3) เชื่อถือในสิ่งที่แสดงให้เข้าใจผิดโดยบุคคลที่ถูกหลอก

(4) เจตนาหลอกลวง และ

(5) การกระทำการฉ้อโกง

ความผิดต่อทรัพย์สินไม่เพียงเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวเนื่องด้วยศีลธรรมชนิดเดียวแต่ความผิดต่อเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐก็ถือเป็นความผิดทางอาญาที่เกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมด้วย

ข้อ9 คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศ 40.21(a) N 2.3-2 ความผิดต่อการเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐ

( CT: VISA-1318; 09-24-2009 )

เอ. ความผิดต่อเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐที่เข้ากับนิยามความผิดทางศีลธรรมได้แก่:

(1) การติดสินบน

(2) ปลอมเอกสาร

(3) ฉ้อโกงกรมสรรพากร หรือหน่วยงานราชการอื่น

(4) ฉ้อฉลทางเอกสาร

(5) ให้การเท็จ

(6) ให้ที่พักพิงแก่ผู้ร้ายหลบหนี ( โดยทราบความผิด ) และ

(7) เลี่ยงภาษี ( โดยมีเจตนา )

คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศได้กล่าวถึงกิจกรรมอีกหลายๆลักษณะที่อาจไม่ถือเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม เป็นหน้าที่ของเจ้าหน้าที่ที่พิจารณาเรื่องในการตัดสินข้อเท็จจริงของคดีและตัดสินว่าการกระทำดังกล่าวเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวเนื่องกับศีลธรรมหรือไม่ หากว่าได้กระทำความผิดจริง ก็จะต้องถูกปฏิเสธวีซ่า  ภายใต้ทฤษฎีอำนาจที่ห้ามตรวจสอบของกงสุล ( รู้จักกันในชื่อ อำนาจเด็ดขาดของกงสุล ) คำตัดสินนี้ไม่สามารถอุทธรณ์ได้ อย่างไรก็ตาม ผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่าสามารถแก้ไขปัญหาวีซ่าถูกปฏิเสธได้โดยยื่นขออภัยโทษแบบ I-601

เพื่อประโยชน์ของบางคน มีคำพิพากษาของ ศาลภาค กล่าวว่า

“คำสั่งส่งตัวออกนอกสหรัฐอเมริกาที่มีต่อ ผู้ร้อง อาร์มานโด อัลวาเรซ เรย์นากาเนื่องจากกระทำความผิดอาญาฐานรับยานพาหนะที่ขโมยมา มีความผิดตามมาตรา 496d(a) ตามประมวลกฎหมายอาญาแคลิฟอร์เนีย คำร้องของเขาขอให้พิจาณาใหม่ว่าความผิดทางอาชญากรรมที่กระทำลงนั้น เป็นความผิดตามศีลธรรมหรือไม่ เราสรุปได้ว่าเป็นความผิดฐานอาชญากรรมแต่ไม่ใช่อาชญากรรมเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม เราปฏิเสธคำร้องขอพิจารณาใหม่”

เมื่อกฎหมายเปลี่ยนแปลงไป นิยามของความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมและกิจกรรมที่อยู่ภายใต้ข้อกำหนดของความผิดอาญาทางศีลธรรมตามพระราชบัญญัติคนเข้าเมืองและสัญชาติก็เปลี่ยนแปลงไปด้วย

สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมสำหรับวีซ่าอเมริกาจากประเทศไทย โปรดดู วีซ่าอเมริกาประเทศไทย

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