Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘I-601 Waiver Japan’

8th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued memorandum regarding the process of expediting the adjudication of I-601 waivers. To provide further insight it may be best to quote directly from the official website of USCIS, USCIS.gov:

Purpose
This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidelines on how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes requests to expedite the adjudication of Forms I-601 filed by individuals outside the United States. These guidelines will be included in the AFM Chapter 41.7 and in the revised version of International Operations Division Field Guidance for Form I-601 adjudications.
Scope
Unless specifically exempted herein, this memorandum applies to and is binding on all USCIS employees adjudicating Forms I-601 filed by individuals outside the United States.
Authority
8 CFR 212.7 governs USCIS adjudication of Form I-601.
Background
It has been USCIS’s longstanding policy to accept requests to expedite processing of petitions or applications where the applicant or the petitioner demonstrates reasons that merit expedited processing of a petition or application. Consistent with this policy, an applicant may request that the adjudication of a Form I-601 be expedited. Requests to expedite in the Form I-601 adjudication context present unique challenges. Almost all Form I-601 applicants outside the United States have an interest in expeditious processing given that most are required to establish extreme hardship to a qualifying family member in order for USCIS to consider whether to exercise its discretion to waive the bar to an applicant’s entry into the United States. However, some applicants may be experiencing extraordinary circumstances that present the kind of compelling and urgent, time-sensitive reasons that merit expedited processing of a Form I-601. This memorandum provides guidelines on responding to requests to expedite Forms I-601 filed by applicants overseas. Policy Subject to case management requirements and resource constraints, USCIS managers overseas may, in extraordinary circumstances, exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis to approve a request to expedite adjudication of a Form I-601.1 The strong desire to immigrate to the United States as soon as possible is not by itself “extraordinary.” The types of extraordinary circumstances that may, generally, merit expedited processing are those in which there are time-sensitive and compelling situations that necessitate the applicant’s presence in the United States sooner than would be possible if the application were processed under normal processing times…

For those who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to United States Immigration it should be noted that the I-601 waiver is often utilized as a remedy for those who have been found inadmissible to the United States or ineligible to receive a US visa (such as a K-1 visa [fiance visa], CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa) during Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

The I-601 waiver is sometimes confused with the I-212 waiver (also referred to as an application for advance permission to reenter the United States). However, the I-601 waiver and the I-212 waiver are two different application categories which are somewhat similar, but not exactly alike.

For related information please see: Legal.

more Comments: 04

29th January 2011

The administration of this web log routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various US Missions in the Asia-Pacific region as a courtesy to travelers abroad who may need services from a US Embassy or US Consulate while overseas. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan:

The Embassy will be closed to the public in observance of the following United States and Japanese holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1, 2011 Saturday (Observed on Fri., Dec. 31)
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Jan. 17 Monday
National Foundation Day Feb. 11 Friday
Washington’s Birthday Feb. 21 Monday
Vernal Equinox Day March 21 Monday
Golden Week Holidays April 29, May 3-5 Friday, Tuesday – Thursday
Memorial Day May 30 Monday
Independence Day July 4 Monday
Marine Day July 18 Monday
Labor Day Sept. 5 Monday
Autumn Equinox Day Sept. 23 Friday
Columbus Day/Sports Day Oct. 10 Monday
Veterans Day Nov. 11 Friday
Labor Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23 Wednesday
Thanksgiving Day Nov.24 Thursday
Emperor’s Birthday Dec.23 Friday
Christmas Day Dec. 25 Sunday (Observed on Mon., Dec. 26)

Note:

The Embassy will remain open for the following three Japanese holidays in 2011:

Adult’s Day Jan. 10 Monday
Respect for the Aged Day Sept. 19 Monday
Culture Day Nov. Thursday

Those wishing to view the official homepage of the US Embassy in Japan please click HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided by a US Mission abroad such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a US Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Mission with appropriate Consular jurisdiction. In some cases, it may be possible to set an appointment with the Post in advance over the internet. Setting an appointment in advance can greatly streamline the processing of requests as Consular Officers are often better able to anticipate one’s needs.

Those seeking non-immigrant visa benefits such as a US tourist visa (B-2), US student visa (F-1), US exchange visitor visa (J-1), or US business visa (B-1) are likely to see their visa application processed at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. It should be noted that non-immigrant visa applicants are scrutinized subject to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those American Citizens seeking American family visa benefits for a Japanese spouse such as a CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa are generally required to process and receive approval of a United States immigration petition prior to processing a US visa application at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. It should be noted that for processing purposes, the K-1 visa, although a US fiance visa, is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visa categories.

Those seeking US business visa benefits such as E-2 visa benefits for certain qualified traders, L-1 visa benefits for intra-company transferees of multi-national corporations, or EB-5 visa benefits for immigrant investors are likely to be required to process, and receive approval of, an immigration petition prior to application for visa benefits at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

Those denied a US visa may be able to still ultimately obtain visa benefits through use of an I-601 waiver of a finding of inadmissibility or through use of an I-212 waiver (depending on the reason for denial). However, all cases must be analyzed based upon the unique set of facts in the case in order to make a determination as to the eligibility of an applicant for any immigration waiver.

Japan currently participates in the visa waiver program. That said, those wishing to travel to the US on their Japanese passport utilizing the visa waiver program must register online via the electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA) system prior to traveling to the USA.

