Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘IR1 Visa Thailand’

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.

more Comments: 04

6th April 2012

The administration of this web log routinely posts the estimated case processing times of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in order to provide pertinent information to interested parties. The following estimated processing times are quoted directly from the official website of USCIS:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 June 22, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 January 13, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 May 22, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 15, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister February 11, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications February 24, 2007
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 8 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 September 12, 1997

 

Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 November 9, 2011
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child October 2, 2010
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child October 2, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister 5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal May 3, 2010
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants April 2, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) May 3, 2010
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers April 2, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications June 2, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago August 16, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution June 4, 2011
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] August 9, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] August 9, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] October 17, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] August 9, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization August 9, 2011
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition May 31, 2011
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad November 20, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. November 20, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. October 16, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers December 18, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process November 27, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child June 17, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 January 9, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister November 13, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document August 2, 2011
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit August 2, 2011
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal May 2, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants April 17, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) April 17, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers June 5, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications August 14, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 8 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents June 20, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] December 25, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] October 31, 2010
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] January 6, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program July 16, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing October 31, 2010
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 6 Months
I-914 Application for T Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of trafficking in persons, and immediate family July 25, 2011
I-918 Petition for U Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and their qualifying family May 23, 2011
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
N-643 Application for Certification of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship on behalf of an adopted child 5 Months

It should be noted that these processing time estimates may not accurately reflect the overall time it takes to process an entire case as further time may be expended processing a case through the National Visa Center (NVC). Furthermore, those awaiting a US visa (such as a K-1 visa or a CR-1 visa) outside of the United States will likely be required to undergo Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad  before prospective issuance.

For related information please see: K1 visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

6th December 2010

In an interesting recent decision by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit the Court found that they indeed have the prerogative to review and rescind an I-130 denial. The following is a direct quotation from the Court’s opinion which was distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

In addition, interpreting the statutory language as the government advocates would force this court to classify every decision involving fact-finding by the Attorney General as discretionary and would remove all such decisions from judicial review. That is not a reasonable interpretation in light of the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act itself setting forth our standard of review for factual determinations in removal proceedings.

As one could likely gather from the above cited quote, the United States government’s position regarding denial of I-130 petitions basically could have created a situation in which Courts would not be able to review the decisions made by adjudicators at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It was interesting that the Court was not persuaded by this argument and reviewed the decision notwithstanding government objection.

For those who are unaccustomed to the US visa process, the I-130 petition is generally the first step in bringing an alien immediate relative to the USA. This petition is often utilized by those wishing to bring a foreign spouse to the United States. In cases where the I-130 petition is approved, the case file is usually forwarded on to the United States National Visa Center (NVC) which is an agency under the jurisdiction of the American State Department. The NVC acts as a sort of clearinghouse for visa applications. Therefore a Vietnamese spouse will likely process his or her visa application at the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City via the NVC. Meanwhile, a Thai spouse will likely process his or her visa application through the US Embassy in Bangkok by way of the National Visa Center. Chinese spouses may process through one of the many US Consulates in China or the US Embassy in Beijing. The same can be said for India as the US Missions in both countries have dramatically changes Consular Processing procedures to provide more convenient options to American visa seekers after NVC processing.

The issue of judicial review in matters pertaining to United States immigration is a complicated one. Therefore, differing aspects of the US visa process may be subject to varying levels of judicial review depending upon the circumstances of a given case. For this reason some bi-national couples opt to retain attorney assistance in processing visa petitions and applications as a licensed professional can provide significant insight into overall processing procedures and provide strategies for streamlining the visa process.

Fore related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand, IR1 Visa Thailand, or CR1 Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

13th June 2010

With the recently announced fee increases associated with K visa applications filed overseas, there are many who feel that serious thought should be given to the type of visa a couple should petition to obtain. In the past, many couples who were thinking of marriage opted to apply for a US fiance visa, also referred to as a K1 visa. That being said, it was recently announced that the application fee for all K visas sought overseas would be increased from $131 to $350. Apparently, the resources accrued are to be used in furtherance of fraud prevention measures as well as implementation of measures meant to streamline the overall visa process. As the fee increase was only recently announced, it remains to be seen how newly acquired fees will be used on the Consular level. With that in mind, it has also been recently announced that USCIS may be raising fees for Immigrant visa petitions. For those who are unfamiliar with this blog, it should be noted that for purposes of traveling to the USA, the K1 visa and the K3 Visa are considered to be immigrant visas even though they do not automatically confer lawful permanent residence to the bearer upon entry in the USA.

