Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-3 Visa’

2nd May 2020

The past 6 weeks have been very eventful in terms of the response to the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) lock down in Thailand. This crisis has also had a significant impact upon the American visa process. By way of an update, the Thai government has recently announced an easing of restrictions associated with the lock down of business and social interaction in Thailand. It now appears that as of May 3rd, small eateries, parks, hair salons, stores selling certain retail as well as electronic goods, and pet shops will be allowed to reopen. Thai government officials have announced that further phased reopening measures will be implemented in coming weeks should circumstances permit. Concurrently, it was initially announced that the ban on the sale of alcohol in Thailand would be extended throughout the month of May. There was some speculation that a “grace period” would be permitted on Mat 1st and 2nd to allow the public time to “stock up” on alcohol products in anticipation of further restrictions over the forthcoming month.

Shortly after these predictions and the announcement that the ban on alcohol sales would continue, it was announced that retail alcohol sales could recommence beginning May 3rd. Further, it appears that those eateries which maintain an alcohol license and usually sell alcohol in the course of their day-to-day business will be permitted to sell alcohol on a “take-away” basis. Therefore, for the forthcoming days small restaurants and other venues will be reopened to the public and life in Thailand appears to be normalizing somewhat. Notwithstanding these measures, restrictions on pubs and entertainment establishments remain.

While all of this is unfolding in Thailand, in the USA the US immigration system appears to be preparing for further delays associated with the processing of visa cases. The following announcement from USCIS recently came to this blogger’s attention:

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended routine in-person services to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS plans to begin reopening our offices on or after June 4, unless the public closures are extended further.

In prior announcements it had been noted that May 4th would be the presumptive date of reopening. It now appears that there will be at least another month delay for in-person services with USCIS. At the same time, the new Immigration Ban remains in effect although it is unlikely to have any impact upon those seeking a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, or K-1 visa from Thailand as the ban specifically excludes spouse visas and only pertains to immigrant visas. Therefore, as a fiance visa is not, by definition, an immigrant visa, the provisions this new ban do not apply to fiances of American citizens. However, notwithstanding the fact that the immigration ban does no directly impact most family based visas from Thailand it is effectively a moot point for the immediately foreseeable future due to the fact that the Immigrant Visa Unit and the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit at the US Embassy in Bangkok are not currently holding visa interviews nor are the issuance immigrant and non-immigrant visa as they remain closed due to the coronavirus. We, in this office, are currently looking at the USCIS presumed reopening date as the best indication of when it seems prudent to presume that the Embassy will reopen for interviews. That stated, the ultimate date of reopening remains to be seen, but we will try to keep you up to date on this blog.

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22nd April 2020

An Executive Order has been issued by the Trump administration regarding suspension of immigration to the United States for the forthcoming 60 days. However, the order does not appear to apply to those seeking a K-1 visa to bring a foreign fiance to the USA. Concurrently, it also does not appear to apply to American visas for the spouses and children of U.S. Citizens. To quote directly from the relevant sections of the order as posted on the White House website:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions.  I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1.  Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  The entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.

Sec2.  Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  (a)  The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall apply only to aliens who:

(i)    are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;

(ii)   do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and

(iii)  do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

(b)  The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:

(i)     any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii)    any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees;  and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;

(iii)   any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;

(iv)    any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;

(v)     any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

(vi)    any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;

(vii)   any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;

(viii)  any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or

(ix)    any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

Sec3.  Implementation and Enforcement.  (a)  The consular officer shall determine, in his or her discretion, whether an immigrant has established his or her eligibility for an exception in section 2(b) of this proclamation.  The Secretary of State shall implement this proclamation as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish in the Secretary of State’s discretion.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this proclamation as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretion.

(b)  An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

(c)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws of the United States.

Sec4.  Termination.  This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary.  Whenever appropriate, but no later than 50 days from the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend whether I should continue or modify this proclamation.

Sec5.  Effective Date.  This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.

Sec6.  Additional Measures.  Within 30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and shall recommend to me other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.

Sec7.  Severability.  It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the interests of the United States.  Accordingly:

(a)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby; and

(b)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements to conform with existing law and with any applicable court orders.

Sec8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or,

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

Clearly, there are many who might see their cases negatively impacted by this order. To preface any further analysis, it should be noted that visa processing has been suspended at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand as well as the US Embassy in Vientiane, Laos and the US Embassy in Phnom Phen, Cambodia due to the COVID-19 outbreak. So regardless of this order, it is not currently possible to obtain a visa from these posts as interviews have been suspended. Bearing the above in mind, the following analysis will demonstrate that this order will NOT have an impact on fiance visa and marriage visa cases for the fiances and/or spouses of American citizens:

The executive order states: “The entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.” The K-1 visa is designed for the fiance of an American citizen to to travel to the United States with the intention of marriage. It grants the bearer 90 days of lawful status in the USA in which to marry their American fiance and file for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (aka Green Card status). It is important to note: the K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, albeit a dual intent visa. For purposes of processing it is treated as an immigrant visa (for example K-1 cases process through the Immigrant Visa Unit of the American Embassy in Thailand), but pursuant to United States law it is in fact a non-immigrant visa. The above cited executive order only pertains to immigrant visas. Therefore, this order does not have any bearing upon the processing of a K-1 fiance visa case.

