Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-1 Visa India’

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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14th February 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has implemented a program to issue advance parole authorization on the same document as that of employment authorization. To quote directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it is now issuing employment and travel authorization on a single card for certain applicants filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. This new card represents a significant improvement from the current practice of issuing paper Advance Parole documents.

The card looks similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but will include text that reads, “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” A card with this text will serve as both an employment authorization and Advance Parole document. The new card is also more secure and more durable than the current paper Advance Parole document.

For those who are unfamiliar with the K-1 visa process, the adjustment of status occurs after a foreign fiancee arrives in America, marries the American petitioner, and files to have their status regularized to that of Lawful Permanent Resident. The card that is given to the foreign spouse is often colloquially referred to as a “Green Card”. Prior to adjustment of status, if a foreign fiancee leaves the USA, then they will need to obtain an advance parole travel document in order to keep their visa status alive and thereby permit reentry to the USA. Failure to obtain advance parole could result in a foreign fiancee losing his or her visa upon departure from the USA and thereby compelling them to go through the whole process anew.

An employment authorization document permits foreign fiancees in the United States on a K-1 visa to work prior to being approved for Green Card status. In many instances, couples opt not to apply for employment authorization and simply await the foreign fiance’s adjustment to Lawful Permanent Residence.

Once a foreign fiance is adjusted to lawful permanent residence, he or she may still be required to eventually apply for a lift of conditions. Those in the USA as a lawful permanent resident based upon marriage are placed in conditional status for the first two years of their presence in the USA if the couple was married less than 2 years at the time they acquired lawful permanent residence.

The above analysis could be utilized for K3 visa purposes as well. However, as the K-3 visa is currently being issued in very rare instances due to administrative closure policies at the National Visa Center, this blogger only mentions this issue as an aside.

For related information please see: K-1 Visa Thailand.

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11th January 2011

Those who read this blog with any regularity may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the multiple United States Embassies and United States Consulates in Asia. This is done in an effort to hopefully forestall fruitless trips to an American Embassy abroad on a holiday. The following was quoted directly from the United States Consulate in Hyderabad, India:

DAY DATE HOLIDAY TYPE
Friday December 31, 2010* New Year’s Day (American)

Friday January 14 Sankranthi (Indian)
Monday January 17 Martin Luther’s King’s Birthday American
Wednesday January 26 Republic Day Indian
Monday February 21 Washington’s Birthday American
Monday April 4 Ugadi Indian
Friday April 22 Good Friday Indian
Monday May 30 Memorial Day American
Monday July 4 Independence Day American
Monday August 15 Independence Day Indian
Wednesday August 31 Idu’l Fitr# Indian
Thursday September 1 Ganesh Chaturthi Indian
Monday September 5 Labor Day American
Thursday October 6 Dusshera Indian
Monday October 10 Columbus Day American
Wednesday October 26 Diwali Indian
Monday November 7 Idu’Zua Indian
Friday November 11 Veterans Day American
Thursday November 24 Thanksgiving Day American
Monday December 26** Christmas Day American

* In lieu of January 1, 2011 (Saturday)

** In lieu of December 25, 2011 (Sunday)

(#)  Exact date to be confirmed according to the lunar calendar

Note: In the year 2011, one Indian National Holiday, Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, falls on Sunday. The post will observe this holiday on Sunday, October 2, 2011.

Those seeking issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or new visa pages for a previously issued United States Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. In many cases, those seeking such services can make an appointment in advance and thereby streamline the overall process.

For those wishing to visit the official homepage of the US Consulate in Hyderabad directly please click HERE.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the US tourist visa are generally required to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Consulate abroad. In virtually all cases, such applications must be scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking family based visas such as the IR-1 visa or the CR1 Visa are generally required to process such applications through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit. The K1 visa application, although technically for a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is processed in much the same manner as an Immigrant visa.

Those seeking an EB-5 visa (Immigrant Investor Visa) or an L-1 visa (intra-company transferee visa) are usually required to first obtain an approved immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

For related information please see: K1 Visa India.

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11th January 2011

The following was directly quoted from the official website of the United States Consulate in Chennai, India:

The U.S. Mission will officially observe only the holidays listed below.