Those seeking a US visa would be prudent to seriously consider their options because the costs associated with the process of applying for and obtaining a CR1 visa or an IR1 visa may be lower in some cases when compared to the costs associated with the K1 visa process. When viewed from a long term perspective the CR1 visa, although more time consuming to obtain, confers lawful permanent residence to the bearer upon entry and thereby negates the necessity of adjustment of status which is necessary for those who travel to the US on a K1 visa with the intent to marry the Petitioner and remain in the USA permanently.

In most cases, those wishing to bring a spouse to the USA are wise to bear in mind the fact that K3 visa applications, once a popular travel document for bi-national married couples, are now being administratively closed by the National Visa Center if the underlying I-130 is approved prior to, or at the same time as, the I-129f application. This has lead to many instances of spouses being required by circumstance to process a CR1 or IR1 visa rather than a K3 visa because the NVC simply will not process the K3 application.

For those interested in further information about US Immigration please see: American Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

6th May 2010

Few people realize that Puerto Rico is, for immigration purposes, part of the United States of America. This legal posture is enshrined in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. In a recent posting on the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Website it was announced that the Puerto Rican authorities will be making sweeping changes to the rules effecting the issuance of birth certificates:

The government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico.

The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.

Under the new law, all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated so that new, more secure certificates can be issued. Until that date, all birth certificates will remain valid.

It is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1.  It is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes need request a new birth certificate right away.

As many may be aware, birth certificates are an integral component of many visa petition packages. This is particularly true for K1 visa petitions, K3 Visa petitions, IR1 and CR1 visa petitions. How these proposed chages will impact immigration to the United States from abroad, and from Puerto Rico, remains to be seen, but it is clear that government officials are taking the issue of fraud prevention seriously.

Birth certificates are such an important piece of documentation that some believe that it is clearly self evident that maintaining the integrity of such documents is vitally important in maintaining security in the United States of America. In the 50 United States, there have been innumerable programs that are intended to make it more difficult for individuals to obtain fraudulent documentation. It would appear that this overall policy is being extended to US territorial possessions in order to provide increased document security in the outlying jurisdictions of the United States of America.

For more information about births overseas and obtaining birth registration documentation from abroad please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For information about registering Thai births overseas please see: Thai Consular Report of Birth Abroad.


more Comments: 04

21st April 2010

For information in English please see: National Visa Center.

NVC คืออะไร?

กระบวนการขอรับผลประโยชน์จากการเข้าเมืองของสหรัฐอเมริกาอาจจะยุ่งยากเป็นบางครั้ง แต่โดยภาพรวมแล้วหากว่าเข้าใจขั้นตอนหรือมีการจ้างทนายความผู้มีประสบการณ์ก็อาจจะทำให้ง่ายขึ้น

คำถามที่พบบ่อยๆเกี่ยวกับกระบวนการขอวีซ่าก็คือ NVC คืออะไรและมีหน้าที่อะไร NVC ย่อมาจากศูนย์วีซ่าแห่งชาติ ซึ่งเป็นหน่วยงานรัฐภายใต้อำนาจของกระทรวงต่างประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา NVC มีสำนักงานอยู่ที่ Portsmouth มลรัฐ New Hampshire อำนาจของ NVC คือการดำเนินการคำขอวีซ่าและทำให้แน่ใจว่าคำขอวีซ่าจะถูกส่งต่อไปยังหน่วยงานที่อยู่ในพื้นที่ผู้รับผลประโยชน์มีภูมิลำเนาอยู่

NVC ยังรับผิดชอบในการรวบรวมค่าธรรมเนียมวีซ่าถาวร และเอกสารสำคัญที่จำเป็นต้อเจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลในการพิจารณาคำขอ

กระบวรการดำเนินการของ NVC วีซ่าไม่ถาวรและวีซ่าถาวร

การดำเนินการของ NVC นั้นยุ่งยากและใช้เวลาค่อนข้างมากกว่าสำหรับวีซ่าถาวร ซึ่งตรงข้ามกับวีซ่าไม่ถาวร กิจกรรมหนึ่งที่ NVC ทำบ่อยๆก็คือการตรวจสอบด้านความมั่นคงและตรวจสอบภูมิหลังของผู้ที่มีความประสงค์จะเข้าประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา หลังจากเหตุการณ์ 11 กันยายน 2544 NVC ได้มีบทบาทสำคัญเพื่อทำให้มั่นใจว่าบุคคลเหล่านั้นจะไม่เป็นภัยต่อความมั่นคงของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา

