Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-1 Visa Hong Kong’

25th March 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may be changing some of the procedures associated with the processing of immigration petitions pertaining to the application for issuance of the CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, K-1 visa, and K-3 visa filed by United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. To quote directly from a recent USCIS Memo posted on ILW.com:

This memorandum provides guidance to USCIS service centers regarding changes in the handling of all stand-alone I-130 and I-129F petitions filed by petitioners who have been convicted of any “specified offense against a minor” under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (“Adam Walsh Act” or “AWA”) and related issues.1 This memorandum applies only to petitions that are adjudicated at the service centers and not to petitions adjudicated at USCIS field offices.

Generally I-130 petitions (the categorical designation used to refer to the petition for a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa) are processed by the USCIS Service Center designated by the lockbox upon receipt. In some cases, it may be possible to process an I-130 petition at one of the various USCIS field offices located abroad, such as the USCIS office in Bangkok. The I-129f petition (categorical designation used to denote the US fiance visa or K1 visa) can only be processed at a USCIS Service Center in the USA as the field offices overseas do not process such petitions as of the time of this writing. To quote further from the previously mentioned memorandum:

USCIS will centralize at VSC all files currently at service centers if the service center adjudicator has made a preliminary determination that the petition warrants review as an AWA-related case. The VSC will serve as a central clearinghouse for inquiries from Federal, State, and local agencies regarding AWA-related cases that are pending or were recently adjudicated at one of the four service centers [hereafter referred to as “originating service center” or “sending service center”]. While AWA-related cases require special handling, the decision to centralize AWA-related adjudications at the VSC will affect caseloads at other service centers only minimally.

Clearly, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is making policy changes in an effort to take steps to more efficiently process cases requiring further scrutiny pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act (AWA). In a way, the Vermont Service Center’s role in AWA-related cases is somewhat similar to the role of the National Visa Center in the overall US visa process as that agency is tasked with acting as a sort of clearinghouse for visa applications arriving from USCIS and being processed out to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Although, NVC is under the authority of the Department of State whereas the Vermont Service Center (like the other USCIS Service Centers) is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS.

For related information please see: Adam Walsh Act.

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1st March 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will be changing their procedures in matters pertaining to address changes. To quote directly from the website of the Division of International Services NIH Office of Research Services:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced new mailing addresses for submitting the Form AR-11. The form must now be mailed to an office in Kentucky, and not to the USCIS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Forms submitted via the U.S. Postal Service should be sent to:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Change of Address
P.O. Box 7134
London, KY 40742-7134

Forms submitted via commercial overnight or freight services should be sent to:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Change of Address
1084-I South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

Any forms previously mailed to the USCIS Headquarters will be forwarded to the Kentucky office. A new version of the Form AR-11, which includes the new mailing addresses, has been issued and is now available on the usCIS website (click here to download a copy of the form). Additional information on the change of address is available here on the USCIS website.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers click on the above link to read the full announcement.

This issue could be of particular importance for those who have recently filed a petition for immigration benefits and subsequently moved their place of residence. Also, those who enter the United States of America in K-1 visa status (the categorical name for the US fiance visa) should take note of the above announcements as K-1 visa holders are required to submit an application for adjustment of status in order to be granted lawful permanent residence in the USA. In some cases, a bi-national couple may find that they need to change their address while the adjustment of status is pending. Failure to advise the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of such a change could result in processing delays or a situation in which a couple is not notified of an upcoming adjustment of status interview. This could result in the couple missing said interview and the K-1 fiancee falling out of status due to a deficient adjustment. For these reasons, keeping USCIS abreast of one’s address while a petition is pending is very prudent.

In a recent posting on this blog it was also noted that the USCIS has recently changed their policy regarding employment authorization and advance parole. The service is apparently issuing advance parole on the same document that grants employment authorization prior to adjustment. Advance parole is a benefit that can be granted to those holding K-1 visa status which allows the visa holder to leave the country while an adjustment is pending. Failure to obtain advance parole prior to leaving the USA could result in the K-1 visa beneficiary falling out of status and thereby requiring the process to be restarted all over again.

For related information please: K1 Visa Thailand.

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2nd January 2011

Those who may have seen this blog previously might have taken notice of the fact that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of US Missions in the Asia-Pacific regions in an effort to provide a courtesy to those with business at an American Mission abroad. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the US Consulate in Hong Kong (Special Autonomous Region of the Peoples’ Republic of China)   with American Consular jurisdiction over the Special Autonomous Region of Macau:

The following list includes all official holidays (both U.S. and Hong Kong) for 2011.

Saturday, January 1
(observed Friday, December 31)
New Year’s Day A
Monday, January 17 Martin Luther King’s Birthday A
Thursday, February 3 Lunar New Year’s Day L
Friday, February 4 Second day of the Lunar New Year L
Monday, February 21 President’s Day A
Tuesday, April 5 Ching Ming Festival L
Friday, April 22 Good Friday L
Monday, April 25 Easter Monday L
Monday, May 2 The day following Labor Day L
Monday, May 30 Memorial Day A
Monday, June 6 Tuen Ng Festival L
Friday, July 1 Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day L
Monday, July 4 Independence Day A
Monday, September 5 Labor Day A
Tuesday, September 13 The day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival L
Wednesday, October 5 Chung Yeung Festival L
Monday, October 10 Columbus Day A
Friday, November 11 Veterans Day A
Thursday, November 24 Thanksgiving Day A
Sunday, December 25
(observed Monday, December 26)
Christmas Day A/L
Tuesday, December 27 Second Week-Day after Christmas Day L

A – American Holiday/L – Local Holiday

Notes:  Three local holidays falling on Saturdays are not included in the 2011 holiday schedule (the third day of the Lunar New Year, February 5, the day following Good Friday, April 23 and National Day, October 1)

Those seeking services such as the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or addition of new visa pages to a previously issued US passport are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Embassy, Consulate, American Institute, or Mission with Consular jurisdiction over the geographical area in which one is located.

Those seeking the homepage of the official website of the United States Consulate: Hong Kong & Macau please click HERE.

Those interested in retaining advice and counsel regarding United States Immigration matters are well advised to contact a licensed American Attorney in order to be apprised of the practical implications of the application of relevant United States immigration law.

Those seeking family based visas typically process their visa application through an Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission abroad, for purposes of visa application processing US fiance visa applications (the K-1 visa category) are treated in essentially the same manner as Immigrant visa categories like the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa categories.

Business and Investment visa applications for visa categories such as the L-1 visa and the EB-5 visa are typically processed after the adjudication of an initial immigration petition at the American Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Those seeking non-immigrant visas to the USA under visa categories such as the B-2 (US Tourist Visa), B-1 (US Business Visa), F-1 (US Student Visa), J-1 (US Cultural Exchange Visitor) categories are generally required to process their visa application through a Non-immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission in their jurisdiction.

For related information please see: US Visa China.

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