Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘J-1 Visa Singapore’

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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15th January 2011

Those who have perused this web log in the past may have taken notice of the fact that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Missions in Asia in the hopes that doing so will forestall fruitless trips by Americans abroad to a closed Embassy observing an American or foreign holiday. To quote directly from the official website of the US Embassy in Singapore:

The American Embassy will observe the following American and Local Holidays.

2011

OFFICIAL DATE

U.S. HOLIDAY

LOCAL
HOLIDAY

DATE
OBSERVED

Jan. 1 New Year’s Day New Year’s Day Fri., Dec. 31
3rd Mon in Jan. Birthday  of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mon., Jan.17
Feb. 3 – 4

Chinese New Year Thurs., Feb.3

Fri., Feb.4

3rd Mon in Feb. Washington’s

Birthday

Mon., Feb.21
Apr. 22

Good Friday Fri., Apr. 22
May 1 (Sun.)

Labor Day Mon., May 2
May 17

Vesak Day Tues., May 17
Last Mon in May Memorial Day

Mon., May 30
Jul. 4 Independence Day

Mon., Jul. 4
Aug. 9

National Day Tues., Aug. 9
Aug. 30

Hari Raya Puasa Tues, Aug.30
1st Mon in Sept. Labor Day

Mon., Sept.5
2nd Mon in Oct. Columbus Day

Mon., Oct.10
Oct.26

Deepavali Wed., Oct.26
Nov. 6 (Sun)

Hari Raya Haji Mon., Nov. 7
Nov.11 Veteran’s Day

Fri., Nov. 11
4th Thurs in Nov. Thanksgiving

Thurs., Nov. 24
Dec. 25 (Sun) Christmas Christmas Mon., Dec. 26
Jan.1, 2012 (Sun) New Year New Year Mon., Jan.2, 2012

Those seeking services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional pages for a previously issued US passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction as such requests, made by those physically present abroad, are generally only processed at US Missions abroad. Making an appointment online to visit a US Mission abroad can greatly facilitate the processing of requests and \streamline the processing of an individual’s request.

Those wishing to visit the official homepage of the US Embassy in Singapore please click HERE.

Those seeking travel documents such as the B-2 visa (US tourist visa), B-1 visa (US business visa), F-1 visa (US student visa), or J-1 visa (US exchange visitor visa) are likely to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit abroad. Those seeking such travel documents should bear in mind that non-immigrant visa applications are scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those Americans seeking family based visa benefits for an immigrant spouse (CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa) will likely see their loved one process their visa application through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit abroad. For purposes of visa application processing the K1 visa, although a US fiance visa technically classified as a non-immigrant travel document, is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visa applications.

Those seeking a business or investment visa such as an E-2 visa (Treaty Investor), L-1 visa (Intra-Company Transferee) , or EB-5 visa (Immigrant Investor) are likely to be required to process an immigration petition through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to submitting a visa application abroad. In the case of the E-2 visa, those seeking such visa benefits abroad may not be required to process an immigration petition with USCIS.

For related information please see: US Visa Singapore.

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