What about cases involving the spouse of an American citizen where the spouse would enter the USA and be granted an I-551 stamp thereby granting permanent residence to the foreign spouse upon entry? The above executive order speaks directly to such a situation: “The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:…(iv) any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen“[Emphasis Added]. Clearly the suspension ordered in Trump’s executive order will exempt spouses of Americans. Therefore, those foreign spouses of American citizens seeking a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa will not be adversely impacted by the provisions of this executive order.

Finally, the following should be noted: “This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date…This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.” Thus, unless this order is extended it will expire 60 days from now. We will keep readers updated on this blog as the situation progresses.

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19th March 2020

It now appears that all visa services provided to foreign nationals at American Embassies and Consulates abroad have been suspended. In a recent article from Reuters, the following was reported:

The United States is suspending all routine visa services as of Wednesday in most countries worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak, a spokeswoman for the State Department said, an unprecedented move that will potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people…The State Department spokeswoman said U.S. missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services “as resources allow,” and that the services to U.S. citizens will remain available.

Concurrently, the following message was issued by the US Embassy in Thailand:

Information for Immigrant Visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: As of March 19, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulate in Thailand are cancelling Immigrant Visa appointments until further notice.  We will resume routine Immigrant Visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Once we resume Immigrant Visa operations, we will contact you with a new appointment date. Applicants who had their Immigrant Visa interviews cancelled due to the cessation of operations will be given first priority for rescheduling.

Meanwhile, it now appears that all intending entrants to Thailand will be required to present a medical certificate prior to boarding a plane for Thailand. To quote directly from a recent article in the Bangkok Post:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand now requires all air passengers, Thai and foreign, to show Covid-19-free health certificates and Covid-19 insurance before boarding their flights to Thailand…Airlines must require passengers to present health certificates issued no more than 72 hours before the  flight departs. The certificates must guarantee that the passengers are free of Covid-19, regardles where they board. Airlines must also require that passengers have insurance covering Covid-19 treatment in Thailand, up to at least US$100,000.

We will keep this blog updated as the situation evolves.

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7th December 2017

Khmer language translation of the video found here: ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-3 ពី​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា

សួស្ដី! ខ្ញុំ​ឈ្មោះ Benjamin Hart ។​ ខ្ញុំ​គឺ​ជា​មេធាវី និង​ជា​នាយកគ្រប់គ្រង​នៃ​ក្រុមហ៊ុនIntegrity Legal នៅ​ក្នុងទី​ក្រុង​បាងកក​នៃប្រទេស​ថៃ ។

នៅ​ក្នុង​វីដេអូ​ថ្ងៃ​នេះ យើង​នឹង​ពិភាក្សា​ជា​ពិសេស​អំពី​​ទិដ្ឋាការមួយគឺ​ ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-3 ដែល​ជា​ប្រភេទ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ដ៏គួរអោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍មួយ ដោយ​​ផ្តោ​ត​ទៅ​លើ​​បរិបទ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា សំរាប់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​ដែល​ចង់​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​រៀបអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍ជា​មួយ​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​អាមរិក ។ និយាយ​អោយ​ចំ​ទៅ គឺ​អ្នកដែល​​ត្រូវ​​រៀបអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍ជា​មួយ​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ដើម្បី​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​សុំទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-3 ។

ដូច​ដែល​យើងបាន​លើក​ឡើង​ខាង​លើ យើង​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ទីក្រុង​បាង​កក ។ យើងបាន​រត់ការ​សំណុំរឿង​របស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​ថៃជា​ច្រើន ហើយ​ដោយ​សារ​តែ​យើង​ក៏​ស្ថិត​នៅ​​ជិត​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ដែរ​នោះ ជា​ច្រើន​ឆ្នាំ​កន្លង​មក​នេះយើង​ក៏​បាន​​​រត់​ការអោយសំណុំរឿង​ជាច្រើនរបស់​​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ ឬ​សំណុំរឿង​ផ្សេងៗ​ទៀត​ដែល​មាន​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ជនជាតិ​ខ្មែរ ។ ដូច្នេះ​យើងចង់​​បញ្ជាក់ថា ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-3 នេះ​ជា​ទិដ្ឋាការ​មួយ​ដ៏​គួរ​អោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍ ។