NVC นั้นบางครั้งถูกเข้าใจสับสนกับ NBC หรือ ศูนย์ผลประโยชน์แห่งชาติซึ่งได้รับมอบหมายจาก USCIS ให้จัดการเกี่ยวกับเอกสารก่อนสัมภาษณ์สำหรับการสัมภาษณ์คนเข้าเมืองในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา

สำหรับคนที่ต้องการนำคู่หมั้นชาวไทยไปอเมริกาโดยวีซ่า K1 ขั้นตอน NVC มักจะเร็วกว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าอพยพ ซึ่งก็เป็นจริงสำหรับกรณีวีซ่า K3 จากประเทศไทยที่ยื่นคำขอเพิ่มเติม I129F ในกรณีใดๆก็ตาม เมื่อวีซ่าได้รับการอนุมัติจาก USCIS มันจะถูกส่งต่อไปยัง NVC และ เมื่อได้รับอนุมัติคำขอจะถูกส่งไปยังสถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกาหรือสถานกงสุลใหญ่

ขึ้นอยู่กับจำนวนเรื่องที่ NVC กระบวนการอาจจะใช้เวลาจาก 2 ถึง 8 สัปดาห์ ในการดำเนินการและส่งต่อเรื่องไปยังสถานทูตในต่างประเทศ อย่างไรก็ตามนี่ก็เป็นแค่ระยะเวลาโดยเฉลี่ยเท่านั้น ระยะเวลาในการดำเนินการสำหรับหน่วยงานของสหรัฐก็มักจะต่างกันไป

เมื่อยื่นคำขอที่ USCIS ในกรุงเทพมหานคร NVC จะไม่เข้ามามีส่วนในขั้นตอนใดๆเนื่องจากคำขอจะถูกส่งตรงไปยังสถานทูตอเมริกาประจำกรุงเทพมหานครซึ่งอยู่ฝั่งตรงข้ามทันที

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20th April 2010

In previous posts this author has discussed the I-130 petition for an immediate relative for a visa to the United States of America. For those present in countries that do not have an office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) it may be possible to file such a petition directly with the Consulate by utilizing a method known as Direct Consular Filing. However, in a country where an overseas office of USCIS is located it is incumbent upon to petitioner to file at the local USCIS office, provided he or she meets the residence requirements for the office to take jurisdiction. That being said, many are under the mistaken impression that only the petitioner and beneficiary, together, can submit an application. This is not necessarily the case.

8 CFR 292.1 states:

(a) A person entitled to representation [before USCIS] may be represented by any of the following:

(1) Attorneys in the United States. Any attorney as defined in §1.1(f) of this chapter.

Section 1.1(f), referenced above states:

“The term attorney means any person who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any State, possession, territory, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, and is not under any order of any court suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting him in the practice of law.”

In practical terms, this means that a licensed attorney in the United States is entitled to represent clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. There is no geographical restriction placed upon this right. Therefore, those wishing to file an I-130 to travel to the United States are entitled, as a matter of law, to attorney representation.

This can provide a real boon to those who do not wish to deal with the petition submission process. Since an attorney in entitled to act on behalf of clients in matters involving petitions for the IR1 visa and the CR1 visa in Thailand, the Petitioner and Beneficiary need simply provide required documents to their attorney and the attorney can file the petition on their behalf. In some limited cases, USCIS officers require that a Petitioner or Beneficiary appear in person regarding a pending case. Should this situation arise, the Petitioner or Beneficiary is entitled to have their attorney present for such a meeting with USCIS officers.

Unfortunately, in Thailand there are many agencies and “fly by night” operations claiming to have the right and expertise to assist in visa matters. However, many of these so-called “lawyers” are not licensed to practice law in the United States, nor in any other jurisdiction. Therefore, they cannot present an I-130 submission on behalf of another. In a way, an I-130 local filing is a “litmus test” of whether or not an individual is really an American attorney. If a so-called “attorney” requires the Petitioner and/or Beneficiary to file the I-130 personally and the so-called “attorney” is unwilling to appear personally, then this may be a sign that they are an unlicensed operator and should be avoided.

