Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-1 Visa Singapore’

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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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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11th December 2010

The issue of immigration fraud is a serious one. Authorities of the United States government within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of State (DOS), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP), and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USICE) are all tasked with the responsibility of screening and investigating matters pertaining to visa and immigration fraud. It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, colloquially referred to as ICE, apprehended a Nigerian man in connection with US visa fraud. To quote directly from the ICE.gov website:

HOUSTON – A Nigerian man on Monday was stripped of his U.S. citizenship at his sentencing hearing for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, naturalization fraud, and making a false statement to a federal agency. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Ibraheem Adeneye, 33, who is originally from Nigeria and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, was convicted of the charges May 7 by a jury. He has been in federal custody on these charges for about six months. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Adeneye to the time he has already served in prison. The judge also granted the government’s motion to strip Adeneye of his U.S. citizenship. Adeneye is now subject to deportation.

Denaturalization is the process by which a person is stripped of United States Citizenship and returned to foreign national status. Regarding the issue of sham marriage and the United States Immigration process, the report went on to note:

The ICE HSI investigation was initiated in 2008. Adeneye indicated that he was engaged in brokering sham marriages between Nigerian nationals and U.S. citizens so that the Nigerians could obtain immigration benefits, ultimately leading to U.S. citizenship. In return, the U.S. citizen “spouses” received cash payments to assist the Nigerians in the deception.

Incorporating a sham marriage into an effort to obtain United States visa benefits is a serious crime as can be seen from the above cited report. Those thinking of filing for American Immigration benefits should note that it is NEVER a wise course of action to lie to immigration authorities or attempt to deceive the United States government or its officers. Even if one becomes a United States Citizen, then previous fraudulent activity during the visa process could result in possible de-naturalization and criminal charges.

It should further be noted that those seeking American visa benefits should consult a licensed attorney in an effort to gain insight into the immigration process as only an American attorney licensed and in good standing in at least one US state is entitled to provide advice, counsel, and/or possible representation before the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

For related information please see: K1 visa Thailand or K1 Visa Singapore.

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