យើង​សូមពន្យល់​រៀបរាប់បន្តិច​​ថា​តើ​អ្វីជា​ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ K-3 ។ ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ K-3 ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្កើតឡើង​​ដោយ​យោង​តាម​ប្រការ​មួយ​ចំនួន​នៅក្នុង​ច្បាប់អាយុ​ជីវិត ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្កើត​ឡើង​នៅ​ក្នុង​អណត្តិរបស់​ប្រធានាធិបតី Clinton នៅ​ពេល​ដែល​មាន​សំណុំរឿង​ជា​ច្រើន​ដែល​បាន​កកស្ទះ​ ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ប្រភេទទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្ដី​ប្រពន្ធ គឺ CR-1 និង IR-1 ហើយ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ទំព័រ​របស់​យើង​នេះ​ ក៏​មាន​វីដេអូ​មួយ​ទៀត​ដែរ ដែល​និយាយ​ផ្ដោត​ជា​ពិសេស​ទៅលើប្រភេទ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ CR-1 និង IR-1 នេះនៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ។ នៅ​ពេល​នោះ​ ជា​ធម្មតា​វា​ទាម​ទារ​រយៈពេល​ជា​ច្រើន​ឆ្នាំ​ដើម្បី​បញ្ចប់​សំណុំរឿងមួយ ។ ក្រសួង​មាតុភូមិ ធ្វើ​ការ​សំរេ​ច​លើ​ពាក្យ​ធានា​សំរាប់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​រៀប​អាពាហ៍​ពិពាហ៍ ។ ក្នុង​ពេល​ជាមួយ​គ្នា​នោះដែរ​ វា​ទាម​ទារ​ពេល​ប្រហែល ៦, ៧ ឬ​៨​ខែ ដើម្បី​ទទួល​បាន​ការ​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រម​លើសំណុំបែបបទ​ធានា​សុំ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទគូដណ្ដឹង ។ ដូច្នេះ​ជា​ចុង​ក្រោយ​ អ្វី​ដែល​គេ​​ជួប​ច្រើន គឺ​​ស្ថានភាព​ដែល​សំណុំរឿងគូដណ្ដឹង​ត្រូវ​បាន​ដំណើរ​ការ​លឿន​ជាង​ប្ដីប្រពន្ធ ហើយ​យើង​សូម​បញ្ជាក់​ផងដែរ​ថា​តាម​ផ្លូវ​ច្បាប់ ជាពិសេស​ច្បាប់​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ​មិន​មាន​ភាព​ខុស​គ្នា​នោះ​ទេ​រវាង​ប្ដីប្រពន្ធ​ និង​គូដណ្ដឹង ដោយ​តាម​ផ្លូវ​ច្បាប់​សំណុំរឿង​ទាំង​ពីរ​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​ចាត់​ទុក​ថា​ដូចគ្នា ។ បើ​គិត​តាម​ផ្លូវ​​រដ្ឋបាល​វិញ មាន​ការ​​កក​ស្ទះ​សំណុំរឿង​ទិដ្ឋាការ ឬ​សំណុំពាក្យ​ធានា​​ប្រភេទ​រៀបអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍ជា​ច្រើន ។ ​ខ្ញុំ​មិន​ដឹង​ថាវា​មក​ពីហេតុ​អ្វី​​ដែរនោះ​ទេ ប្រហែល​ជា​​​​អាច​បណ្ដាល​មក​ពី​ពួក​គេ​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-1បានយ៉ាង​មាន​ប្រសិទ្ធិភាព​ជាង ឬ​មក​ពី​មាន​សំណុំរឿងទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-1មាន​ចំនួន​តិច​ ប៉ុន្តែនៅ​ពេល​នោះ​វា​ទាម​ទារ​ពេល​ជា​ច្រើន​ឆ្នាំដើម្បី​ទទួល​បាន​ការ​ដំណើរ​ការ​ពាក្យ​សុំ​ធានា​សំរាប់​ការ​រៀបការ​ជាមួយ​ពលរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ដោយ​ក្នុង​ខណៈពេល​ជាមួយ​គ្នា​នោះ វា​ទាម​ទារ​ពេល​ត្រឹម​តែ​ប៉ុន្មាន​ខែ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​សំរាប់​សំណុំរឿង​គូដណ្ដឹង ។ ដូច្នេះហើយ ទើប​ពួក​គេបាន​​បង្កើតទិដ្ឋាការ​​ប្រភេទ K-3 ដោយ​និយាយថា «ប្រសិនបើ​អ្នក​បាន​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ធានា​​ប្ដី​ឬប្រពន្ធ​របស់​អ្នក​តាម​ប្រភេទទិដ្ឋាការ CR-1 ឬ IR-1ជា​ធម្មតាហើយ អ្នក​អាច​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​មួយ​ទៀត​ ដោយ​សុំទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K-3 វិញ» ។ អ្នក​គ្រាន់​តែ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ម្តង​ទៀត​តាម​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K ។ នោះ​​ហើយ​គឺ​ជា​អ្វី​ដែល​ពួក​គេ​បាន​ធ្វើ ។ ពួក​គេ​គ្រាន់​តែទាញ​យក​សំណុំរឿងទិដ្ឋាការរៀបការ​ទាំង​នេះ​ហើយនិយាយ​ថា អូខេ សំណុំរឿង​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ហើយ​ អ្នក​ត្រូវ​បញ្ជាក់​ថា​ពាក្យ​ធានា​របស់​អ្នក​ត្រូវ​បាន​ដាក់តាម​ដំណើរការ​​ដូច​ដែល​គេ​ធ្វើសំរាប់​គូដណ្ដឹង ។ ជា​លទ្ធផល K-3  គឺ​ជា​ពាក្យ​ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​ប្រើ​សំរាប់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​រៀបការ​ជាមួយ​ពលរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ប៉ុន្តែតាម​ពិត ​វិធីតាម​ទំលាប់ដែល​​គេត្រូវ​​ធ្វើ​ដើម្បី​នាំអ្នក​ណា​ម្នាក់​មក​កាន់​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិកគឺ​តាម​រយៈទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ CR-1 ឬ IR-1 ។ ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​ប្រើ​ជា​ទូទៅនៅ​ក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​នេះ ពី​ព្រោះមនុស្ស​ទូទៅ​ស៊ាំនឹង​ការ​រត់​ការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ដោយ​សារ​តែ​វា​គឺ​ជា​វិធី​ដ៏​មាន​ប្រសិទ្ធភាព​ក្នុង​ការ​នាំយក​ប្ដី​ឬប្រពន្ធ​មក​កាន់​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ។ វា​ជា​រឿង​មួយ​ដ៏​​គួរ​អោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍​ដែរ​ ដោយ​សារ​តែ​ ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 នៅ​តែ​តំរូវ​អោយ​មាន​ការ​ផ្លាស់​ប្តូរ​ស្ថានភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​របស់​អ្នក​ទៅ​ជា​អ្នក​រស់នៅ​ជាអចិន្ត្រៃ​យ៍​ដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់ ។ សំរាប់​អ្នក​ដែល​ចង់​ដឹង​អំពី​ដំណើរ​​ការ​ក្នុង​ការ​ផ្លាស់​ប្ដូរស្ថានភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ សូម​ចូល​ទៅ​មើល​វីដេអូនៅក្នុង​ទំព័រ​នេះផង​ដែរ​ដែល​ពិភាក្សា​ជាពិសេស​អំពី​ដំណើរ​ការ​នៃការ​ផ្លាស់ប្ដូរ​នេះ ប៉ុន្តែអ្វី​ដែល​យើង​នឹង​ពិភាក្សា​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​នេះគឺ ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ។ ទោះ​បី​ជា​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទនេះអាច​នឹង​មាន​ប្រយោជន៍​នៅ​ក្នុង​លក្ខខណ្ឌសព្វថ្ងៃ​នេះ ក៏​ប៉ុន្តែ​កាល​ពី​មុនគឺ​មាន​បទបញ្ជា​រដ្ឋបាល​ ដែល​ជា​គោលនយោបាយ​បិទតាម​បែបរដ្ឋបាល ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​អនុវត្ត​ដោយ​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិ ដែល​ជា​ធម្មតា​និយាយថា «ឥឡូវ​មើល ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្កើតឡើង​សំរាប់​ស្ថានភាព​ដែល​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​រៀបការឬ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ត្រូវ​បាន​បាត់​នៅ​ក្នុង​គំនរ​ឯកសារ​កក​ស្ទះ​របស់​ស្ថាប័ន USCIS​ ។ តាម​ពិត​ទៅ​ វា​មិនមែន​បាត់​នោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ​គឺវា​ជាប់ ​នៅ​ក្នុង​គំនរ​ឯកសារ​កក​ស្ទះ​របស់​ស្ថាប័ន USCIS ។ ដូច្នេះហើយ​ ប្រសិន​បើ​យើង​ទទួល​បាន​ពាក្យ​ធានា​សំរាប់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 មុន យើង​នឹង​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទិដ្ឋាការនេះ​មុន ប៉ុន្តែ​ប្រសិន​បើ​យើង​ទទួល​បាន​ពាក្យ​ធានា​សំរាប់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​សំរាប់ប្តីប្រពន្ធ​មុន យើងនឹង​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​នេះ​មុន ហើយ​យើង​នឹង​ទុកពាក្យ​សុំ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3ជា​មោឃៈ» ។ នេះ​ជា​រឿង​ដ៏​សំខាន់​ ពី​ព្រោះ​តួនាទី​របស់​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិក្នុង​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​ មាន​លក្ខណៈ​ខុស​ពី​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K ។ សំរាប់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ K​ មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិ គ្រាន់​តែ​ផ្ញើ​ឯកសារ​សំណុំរឿង​នោះ​ទៅកាន់​ស្ថានទូត​ដែល​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ ហើយ​ស្ថានទូត​នឹង​ដំណើរ​ការ​សំណុំរឿងនោះ​តាម​ដំណើរការ​របស់​ស្ថានកុងស៊ុល ។ ចំណែកឯក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​វិញ ដំណើរ​ការ​របស់​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិមាន​សភាព​យឺតយ៉ាវ ព្រោះមជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​ការ​ទទួល​យក​ឯកសារនិង​បញ្ចូល​ពត៌មាន​ ហើយ​ខ្ញុំ​មិន​និយាយ​ថា​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលនេះ​ធ្វើ​ការ​សំរេច​ចេញ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​នោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ​ពួក​គេ​ធ្វើ​ការ​ត្រួត​ពិនិត្យ​ដោយ​ល្អិត​ល្អន់ ដើម្បី​ធានា​អោយ​ប្រាកដ​ថា ពួកគេ​មាន​ពត៌មាន​គ្រប់គ្រាន់ដើម្បី​បន្តដំណើរ​ការ និង​ដាក់​ថ្ងៃ​ណាត់​សំភាស ។ ដូច្នេះប្រសិន​បើ​អ្នក​អាច​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​សុំ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ហើយ​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រមលើ​ពាក្យ​សុំ នោះទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 នេះ​នៅ​តែ​ដំណើរ​ការ​លឿន​ជាង​ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ។ ទោះ​បី​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ ​ខ្ញុំ​នៅ​តែ​យល់​ថា មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិនៅ​តែ​រក្សា​គោលនយោបាយ​បិទតាម​បែប​រដ្ឋបាល ដែល​ពួកគេ​ត្រូវ​ដំណើរ​ការ​សំណុំរឿង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​មុន ។ ​ឥឡូវ​នេះ​ ការ​ដំណើរ​ការ​សំណុំរឿង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​ជា​ពិសេស​គឺ​សំណុំរឿង​ប្ដីឬ​ប្រពន្ធ​របស់​ពលរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ត្រូវ​បាន​កាត់​បន្ថយ​យ៉ាង​ច្រើន ។ ស្ថាប័ន USCIS បាន​ចាត់​វិធានការ​សំខាន់ៗជាច្រើន​​ដើម្បី​ធ្វើ​អោយ​និតិវិធី​របស់​ពួកគេ​កាន់​តែ​មាន​ប្រសិទ្ធិភាព ហើយ​ពួកគេ​បាន​ធ្វើ​វា​អោយ​កាន់​តែមាន​ប្រសិទ្ធិភាព​ឡើង ។​ ខ្ញុំ​គិត​ថា​ពួកគេ​មាន​បុគ្គលិក​ច្រើន​ជាង​មុន ហើយ​ក៏មាន​រឿង​ច្រើន​ដែរដែល​ត្រូវ​ដោះ​ស្រាយពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​​សំណុំរឿង​ទាំង​នោះ ហើយ​ពួក​គេ​ក៏​មាន​ធនធាន​ជាច្រើន​ដែរ​ដើម្បី​អោយ​សំណុំរឿង​ទាំង​អស់​នោះ​បាន​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទៅមុខ ដែល​ជា​លទ្ធផល គឺ​ខ្ញុំ​មិន​និយាយ​ថា​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-3 ​ផុត​សម័យលែង​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​ប្រើប្រាស់​​នោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែគឺវា​លែង​សូវ​ចាំបាច់​ក្នុង​ការ​ប្រើប្រាស់​ដូច​កាលពីពេល​ដែល​​វា​ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្កើត​ពីដំបូង​នោះ​ទេ ។ ដោយ​សារ​មូលហេតុនេះ​ហើយ ទើប​ខ្ញុំ​គិត​ថា​អ្នក​អាច​នឹង​ឃើញ​សំណុំរឿង​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​K-3​ កាន់​តែ​តិច​ទៅៗដែល​នឹង​ត្រូវ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ឬ​ប្រទេស​ផ្សេងៗទៀត ។