Date

Day

Holiday

Type

December 31, 2010*

Friday

New Year’s Day

American

January 17

Monday

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

American

January 26

Wednesday

Republic Day

Indian

February 21

Monday

Washington’s Birthday

American

April 14

Thursday

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Birthday

(not for Karnataka)

Indian

April 22

Friday

Good Friday

Indian

May 30

Monday

Memorial Day

American

July 4

Monday

Independence Day

American

August 15

Monday

Independence Day

Indian

August 31

Wednesday

Idu’l Fitr (Ramzan)

Indian

September 1

Thursday

Vinayakar Chathurthi

Indian

September 5

Monday

Labor Day

American

October 5

Wednesday

Ayutha Pooja

Indian

October 6

Thursday

Vijaya Dasami

Indian

October 10

Monday

Columbus Day

American

October 26

Wednesday

Deepavali

Indian

November 1

Tuesday

Karnataka Rajyotsava Day

(for Karnataka only)

Indian

November 7

Monday

Idu’l Zuha (Bakrid)

Indian

November 11

Friday

Veterans Day

American

November 24

Thursday

Thanksgiving Day

American

December 26**

Monday

Christmas Day

American

* in lieu of January 1, 2011 (Saturday)
**  in lieu of December 25, 2011 (Sunday)

This blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of United States Posts abroad because this blogger has personally found himself at an American Mission that was closed due to observance of a holiday. It is hoped that by posting this information it will forestall this from happening to others in the future.

Those seeking the official homepage of the US Consulate in Chennai, India please click HERE.

Those seeking services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a previously issued American passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate. In many cases, those seeking services may book an appointment online and thereby streamline the overall processing of a request.

Those seeking a temporary visa such as a US Tourist Visa are likely to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit at a US Post abroad. Those seeking such visas are generally scrutinized pursuant to the legal presumptions imposed by section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking a US Marriage Visa for an Indian spouse are likely to process their IR-1 or CR-1 visa application through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit at a US Post abroad. In general, the K-1 visa, considered a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is treated in much the same way as immigrant visas for processing purposes.

Those wishing to acquire an EB-5 visa for investment purposes or an L-1 visa as an intra-company transferee must usually have an immigration petition approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to processing a visa application.

For related information please see: US Visa India.

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11th January 2011

The following is directly quoted from the official website of the United States Consulate in Kolkata, India:

The U.S. Consulate General, the Consular/Visa Section, the Public Affairs Office at the American Center comprising of The American Library(AIRC), USIEF(United States India Educational Foundation) and the United States Foreign Commercial Service at Kolkata, India will observe the following American and Indian holidays in the year 2011.

DATE

DAY

HOLIDAY

TYPE

December 31

Friday*

Substitute for New Year’s Day

American

January 17

Monday

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

American

January 26

Wednesday

Republic Day

Indian

February 21

Monday

Washington’s Birthday

American

April 22

Friday

Good Friday

Indian

May 30

Monday

Memorial Day

American

July 4

Monday

Independence Day

American

August 15

Monday

Independence Day

Indian

August 31

Wednesday

Id-Ul-Fitre

Indian

September 5

Monday

Labor Day

American

October 4

Tuesday

Astami – Durga Puja

Indian

October 5

Wednesday

Nabami – Durga Puja

Indian

October 6

Thursday

Dashami – Durga Puja

Indian

October 10

Monday

Columbus Day

American

October 11

Tuesday

Lakshmi Puja

Indian

October 26

Wednesday

Kali Puja

Indian
November 7

Monday

Id-Ul-Zoha

Indian

November 11

Friday

Veterans Day

American

November 24

Thursday

Thanksgiving Day

American
December 26

Monday**

Christmas Day

American


*In lieu of Saturday , 1/1/11
** In lieu of Sunday, 12/25/11

The administrator of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various United States Missions in Asia in an attempt to forestall fruitless trips by Americans abroad to a US Embassy or US Consulate only to find such Posts closed in observance of either an American or, for these purposes, Indian holiday. Those wishing to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages in a previously issued US Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate. In many cases, an appointment can be made in advance over the internet.

Those interested in visiting the official homepage of the American Consulate in Kolkata please click HERE.

