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Posts Tagged ‘J-1 Visa Russia’

25th February 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of State has proposed a final rule which would raise some of the costs and fees associated with the J-1 visa, a travel document designed for exchange visitors wishing to visit the United States of America. To quote directly from the Federal Register’s official website FederalRegister.gov:

§ 62.17 Fees and charges.

(a) Remittances. Fees prescribed within the framework of 31 U.S.C. 9701 must be submitted as directed by the Department and must be in the amount prescribed by law or regulation...

(b) Amounts of fees. The following fees are prescribed...

(1) For filing an application for program designation and/or redesignation (Form DS-3036)—$2,700.00…

(2) For filing an application for exchange visitor status changes (i.e., extension beyond the maximum duration, change of category, reinstatement, reinstatement-update, SEVIS status, ECFMG sponsorship authorization, and permission to issue)—$233.00.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that those interested in this issue click on the links above to read the Federal Register entry in its entirety.

Those who are unfamiliar with the J-1 visa should also note that this visa category is sometimes utilized by foreign nationals wishing to act as Au pairs in the United States of America.

Pursuant to the provisions of section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Consular Officers at every US Embassy or US Consulate abroad are required to make the presumption that the applicant for a non-immigrant visa is actually an intending immigrant unless the applicant can provide evidence to overcome this presumption. This triggers a “strong ties” vs. “weak ties” analysis in the mind of the interviewing Consular officer. During such an analysis, the Consular officer will weigh the ties that the applicant has to their home country and compare these with the applicant’s ties to the United States. If the offficer feels that the applicant has stronger ties to a country abroad than to the USA, then the visa will likely be granted.

In some cases, applicants for a United States visa are denied. This would seem to happen more frequently in non-immigrant visa cases than immigrant visa cases, but this can, at least partially, be attributed to the stringent analysis that all Consular Officers must make during the adjudication of certain non-immigrant visa applications. Should a visa be denied, then it may be possible to request reconsideration of that decision. That said, appealing visa denials, especially denials pursuant to section 214(b), is difficult, if not impossible, pursuant to the doctrine of Consular Non-Reviewability (sometimes referred to as Consular Absolutism). This doctrine states that, with exceptions in rare and highly extreme circumstances, a Consular Officer’s discretion regarding the issuance of a visa is virtually absolute.

Some have pondered whether the provisions of section 214(b) applies to applicants for a K-1 visa. In point of fact, although the K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category similar to the J-1 visa; the K-1 visa applicant is not scrutinized subject to section 214(b) of the INA as the applicant for said US fiance visa is entitled to have immigrant intent at the time of the K-1 application.

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20th February 2011

The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Moscow, Russia:

American holidays that fall on weekends will be observed on either Friday or Monday. Russian holidays that fall on weekends will be observed the following workday after the holiday (usually Monday or Tuesday). In the above list, the actual date (Saturday or Sunday) appears in parentheses.

Official American and Russian Holidays for December 2010 and the Year 2011

December 24 Friday (Saturday) US Christmas Day
December 31 Friday (Saturday) US New Year’s Day
January 3 Monday R New Year’s Day
January 4 Tuesday R New Year’s Day
January 5 Wednesday R New Year’s Day
January 6 Thursday (Saturday) R New Year’s Day
January 7 Friday R Orthodox Christmas
January 10 Monday (Sunday) R New Year’s Day
January 17 Monday US Martin Luther King’s
February 21 Monday US President’s Day
February 23 Wednesday R Defender’s Day
March 7 Monday R Bridge holiday
March 8 Tuesday R Women’s Day
May 2 Monday (Sunday) R May Day
May 9 Monday R Victory Day
May 30 Monday US Memorial Day
June 13 Monday (Sunday) R Russian Independence Day
July 4 Monday US American Independence Day
September 5 Monday US Labor Day
October 10 Monday US Columbus Day
November 4 Friday R Day of Consent & Reconciliation
November 11 Friday US Veteran’s Day
November 24 Thursday US Thanksgiving Day
December 26 Monday (Sunday) US Christmas Day

Saturday, January 1, and Sunday, January 2, by Russian Law will be celebrated on Thursday, January 6, and Monday, January 10. Friday, January 7 is Russian Orthodox Christmas, and is already a holiday.

Those wishing to view the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Russia please click HERE.

Those seeking services traditionally provided by an American Citizen Services Section of a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad (such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a previously issued US Passport) may be well advised to attempt to contact the post to make an appointment for such services in advance as doing so may streamline the processing of requests.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas to the USA such as the B-2 visa (tourists), F-1 visa (students), J-1 visa (exchange visitors), or B-1 visa (business visa) are likely to see their visa application processed by a US Non-immigrant visa unit abroad. Such applications are usually processed pursuant to the language of section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents seeking immigrant spouse visas such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are likely to see their visa application processed at an Immigrant Visa Unit abroad. It should be noted that although the K-1 visa is technically a non-immigrant US fiance visa it is generally processed in much the same manner as the immigrant spouse visas.

Those seeking an EB-5 visa as a prospective immigrant investor in the USA are likely to only have a visa application processed pursuant to an approved immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The same could be said for those seeking an L-1 visa.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Russia.

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20th February 2011

Those familiar with this web log may have noticed that the administration routinely posts information pertaining to the holiday closing schedules of the various United States Missions in Asia as a courtesy to American travelers worldwide. The following 2011 holiday closing schedule is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Consulate in Vladivostok, Russia:

December 24 Friday (Saturday) US Christmas Day
December 31 Friday (Saturday) US New Year’s Day
January 3 Monday R New Year’s Day
January 4 Tuesday R New Year’s Day
January 5 Wednesday R New Year’s Day
January 6 Thursday (Saturday) R New Year’s Day
January 7 Friday R Orthodox Christmas
January 10 Monday (Sunday) R New Year’s Day
January 17 Monday US Martin Luther King’s
February 21 Monday US President’s Day
February 23 Wednesday R Defender’s Day
March 7 Monday R Bridge holiday
March 8 Tuesday R Women’s Day
May 2 Monday (Sunday) R May Day
May 9 Monday R Victory Day
May 30 Monday US Memorial Day
June 13 Monday (Sunday) R Russian Independence Day
July 4 Monday US American Independence Day
September 5 Monday US Labor Day
October 10 Monday US Columbus Day
November 4 Friday R Day of Consent & Reconciliation
November 11 Friday US Veteran’s Day
November 24 Thursday US Thanksgiving Day
December 26 Monday (Sunday) US Christmas Day

Those wishing to visit the official website of the United States Consulate are encouraged to click HERE.

Those seeking services such as the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, the addition of pages to a US Passport, or the issuance of a new US Passport are well advised to contact American Citizen Services (ACS) at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. In many cases, making an appointment with ACS prior to arrival at the Post can greatly streamline the processing of requests.

Those wishing to obtain non-immigrant visa benefits for the United States [such as a US tourist visa (B-2 visa), US student visa (F-1 visa), US business visa (B-1 visa), or a US exchange visitor visa (J-1 visa)] are likely to see their visa application processed at a non-immigrant visa unit abroad. Applicants should note that non-immigrant visa applications are generally scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those Americans wishing to obtain Immigrant spouse visa benefits (such as the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa) are likely only eligible to do so after receiving an approved immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Those seeking non-immigrant US fiance visa benefits in the form of the K-1 visa are likely to see their visa application processed in a manner similar to the Immigrant spouse visas noted above.

Those seeking immigrant investor visas such as the EB-5 visa or the L-1 visa are likely to only see their visa application processed after the approval of an immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

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