For further information please see US Visa Thailand. For further information regarding USCIS local jurisdiction please see: USCIS Bangkok.

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19th April 2010

สำหรับผู้ที่กำลังหาข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับเอกสารวีซ่าอเมริกาที่เรียกว่า Notice of Action 2 ซึ่งถูกกล่าวถึงบ่อยในกรณีที่เกี่ยวกับคำขอวีซ่าคู่สมรสและวีซ่าคู่หมั้น กะทู้นี้จะอธิบายว่า Notice of Action 2 คืออะไร และมีความหมายอย่างไรกับคำขอวีซ่าที่อยู่ระหว่างพิจารณา

เมื่อยื่นคำขอวีซ่า เอกสารตอบรับฉบับแรกที่ได้รับจาก USCIS คือใบรับเรียกว่า Notice of Action 1 ( NOA 1 ) เพื่อเป็นการแจ้งแก่ผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่าว่า USCIS ได้รับคำขอวีซ่าแล้ว มีบางกรณีที่เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้พิจารณาเรื่องเห็นว่าต้องมีการยื่นหลักฐานเพิ่มเติมก่อนที่เรื่องจะได้รับการพิจารณา ในกรณีเช่นว่านี้ คำขอหลักฐาน ( รู้จักกันในชื่อ RFE ) จะถูกส่งไปยังผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่า อย่างไรก็ตาม ในกรณีส่วนใหญ่ หลักฐานเพิ่มเติมก็ไม่มีความจำเป็นและหากว่าคำขอวีซ่าได้รับการอนุมัติแล้ว Notice of Action 2 ก็จะถูกส่งไปยังผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่า ถ้าคำขอวีซ่าถูกปฏิเสธ ก็จะมีการส่งหนังสือแจ้งไปยังผู้ยื่นเช่นกัน

แม้ว่าจะไม่ค่อยเกิดขึ้นซักเท่าไหร่สำหรับคำขอวีซ่าครอบครัว การปฏิเสธของ USCIS ก็สามารถเกิดขึ้นได้ การปฏิเสธมักเป็นผลมาจากการที่คำร้องนั้นไม่แสดงให้เห็นความสัมพันธ์อันแท้จริงระหว่างผู้ยื่นและผู้รับผลประโยชน์ในขณะที่ยื่น หรือในอีกกรณีคือการที่ยิ่นขอวีซ่าผิดประเภท การสมรสตามประเพณีไทยก็เป็นอีกสาเหตุหนึ่งที่ทำให้เข้าใจทางเลือกในการขอวีซ่าอพยพเมริกาได้อย่างผิดๆ ในประเทศไทย หากว่าการสมรสนั้นมิได้เป็นการจดทะเบียน ณ สำนักทะเบียนอำเภอ ก็ถือว่ามิได้เป็นการสมรสโดยถูกต้องตามกฎหมายในสายตาของ หน่วยงานคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาและไม่ถือว่าเป็นเหตุที่ทำให้สามารถขอวีซ่าอพยพเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาได้

ดังนั้น หากว่าคู่รักที่ได้สมรสกันอย่างไม่เป็นทางการยื่นขอวีซ่า IR 1, CR 1 หรือ K3 คำขอก็จะถูกปฏิเสธเพราะว่ามีคุณสมบัติไม่เพียงพอในการออกวีซ่าให้ อย่างไรก็ตามสำหรับคู่รักในกรณีเหล่านี้ คุณสามารถขอวีซ่า K1 ได้

หลังจากที่ USCIS ออก Notice of Action 2 ให้ คำขอจะถูกส่งต่อไปยัง National Visa Center ในกรณีที่เกี่ยวกับวีซ่าอพยพถาวร NVC จะดึงเรื่องไว้นานพอสมควร อย่างไรก็ตาม หากเป็นกรณี ของวีซ่า K1 NVC จะไม่ดึงเรื่องเอาไว้นานสักเท่าไหร่ แต่จะดำเนินการตรวจสอบทางความมั่นคงและส่งต่อเรื่องไปยังสถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกา ในกรณีคู่หมั้นชาวไทย จะมีการส่งเรื่องไปยังสถานทูตสหรับอเมริกาประจำกรุงเทพมหานคร กงสุลใหญ่ ประจำเชียงใหม่ จะไม่ดำเนินการวีซ่าอพยพถาวร

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5th January 2010

For more information about how the IR-1 visa process works please see: IR1 visa Thailand. For further information about United States Immigration, United States Visas, and United States Immigration attorneys please see: US Visa Thailand.

