Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

11th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Homeland Security is to place Thailand on a sort of “risk list” pertaining to terrorism. In order to provide further details on this situation it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Nation, NationMultimedia.com:

A recent announcement by the US Department of Homeland Security said that Thailand will be on a new terrorism-risk list. The department has classified Thailand among countries that are known to “promote, produce or protect terrorist organisations or their members”. Spokeswoman for the department Gillian Christensen said in a written statement that countries “may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself”. Along with Thailand, three other US allies placed on the risk list are Egypt, Israel and the Philippines. In all there are 36 countries on this list of so-called Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that “promote, produce, or protect terrorists”. Citizens from countries on this list who wish to travel to the US will be required to submit to a new “Third Agency Check”. In real terms, it could very well mean additional security check or possibly stricter rules for Thai citizens requesting visas to the US…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this story in detail.

As noted in the aforementioned quotation, the ramifications of these developments could ultimately result in delayed processing of visas such as the K-1 visa, the CR-1 visa, and the IR-1 visa for fiancees and spouses of American Citizens. Meanwhile, those seeking employment or investment based visas such as the EB-5 visa or the L-1 visa may see further processing delays in matters where a visa is being sought through the US Embassy Thailand. Finally, it could be inferred that these developments will have an impact upon those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B-1 visa, the B-2 visa, the F-1 visa, or the J-1 visa. Bearing all of this in mind, it remains to be seen how this announcement will actually effect the overall visa process.

In related news it was recently noted that the Royal Thai Immigration Police may be stringently enforcing immigration regulations with respect to the ED visa. In order to expound further upon these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Pattaya Times, Pattaya-Times.com:

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown. “Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated…

This blogger asks readers to click on the links above to read this interesting article in detail.

There are many types of Thai visas including, but not limited to the Thai business visa and the Thai retirement visa. Although neither of these visa categories are of issue in the aforementioned quotation. Clearly, the events noted above could have implications for those who stay in Thailand on a Thai Education visa. That said, those actually utilizing an ED visa for educational pursuits are unlikely to be adversely impacted by this new policy. However, the overall impact of this new policy remains to be seen.

For information related to legal services in Thailand please see: Legal.

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20th May 2011

It recently came to the attention of this blogger that the United States Supreme Court may be hearing a case pertaining to issues surrounding the issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Such documents are generally issued by Consular Officers of the Department of State at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.  To quote directly from a May 2nd posting by Lyle Denniston on ScotusBlog at scotusblog.com:

Stepping into a significant test of the President’s foreign policy powers, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether Congress had the authority to dictate how the Executive Branch makes out birth certificates for U.S. citizens born abroad — in this case, in Jerusalem, a city that the U.S. government does not recognize as an official part of Israel.  At issue is the validity of a nine-year-old law in which Congress aimed to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  That dispute came in one of two cases the Court agreed on Monday to hear, at its next Term.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click the hyperlinks above to read this posting on ScotusBlog in its entirety as it cogently provides information about what could prove to be a very pertinent issue in the days and weeks ahead.

Although the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad may seem innocuous, especially to American Citizens who do not have a great deal of international experience; but it should be noted that this document is very important as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad documents the fact that an American Citizen was born overseas. This document is thereby used to obtain a US passport as well as other documentation. To continue quoting from the aforementioned article:

After State Department officials refused to fill out a report on the foreign birth of a boy born in 2002 in a Jerusalem hospital to show that his birthplace was “Israel,” his parents sued, seeking to enforce the 2002 law that ordered the State Department to do just that, when asked to do so.   A federal judge and the D.C. Circuit Court refused to decide the case, saying the controversy was a “political question” that the courts had no authority to resolve.

The law noted above attempts to deal with a somewhat difficult issue as Jerusalem is not technically considered to be part of the Greater State of Israel. In order to provide more insight on this complex issue it may be best to quote directly from the preamble to the opposition’s brief in this case:

QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the dismissal of petitioner’s suit seeking to compel the Secretary of State to record “Israel” as his place of birth in his United States passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad, instead of “Jerusalem,” when the panel unanimously agreed that the decision how to record the place of birth for a citizen born in Jerusalem in official United States government documents is committed exclusively to the Executive Branch by the Constitution.

The administration urges readers to click on the hyperlink noted above to read the opposition’s brief in detail.

It would appear to this blogger as though the issues in this case are likely to result in any finding having tremendous ramifications. This is due to the fact that there really are two important notions in competition. Namely, the right of the individual or family to choose the manner in which a report of birth abroad is promulgated and the right of the Executive Branch to conduct foreign policy.

It remains to be seen how the Court will rule on these issues, but one this is certain: cases involving a “political question” often make for the most interesting decisions.

For related information please see: Certificate of Citizenship or Legal.

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