 

more Comments: 04

21st November 2017

The following is a transcript of a video which can be found here: US Marriage Visa Cambodia

In this video today, we are going to be discussing marriage visas in the specific context of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

As you can see from the aforementioned preamble to this video, we are based here in Bangkok. I am an American attorney but the firm is based here in Bangkok. The bulk of our work in US immigration matters does revolve around Bangkok and the Consular section of the US Embassy here primarily our cases that are going to end up at the US Consular Section here. That being said, we do take other cases in the region, I do deal with a fair number of these rather frequently. Cambodia is one I deal with probably more often than any other country in the region if I ‘m being very specific. It kind of depends on the year, I guess. But that being said, the K-1, we discussed specifically in another video, that’s a fiancée visa. In this video, we are discussing US marriage visas specifically. So for now, I’m talking about the CR-1, IR-1 or the K-3 visa. There’s another video on this channel which goes specifically into the K-3 visa and I am going to sort of leave it to that video to discuss that directly if there’s specific things to think about with respect to the K-3. But suffice it to say, the CR-1 and the IR-1, CR-1 is Conditional Resident category, IR-1 is Immediate Relative and the person that enters on an IR-1 enters in unconditional lawful permanent residence as opposed to conditional lawful permanent residence to the United States. Generally speaking, I am talking about foreign nationals married, and I am specifically talking about Khmer, Cambodian Nationals married to an American citizen. Although some of this analysis could apply to a lawful permanent resident in the United States trying to bring their Cambodian spouse over as well but I’m going to try to keep it more on point with respect to an American citizen, seeking to bring a Cambodian female or male spouse to the United States.

So the thing to think about with respect to Cambodian nationals applying for marriage visa benefits to the US, it’s kind of a 3 part process in so far as you have to initially deal with the Department of Homeland Security and their United States Citizenship and Immigration Service  apparatus. Then you have got to go ahead and deal with the National Visa Center which in the context of Immigrant Spousal Visas, the National Visa Center is a very different animal than when you compare it to the K categories, the K-1 and the K-3. In the K-1 and the K-3 cases, in those cases where the K-3 gets processed through, in a way NVC just acts as a sort of clearing house or sort of a postal hub, if you will, to make certain that the case gets from USCIS over to the correct embassy abroad. With respect to US Immigrant visas the NVC’s job is much more broad in scope, and depth for that matter. They do a lot of document collection, they will do follow ups if they feel there’s a document deficiency or they feel that more information is necessary. In another video on this channel we discussed the so called extreme vetting protocols of the Trump Administration right now. I don’t know, specifically I haven’t seen anything with extreme vetting happen yet at NVC but I can see theoretically, sometime in the future, extreme vetting protocols may pertain directly to NVC at some point as well.  But that being said, they have a much more active role in the immigrant visa cases.  Once they are satisfied documentarily at National Visa Center, they will then go ahead and process the case out over to the embassy in Phnom Penh and an interview date will be set at the embassy. At the interview, things can happen like what are called the 221-G request for further documentation where basically the interviewing officer determines that they would like to see something more with respect to the case. Generally speaking, after an NVC vetting, this isn’t very frequent, but it does happen. I shouldn’t say that it’s infrequent. In K-1s, it can happen quite frequently because the circumstances are different. Marriage visas, the cases tend to be more clear-cut, I guess is the right way to look at it.  But that being said, basically the point I want to get across is, NVC will set that interview appointment, it will get over to the embassy in Phnom Penh and you have got to get in for an interview. We oftentimes do an interview prep with our clients so that they have an understanding, generally speaking, what the officer is probably going to want to know regarding the application or regarding the specifics of the person making the application and the other thing is we provide some insight with respect to the protocols for how the case is going to be taken in and dealt with at the post.

So to sort of sum up, I think the way to look at the overall process of applying for a US immigrant is this: it starts in the United States with the Department of Homeland Security, it moves over to the NVC which unlike the K categories, the NVC has a very active role in this process and then finally, it’s going to end up at the US Embassy at Phnom Penh and at that point the interview is going to take place and it’s possible more documentation could be requested and you may have to deal with a follow on submission before hopefully, the visa is ultimately approved.

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21st November 2017

The following is a transcript of the video which can be found here: K-3 Visas from Cambodia.

In this video today, we are going to specifically discuss one visa that is sort of an interesting little niche visa, the K-3 visa, in the specific context of a Khmer, Cambodian national who would be seeking that in connection with marriage to a US citizen. Let’s be clear, you have got to be married to a US citizen in order to apply for a K-3.

First things first. As previously noted in my preamble, we’re located here in Bangkok. We do deal with a large number of Thai cases but being fairly geographically close to Cambodia, over the years we’ve done a fair number of Cambodian cases or cases that arise with a Cambodian national, a Khmer national involved. That being stated, it should be noted that the K-3 is an interesting animal.