Individuals seeking a temporary United States visa for tourism (B-2 visa), studying (F-1 visa), business (B-1 visa), or cultural exchange (J-1 visa) are usually required to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit of a United States Embassy or Consulate abroad. It should be noted that non-immigrant visa applicants must overcome the legal presumption enshrined in section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking an American family based visa are generally required to process their application through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit abroad after the adjudication and approval of an immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Although not technically an immigrant visa per se, the K-1 visa, a US fiance visa, is treated much the same way as an American immigrant visa for processing purposes.

Those seeking an L-1 visa or an EB-5 visa are also usually required to process an immigration petition through USCIS prior to making an application for an actual visa at a US Embassy abroad.

For related information please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

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11th January 2011

The administration of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Missions in Asia. This is done in this blogger’s attempt to provide a courtesy to American travelers abroad who may be unaware of local holidays or some of the more obscure American Federal holidays. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Consulate in Mumbai, India:

Holidays 2011

Date Day Holiday American/Indian
December 31, 2010* Friday New Year’s Day American
January 14, 2011 Friday

Makar Sankaranti (for Ahmedabad USCS only)

Indian
January 17, 2011 Monday Martin Luther King’s B’Day American
January 26, 2011 Wednesday Republic Day Indian
February 21, 2011 Monday Washington’s Birthday American
April 22, 2011 Friday Good Friday Indian
May 30, 2011 Monday Memorial Day American
July 4, 2011 Monday Independence Day American
August 15, 2011 Monday Independence Day Indian
August 19, 2011 Friday Parsi New Year Indian
August 31, 2011 Wednesday

Ramzan-Id (Id-ul-Fitar) (Not for Ahmedabad USCS)

Indian
September 1, 2011 Thursday Ganesh Chaturthi Indian
September 5, 2011 Monday Labor Day American
October 6, 2011 Thursday Dussehra Indian
October 10, 2011 Monday Columbus Day American
October 26, 2011 Wednesday Diwali (Laxmi Pujan) Indian
October 27, 2011 Thursday Diwali (Balipratipada) Indian
November 7, 2011 Monday Bakri Id (Id-ul-Zua) Indian
November 11, 2011 Friday Veteran’s Day American
November 24, 2011 Thursday Thanksgiving Day American
December 26, 2011** Friday Christmas Day American

* In lieu of January 1, 2011 (Saturday)
** In lieu of December 25, 2011 (Sunday)

Note: The Embassy and Consulates are closed to the public on the last Wednesday of every month.

Those seeking Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, US Passports, or new visa pages for a previously issued American passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest Post. In many cases, an American’s request can be better handled by making an appointment online with the local Post.

For those wishing to visit the homepage of the official website of the US Consulate in Mumbai please click HERE.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the US tourist visa (B-2 category), the US student visa (F-1 category), the US exchange visitor visa (J-1 category), and/or the US Business Visa (B-1 category) are likely required to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit at an American Post abroad. It should be noted that non-immigrant visa applicants are generally subject to Consular scrutiny pursuant to section 214(b) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act. Meanwhile, those seeking immigrant visas such as an IR-1 visa or a CR-1 visa will likely process their request through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit of a US Mission abroad. For processing purposes, the K-1 visa application, a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is treated much the same way as an immigrant visa application.

Those seeking an EB-5 visa or an L-1 visa must process an immigration petition through USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) prior to processing a visa application at a Post abroad.

For related information please see: K3 Visa India.

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11th January 2011

Those who read this web log with any frequency may have noticed that the administration tries to post the holiday closing schedules of many of the US Embassies and US Consulates in Asia. This is done in an effort to forestall possibly fruitless trips to a closed US Embassy observing either an American or foreign holiday. The following is the holiday closing schedule of the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India as quoted directly from that Embassy’s official website:

