Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-1 Visa Taiwan’

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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6th January 2011

For those American Citizens or United States Lawful Permanent Residents who frequently travel abroad, it may sometimes prove necessary to obtain services or assistance from an American Mission abroad. In an effort to forestall fruitless trips by the public to US Posts abroad the administration of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various US Missions in Asia. This blogger has personally found that arriving at a US Embassy only to find it closed due to observance of an American or foreign holiday can be frustrating. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the American Institute in Taiwan:

January 2011

  • Monday, January 3: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Monday, January  17: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (US Holiday)


February 2011

  • Tuesday, February 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Wednesday, February 2 to Monday, February 7: Chinese Lunar New Year Holidays (Local)
  • Monday, February 21: Washington’s Birthday (US Holiday)
  • Monday, February 28: Peace Memorial Day (Local)


March 2011

  • Tuesday, March 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)

April 2011

  • Friday, April 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Monday, April 4: Children’s day (Local)
  • Tuesday, April 5: Tomb Sweeping Day (Local)


May 2011

  • Monday, May 30: Memorial Day (US Holiday)

June 2011

  • Monday, June 6: Dragon Boat Festival (Local)


July 2011

  • Monday, July 4: Independence Day (US Holiday)


September 2011

  • Thursday, September 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Monday, September 5: Labor Day (US Holiday)
  • Monday, September 12: Mid-Autumn Festival (Local)


October 2011

  • Monday, October 3: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Monday, October 10: National Holiday (Local) also Columbus Day (US Holiday)


November 2011

  • Tuesday, November 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Friday, November 11: Veterans Day (US Holiday)
  • Thursday, November 24: Thanksgiving Day (US Holiday)


December 2011

  • Thursday, December 1: Consular Section In-Service Day (AIT/Taipei)
  • Monday, December 26: Christmas Day (Observed US Holiday)

Those seeking services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages are well advised to contact and American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Mission with jurisdiction over the area in which one is physically present.

For the homepage of the official website of the American Institute in Taiwan please click HERE

Those seeking US non-immigrant visas such as the B-2 visa for tourists, the B-1 visa for short term business travelers, the F-1 visa for students, or the J-1 visa for exchange visitors are likely to have their visa application adjudicated by a non-immigrant visa unit of a US Mission abroad. Those seeking immigrant visas for Taiwanese loved ones are likely to process their application through an Immigrant Visa Unit. It should be noted that for purposes of visa application processing the K-1 visa, although technically a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is generally treated as if it were an immigrant visa.

Those seeking Business or Investment visas such as the E-2 visa for Traders, the L-1 visa for intra-company transferees, or an EB-5 visa for immigrant investors should note that an approved immigration petition may be required before a US Mission abroad will process a visa application.

Those seeking advice and/or counsel regarding a pending US immigration matter are well advised to contact a licensed American lawyer in order to gain insight into the practical application of US Immigration law upon the unique facts in a given case.

For related information please see: CR1 Visa.

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20th October 2010

This blog frequently discusses American Immigration matters in a country-specific context in order to provide insight to those researching US Immigration issues for the first time. Some are not aware that in 2010 the United States National Visa Center (an agency under the jurisdiction of the US Department of State) promulgated the policy that K3 visa applications would be “administratively closed” if the underlying immigrant visa petition arrived at NVC prior to, or at the same time as, the K3 Visa petition.Those researching this issue for the first time may find a brief overview of the K3 visa’s history insightful as this may shed light upon the possible reasoning behind the “administrative closure” policy.

At one time, there was a rather large backlog of Immigrant spouse visa petitions (petitions for visas now classified as either a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa) at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Therefore, the United States Congress and President William Jefferson Clinton promulgated and executed legislation colloquially referred to as the “Life Act”. This statute effectively created the visa category known as the K-3 (for derivative dependents the visa category is a K-4 which is similar to the K-2 derivative visa associated with a K1 visa or fiance visa). Since the creation of the K-3 visa, the USCIS has cut down their backlog to the point where immigrant visa petitions are being adjudicated within a matter of months. As a result, there was a rather brief period of time in which USCIS was adjudicating immigrant visa petitions faster that K3 visa petitions. In any case, once USCIS has made their adjudication, such petitions are then sent to the NVC where they are the forwarded on to the US Mission, US Embassy, or US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction for Consular Processing. At some point, a decision was made to “administratively close” K3 visa applications when the underlying immigrant visa petition arrives at NVC before, or contemporaneously with, the immigrant visa petition. In practical terms, this means that if the adjudicated immigrant visa petition arrives at NVC before the K3 petition, the K3 will be effectively set aside and the bi-national couple will be compelled to proceed with the immigrant visa process.

In a way, this policy makes some sense as the K3 visa’s utility is somewhat negated by the contemporaneous processing of an immigrant visa. As a result, at the time of this writing, there are many who feel that the K3 visa is not a particularly viable option for those Americans wishing to bring their Taiwanese husband or wife to the USA. It should be noted that the K3 visa was always a non-immigrant visa meaning that it did not confer lawful permanent residence upon the bearer when admitted to the USA. Those arriving in the USA on a K3 could choose to either consular process their immigrant visa application or file for adjustment of status in the USA.

For related information please see:  K1 Visa Taiwan or US Marriage Visa.

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