The IR-1 visa in 2010

As with many of the other types of American visas, the IR-1 visa process seems poised to remain largely unchanged in the year 2010. However, the dawning of a new year, and a new decade, provides this author with an opportunity to discuss the IR-1 visa and how the IR1 visa process works.

For those who are not familiar with the IR1 visa, this is an immigrant visa, sought pursuant to a filing of an I-130 application, for those who wish to travel to the United States of America in order to take up lawful permanent residence. It is a travel document similar to the CR-1 visa. That being said, there is a major difference in the type of status each document confers upon entry in the United States. An IR-1 visa provides the bearer with unconditional lawful permanent residence upon entry. Whereas the CR-1 visa only provides the bearer with conditional lawful permanent residence upon admission to the USA. This can be a crucial difference as conditional residence requires that the couple file for a lift of conditions in order for the foreign spouse to be considered an unconditional lawful permanent resident. This is a critical difference because it means that a foreign spouse who enters in CR-1 status is considered a permanent resident only so long as her marriage remains intact. A divorce or death could lead to a situation where the foreign spouse is forced to depart the United States.

Fortunately for some couples, the conditionality of permanent residence is adjudicated at admission to the United States. Therefore, those who were married less than two years when they applied may be married more than 2 years at admission. In many cases, these couples will have the foreign spouse enter in IR-1 status rather than CR-1 status in order to facilitate later convenience.

CR-1 and IR-1 visas are currently taking approximately 5 months to process through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the United States. This figure presupposes that the foreign beneficiary is a child or spouse of a United States Citizen. The process is very similar to the CR-1 visa process. That being said, there are those in Thailand who opt to submit a local filing at the USCIS office in Bangkok which can greatly reduce the processing time because USCIS: Bangkok has a much lower case load of such petitions when compared to the Service Centers in the United States of America. Also, a local filing does not process through the National Visa Center which can decrease the overall processing time as well.

In order to submit a local filing the couple must meet some fairly strict criteria, but should these requirements be met, the expedited processing time could be a virtual boon to those wishing to move quickly.

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31st December 2009

For those with relatives overseas the immigration process can at times seem interminable. In most cases, the visa process involves multiple US government agencies and can be somewhat confusing as Immigration is an area in which different regulations overlap.

Currently, there is a Bill in Congress that would reform the United States Immigration system. Many practitioners of Immigration law as well as immigrants feel as though the time has come to reform the American Immigration system. On the American Immigration Lawyers Association Leadership blog there has been a recent posting about the current state of the Immigration system, ways it can be fixed, and how all of these issues impact Americans as well immigrants. To quote directly from the blog posting:

“The crises in family and employment immigration are chronic and pressing. The backlog in family and employment waiting lines is gravely dispiriting and undermines the long-held principle of family reunification. Immigrant Visa Numbers Hopelessly Encased In Amber. The situation is deteriorating every day with more detentions, more denials, more delays, more deportations and more defective decisions. ICE has now reported 105 deaths in civil immigration custody since 2003. More Immigrant Deaths in US Detention CommonDreams.org Now is the time to turn the tide of the culture of “No” pervading our immigration system. We need to unite families and we need to keep industry vibrant and competitive.”

At present, the K1 visa process for Thai fiancees takes approximately 6-7 months from K1 visa application submission until final decision at the US Embassy in Bangkok.

The K3 visa process generally takes approximately 8 months from initial I-130 submission until the the visa interview.

It now takes about 11-12 months to process a CR-1 or IR-1 visa if the petition is filed in the United States of America.

There are some who would argue that it takes too long to obtain a US visa for an immediate relative. Others find it rather odd that a fiancee visa takes less time to process than a marriage visa. This could be attributed to the fact the K1 visa does not provide the bearer with long term lawful presence in the United States of America, but instead only provides the visa holder with 90 days status in the USA and the opportunity to adjust status to permanent residence subsequent to marriage.

The upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will be an interesting thing to watch as it will likely have a dramatic impact upon future immigrants to the United States as well as some of those currently processing through the Immigration system.

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