Date Day Holiday Type
December 31,  2010* Friday New Year’s Day American
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday American
January 26 Wednesday Republic Day Indian
February 21 Monday Washington’s Birthday American
April 22 Friday Good Friday Indian
May 30 Monday Memorial Day American
July 4 Monday Independence Day American
August 15 Monday Independence Day Indian
August 22 Monday Janamashtami Indian
August 31 Wednesday Idu’l Fitr Indian
September 5 Monday Labor Day American
October 6 Thursday Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami) Indian
October 10 Monday Columbus Day American
October 26 Wednesday Diwali Indian
October 27 Thursday Govardhan Puja Indian
November 10 Thursday Guru Nanak’s Birthday Indian
November 11 Friday Veterans’ Day American
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day American
December 6 Tuesday Muharram Indian
December 26** Monday Christmas Day American

*    in lieu of January 1, 2011 (Saturday)
**  in lieu of December 25, 2011 (Sunday)

Those seeking services such as the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US  Passport, or additional visa pages for a previously issued American passport are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services Section of an American Mission abroad. In  many cases, Americans seeking such services can make an appointment in advance. Making an advance appointment can greatly facilitate the processing of requests as Consular Officers are provided with an opportunity to foresee the customers needs when an appointment is made in advance. In order to make an appointment online one may be required to register an appointment on the US Mission’s official website.

Those seeking the homepage of the official website of the United States Embassy in New Dehli, India should click HERE.

Those seeking visas such as the US Tourist Visa (B-2 visa), US Student Visa (F-1 visa), US Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1 visa), or the US Business Visa (B-1 visa) may be required to process their visa application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit at a US Consulate abroad. In many cases, such applications are scrutinized pursuant to section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act which can create difficulties for those applicants who cannot show “strong ties” to India and “weak ties” to the United States of America.

Those Indian Nationals with Lawful Permanent Residence or American Citizens wishing to obtain an IR-1 visa or a CR-1 visa for an Indian loved one will likely be required to process their visa application through an Immigrant Visa Unit abroad. Unless it is possible to execute a Direct Consular Filing for such a visa, it is likely that such a visa application would only be adjudicated after the initial adjudication of an immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). For application processing purposes it should be noted that the K1 visa, although a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is generally treated  in much the same manner as an immigrant visa application.

Those Indian Nationals seeking an EB-5 visa for immigrant investment purposes or an L-1 visa for an intracompany transferee are generally required to process an immigration petition at USCIS prior to visa application abroad.

For related information please see: K1 Visa India.

more Comments: 04

23rd October 2010

Those American Citizens with Indian husbands or wives often research issues surrounding the US K-3 marriage visa category in an effort to make informed decisions about American travel documentation. Although the term “K-3 visa” has become a common buzzword used as a colloquial synonym for US Marriage Visa on the World Wide Web, the K-3 category was not always the widely utilized travel document for Indian-American couples reuniting in the United States as the Immigrant visa categories often referred to as CR-1 and/or IR-1 visas were once the only travel documents available to the spouses of American Citizens wishing to take up residence in the USA (note: the IR-1 visa category predates the CR-1 visa category as conditional lawful permanent residence status has not always been imposed upon foreign spouses of US Citizens married less than 2 years).

There was a rather significant backlog of Immigrant visa petitions at the agency now commonly referred to as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) when the K3 visa category was created by Congressional legislation sometimes called the “Life Act” which was signed and executed by President William Jefferson Clinton prior to leaving office toward the end of his term (the K-4 visa, similar to the K2 derivative visa attached to the K1 visa, was a derivative visa category also created by the “Life Act” to be utilized by the children of an Indian K-3 spouse).

Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service does not have the backlog that it once had of Immigrant spousal visa petitions. As a result, the K-3′s utility has been increasingly marginalized as the estimated processing time for CR-1 visa petitions and IR-1 visa petitions has decreased. Relatively recently, the American State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) promulgated the policy that K-3 visa applications would be administratively closed if and/or when the adjudicated immigrant visa petition arrives at NVC before or with the supplemental K-3 visa petition. This policy has likely lead to some Indian-American married couples to seek Immigrant visa benefits rather than K-3 visa benefits as “administrative closure” precluded further processing of the K-3 visa petition and application.

Those interested in the K3 visa process or the Immigrant visa process are well advised to research all options prior to making any irrevocable decisions. Furthermore, those seeking immigration advice and/or representation should check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American immigration matters as only licensed American attorneys may practice American immigration law pursuant to U.S. law.

Fore related information please see: K3 Visa India or K1 Visa India.

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