To provide a little background on what the K-3 visa is. The K-3 visa was created pursuant to the provisions of the LIFE act created under the Clinton presidency and it was created at a time when the back log associated with spousal visas, CR-1 and IR-1, and there’s another video on this channel specific to CR-1 and IR-1 visas, in Cambodia. Basically, at the time, it was taking multiple years to get finalized Department of Homeland secure the approval of the petition for marriage visas. Meanwhile, at the same time it was like 6 or 7 months, 8 months to get a fiancée visa petition approved. So you ended up with the sort of counter intuitive situation where fiancées were moving through the system more quickly than spouses and it should be noted that from a legal perspective there is no qualitative difference as far as the law is concerned, specifically Immigration law is concerned, with respect to a fiancée versus a spouse; from a legal standpoint they’re treated the same way.  From an administrative standpoint, they just had a high back log of marriage visas or marriage petitions, for whatever reason, were they were processing K-1s more efficiently or they just had a lower case load, I don’t know what the deal was, but at the time it was taking multiple years to get a petition for marriage to an American citizen process through and meanwhile it was taking a matter of months for fiancées. So what happened is they created this K-3 category and the K-3 category was created, basically they said “look if you have got a petition on file for a spousal visa benefits in the normal manner, the CR-1 or IR-1 category basically, you can take that filing and do a duplicative version of that and go ahead and file for this K-3 category. You just go ahead and file it again through the K line. That’s basically what they did. They just took these marriage visa cases and said – Okay, it’s been filed, you have got to prove it’s filed and you put it in the line that was processing for fiancées so what ended up happening is K-3 has kind of become the ubiquitous term for a US marriage visa but in point of fact, the traditional methodology of bringing someone into the United States is through a CR-1 or IR-1 visa.  The K-3 just sort of became rather common place in the lexicon of these matters because people got used to dealing with K-3s because that was effectively the way to get your spouse into the United States. It’s interesting because K-3 still requires adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.  Those of you who are interested in learning about that, in order to get a green card you have to undergo the adjustment of status process and I urge you to take a look at the video that specifically discusses the adjustment of status process on this channel, but something to bring up with respect to K-3s in the present context. Although they may be useful under present processing conditions, in the past there was an administrative ruling, it was a policy of administrative closure that was undertaken by the National Visa Center whereby they basically said – “Look, the K-3 was created for these situations where basically a marriage visa, an immigrant visa case got lost in the back log of USCIS. Not lost but stuck in the back log of USCIS. So if we got the K-3 position first we will process through on the K-3. But if we get the petition for the Immigrant Spouse Visa first, we’re going to process the Immigrant Spouse Visa benefits. We’re going to disregard the K-3”. This is important because NVC’s function is qualitatively different in an immigrant visa context that it is in a K Visa context. The K Visa context, NVC just shoots the case on to the embassy in question and the embassy sort of deals with all the nuts and bolts of the consular processing. In an immigrant visa context, the NVC process is slower because NVC deals with the nuts and bolts of document intake and in a way, I won’t say, adjudication but sort of pre vetting to make sure that they have generally what they need to go ahead and continue to process and get an interview scheduled. So in a way, the K-3 may still, if you can go ahead and get one through, the K-3 may still process more quickly compared to an immigrant visa but it’s my understanding that NVC still maintains the policy of administrative closure, where they get the immigrant case first and now processing of immigrant matters, immigrant spouse matters of American citizens, has reduced significantly. USCIS, to their credit, took significant substantial steps to make their process more efficient and they streamlined it, and I think they got more staff and things to deal with those matters and they put more resources on getting those cases processed, and as a result, in a way the K-3 is, I won’t say it’s obsolete, but its original reason for being there is not quite so pressing as it was at the time that it was created. And for that reason, I think it’s very probable that you are going to see fewer and fewer K-3 visas being processed in Cambodia or elsewhere.

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21st October 2013

Updated USCIS Processing Times

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The administration of this blog routinely posts the updated processing time estimates for the Service Centers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The following was quoted directly from the official website of USCIS:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: August 31, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 March 11, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 November 3, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 21, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister February 11, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications May 30, 2012
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States March 16, 2012
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 4 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] July 2, 2013
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program May 25, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) May 16, 2012
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 September 12, 1997
Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: August 31, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 June 16, 2013
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability March 2, 2013
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager April 2, 2013
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility April 2, 2013
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program May 30, 2011
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition April 15, 2013
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: August 31, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants June 2, 2010
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago May 2, 2013
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee March 16, 2013
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition March 17, 2013
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: August 31, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad April 17, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. April 17, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. April 10, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers July 3, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 March 27, 2013
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 October 22, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 April 30, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 April 30, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 April 9, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister March 27, 2011
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants February 20, 2013
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) October 8, 2012
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications November 19, 2012
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors April 17, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications April 17, 2013
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] April 24, 2013
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] April 24, 2013
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension April 24, 2013
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing April 24, 2013
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension April 24, 2013
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing April 24, 2013
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action February 28, 2013
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
I-90A Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement for Special Agricultral Workers (SAW) 3.5 Months
I-914 Application for T Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of trafficking in persons, and immediate family 4 Months
I-918 Petition for U Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and their qualifying family June 25, 2012

