Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-3 Visa Vietnam’

23rd February 2011

In recent weeks it has come to this blogger’s attention, via organizations such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and through the website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), that the USCIS has made decisions which has lead to a delay in processing a relatively significant number of I-130 petitions for Immediate relative immigration benefits. To quote directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

In November 2010, USCIS transferred approximately 36,000 Immediate Relative petitions from our California Service Center to our Texas Service Center. We anticipated that this redistribution of work would result in more timely adjudication of these petitions. Due to a number of unforeseen circumstances at our Texas Service Center, many of these cases have not been processed and are beyond our estimated processing times. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you and we are making every effort to remedy this situation as soon as possible.

It is easy to lay blame upon people and organizations. Those reading this piece should note that mistakes occur in life. Businesses, individuals, organizations, and governments do make mistakes and playing the “blame game” often yields little in terms of practical solutions. That said, the USCIS is a government entity and should be accountable for their mistakes. Clearly, the USCIS has taken responsibility for this error and has taken measures to rectify the situation. To quote further from the official website of the USCIS:

On Feb. 7, 2011, we implemented a rapid response plan to expedite the adjudication of these petitions. We have transferred a large number of these Immediate Relative petitions back to our California Service Center to take advantage of resources currently available to immediately process these cases. Petitioners will see an action such as an approval, denial or a Request for Evidence (RFE) on their case from our California or Texas Service Centers by the end of February. Additionally, we have briefed the Department of State’s National Visa Center about these cases.

USCIS’s efforts to solve this problem should not be overlooked. For those seeking an Immigrant visa for a foreign spouse, the K-3 visa has been used in the past to obtain an expedited travel document when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has a backlog of cases. In recent months, the United States National Visa Centerpiece  has had an “administrative closure” policy regarding those K-3 visa applications that arrive at the NVC with, or after, their I-130 counterparts. There are some who speculate that there might be more K-3 visas issued as a result of the backlog created from the situation note above. At the time of this writing, it remains unclear as to exactly how American Immigration officials will opt to deal with this matter.

For related information please see: USCIS processing time.

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17th October 2010

Those familiar with this blog may have noticed that administrative closure of K3 visa applications has been a topic of discussion since the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) announced that K3 visa applications would be administratively closed if the underlying I-130 petition arrives at NVC prior to, or at the same as, the supplemental I-129f petition. Those who conduct research about the US visa process over the internet may have noticed that the buzzword used to describe a US Marriage Visa is: K3 visa. However, the K3 Visa is not the classic travel document used to bring a Vietnamese spouse to the United States of America. This is due to the fact that in the relatively recent past the only travel document available to the foreign spouse of a US Citizen, based upon the marriage alone, was either an IR-1 visa or a CR1 Visa both of which are only available to those filing an Immigrant visa petition.

The K-3 visa category’s creation was the result of a piece of legislation commonly referred to as the “Life Act”. This bill was promulgated by the United States Congress and signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton. At that time, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) was processing Immigrant spouse visa petitions quite slowly due to a rather significant backlog of such petitions. The K-3 was designed to alleviate some of this backlog as well as reunite bi-national married couples as quickly as possible in the USA.

Recently, the USCIS has been processing Immigrant spouse petitions in a much more efficient manner. This has lead to many approved Immigrant petitions reaching the National Visa Center (NVC) at the same time or before the supplemental petition used to seek K3 visa benefits. As a result, the NVC made the policy that K3 visa applications would be “administratively closed” if the CR1 or IR1 visa petition arrived at NVC prior to or at the same time as the K3 petition. This has effectively compelled bi-national Vietnamese-American couples to seek Immigrant visa benefits rather than non-immigrant K3 visa benefits. That said, the Immigrant visa really is a preferable visa category to the K-3 as those Vietnamese spouses of American Citizens entering the USA on an Immigrant visa are granted Lawful Permanent Residence (either CR-1 or IR-1 status depending upon the couple’s circumstances) upon admission to the United States at a Port of Entry. Those entering the USA on a K3 visa are not granted lawful permanent residence upon admission, but instead must file for adjustment of status in the USA which can be costly and rather time consuming. Therefore, some have argued that NVC’s administrative closure policy has actually lead to an overall streamlining of the US Marriage Visa process.

For related information please see: K3 Visa Vietnam or K1 Visa Vietnam.

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