For related information please see: US Visa Japan.

more Comments: 04

2nd November 2010

It recently came to the attention of this blogger that the Ombudsman for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has made some recommendations regarding the processing procedures associated with the I-601 waiver. To quote directly from a recent Memorandum sent to CIS Ombudsman January Contreras from USCIS Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas:

The CIS Ombudsman recommends that USCIS:

• Centralize processing of all Forms 1-601 to deliver faster and more standardized
adjudication; .

• Provide for concurrent filing of Form 1-601 and Form 1-130, Petition for Alien Relative;

• Prioritize the finalization of its overseas case management system (currently in
development) to provide for accurate statistical reporting of Forms.1-601, allowing for:
(1) posted processing times, and (2) tracking via the “My Case Status” feature on the
USCIS website;

• Publish clear filing instructions to guide customers in need of expedited Form 1-601
processing;

• Improve coordination between DOS consular· officers and USCIS adjudicators who work
with Forms 1-601 at CDJ; and,

• Amend CDJ’s office policy to allow USCIS employees to request digitized Alien Files
(A-files) upon receipt of interview schedules.

Some of these issues have been raised by those with cases pending before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service or a US Embassy or US Consulate overseas. The aforementioned memorandum is quite extensive and those interested in learning further should check out the full memo online. That said, USCIS responded to many of the issues raised by the Ombudsman. For example, the memo noted the following:

1. Centralize processing of all Forms 1-601 to deliver faster and more standardized adjudication.

USCIS Response: USCIS agrees in part.

USCIS is currently evaluating different organizational models for processing Forms 1-601 filed overseas, with the aim of enhancing consistency and efficiency, optimizing use of USCIS resources, and further decreasing processing times for cases that cannot be quickly approved. While centralization is one model that could further these goals; other models, such as bispecialization (i.e.,processing particular forms in two locations only), may have some advantages…

The memorandum went on to reply further:

2. Provide for concurrent filing of Form 1-601 and Form 1-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

USCIS Response: USCIS is considering this recommendation.

In April 2010, USCIS formed a working group under the leadership of the Office of Policy and Strategy to explore concurrent filing and any possible challenges to implementation. Because the change in our process could result in unanticipated complications, it would have to be done in a manner that carefully manages applicant expectations and USCIS resources. The working group is focused on evaluating the feasibility and benefits of the potential process change…

This suggestion could prove interesting in practice as the dynamics of concurrent filing may not be feasible. As the tone of the above citation implies, there may be a great deal of study before such a suggestion could be acted upon. Meanwhile, under the current processing scheme those who need an I-601 waiver outside of the United States must first be deemed inadmissible in a visa adjudication conducted by a Consular Officer at a US Mission, US Embassy, or US Consulate abroad. Therefore, simultaneous application submission as suggested above may not comport with current processing procedures.

3. Prioritize the finalization of its overseas case management system (currently in development) to provide for accurate statistical reporting of Forms 1-601, allowing for: (1) posted processing times, and (2) tracking via the “My Case Status” feature on the USCIS website.

USCIS Response: USCIS agrees.

USCIS is pleased to report that the USCIS overseas case management system, which has been an Agency priority over the course of FY2010, was released for use by all International Operations staff on August 16, 2010.

Hopefully, measures such as those noted above will lead to further streamlining of the overall United States Immigration process.To quote the memorandum further:

4. Publish clear filing instructions to guide Customers in need of expedited Form 1-601 processing.

USCIS Response: USCIS agrees.

USCIS is in the process of updating its International Operations Division’s standard operating guidance on Form 1-601 adjudications to address requests for expedited processing.

Hopefully, new guidance about expedited processing will assist petitioners and beneficiaries in understanding how to go about requesting expedited processing in cases where such service is warranted.

5. Improve coordination between DOS consular officers and USCIS adjudicators who work with Forms 1-601 at CDJ.

USCIS Response: USCIS agrees.

USCIS agrees that DOS consular officers and USCIS adjudicators should maintain close coordination at CDJ and all other overseas posts. All USCIS overseas offices closely collaborate with their DOS colleagues. In CDJ, DOS consular officers and USCIS adjudicators discuss shared concerns every day. The USCIS CDJ Field Office Director and the Immigrant Visa Chief also maintain daily contact…

In many ways, cooperation between officers at different government agencies represents one of the best hopes for an overall streamlining of the visa process. Although, those interested in understanding the I-601 waiver process should note that there are some functions that must be performed by Consular Officers and some that must be performed by USCIS Officers. In any case, effective communication between multiple individuals and agencies is likely to result in more convenience for those seeking an immigration benefit.

6. Amend CDJ’s office policy to allow USCIS employees to request digitized Alien Files (Afiles) upon receipt of interview schedules.

USCIS Response: USCIS agrees in part.

USCIS agrees that A-file records (whether digitized or hard copy) should be requested early in the adjudication process and is evaluating procedures to achieve this goal without significantly delaying the process.

Although digitized records represent further efficiency, it may take time to implement the recommendation noted above.

The process of obtaining a visa or an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility can be difficult to understand for those unaccustomed to the immigration process. In many cases where involving I-601 waivers, individuals or couples sometimes opt to retain the assistance of an American attorney experienced in United States Immigration matters as such individuals are licensed to provide advice and counsel in matters pertaining to US travel documents and waivers of inadmissibility to the USA.

Fore related information please see: US Visa Denial or K1 visa.

more Comments: 04

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.