It should be noted that these processing time estimates do not reflect the time it takes to obtain a US visa as the US visa application process can be time consuming even after an initial immigration petition receives approval since processing at the National Visa Center and/or a US Consulate or US Embassy abroad may also be required.

more Comments: 04

23rd August 2013

The administration of this blog routinely posts the estimated processing times of the various service centers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The following was quoted directly from the official USCIS website:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: June 30, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad April 16, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. April 16, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. April 16, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 November 15, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 February 4, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 October 4, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 21, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister February 11, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications May 30, 2012
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States March 16, 2012
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors 2.5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications 2.5 Months
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 4 Months
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition 3 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) May 16, 2012
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 September 12, 1997
Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: June 30, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole 3 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability January 2, 2013
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager February 2, 2013
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] June 8, 2013
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition February 15, 2013
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: June 30, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver 4 Months
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses 4 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants April 16, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications 4 Months
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago 4 Months
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 4 Months
I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition January 20, 2013
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: June 30, 2013
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 April 2, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad April 10, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. April 10, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. April 10, 2013
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 June 4, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 October 22, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 April 16, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 April 9, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 March 19, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister March 20, 2011
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants 5 Months
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) June 4, 2012
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications November 19, 2012
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors April 10, 2013
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications April 10, 2013
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement Application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or persecution 4 Months
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents 6 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for El Salvador [(c)(19)(a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33). 90 Days
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization 3 Months
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension 3 Months
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing 3 Months
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition March 20, 2013
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
I-90A Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement for Special Agricultral Workers (SAW) 3.5 Months
I-914 Application for T Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of trafficking in persons, and immediate family 4 Months
I-918 Petition for U Non-immigrant Status Provide temporary immigration benefits to an alien who is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and their qualifying family May 28, 2012

Those reading these estimates should bear in mind that these estimates do not necessarily provide an accurate estimate of the overall US visa process. Those seeking a United States visa from outside the United States will likely be required to undergo Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Furthermore, before an immigration petition even reaches a US Embassy overseas the file must first be processed by the National Visa Center. All of these facts are likely to cause the overall US visa process to be significantly longer than the time it takes for USCIS to merely adjudicate an immigration petition.

more Comments: 04

8th August 2013

Many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) couples have questions regarding United States Immigration in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s finding in the Windsor case that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unConstitutional. Both the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Department of State have previously issued answers to frequently asked questions on this topic. In a previous posting on this blog, USCIS’s answers to these FAQs were discussed. However, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the USCIS has issued further answers to such FAQs to further clarify their position on this issue. To quote directly from these new answers to FAQs on the official website of the USCIS:

Q1: I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national. Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa? NEW
A1: Yes, you can file the petition. You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

Clearly American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents may petition for an immigrant spouse visa such as an IR1 visa, CR1 visa, or by extension a K3 visa (as the K-3 visa petition is a supplementary petition based upon the initial petition for an immigrant visa). Furthermore, when applying for the visa at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad during the Consular Processing phase of the US immigration process the application will be viewed in the same way as an application based upon a different-sex marriage. Also, adjustment of status applications for the same sex spouse of a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident will be adjudicated in the same manner as a similar application for a different-sex spouse.

A question for many same sex and LGBT couples concerns the State of the couple’s residence versus the State of marriage since there are only a few States which allow such marriages while other states either do not recognize such unions or specifically forbid such unions. USCIS issued further clarification on this issue in their recently updated FAQ section:

Q3: My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state or a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse? NEW
A3: Yes. As a general matter, the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes.  Just as USCIS applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, we will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage..

There may be some limited circumstances where the law of the couple’s residence may determine their legal standing on certain issues. However, as can be seen from the above quoted FAQ, the USCIS appears to primarily defer to the law of the State which legalized the marriage when determining whether the couple is eligible for immigration benefits.

Finally, this blogger does not recall the USCIS previously answering questions regarding immigration petitions which were filed with USCIS prior to the Supreme Court’s holding that Section 3 of DOMA violates the U.S. Constitution. The following section of USCIS’s recently expanded FAQ section would appear to respond to this inquiry:

Q5. My Form I-130, or other petition or application, was previously denied solely because of DOMA.  What should I do?
A5.  USCIS will reopen those petitions or applications that were denied solely because of DOMA section 3.  If such a case is known to us or brought to our attention, USCIS will reconsider its prior decision, as well as reopen associated applications to the extent they were also denied as a result of the denial of the Form I-130 (such as concurrently filed Forms I-485).

  • USCIS will make a concerted effort to identify denials of I-130 petitions that occurred on the basis of DOMA section 3 after February 23, 2011.  USCIS will also make a concerted effort to notify you (the petitioner), at your last known address, of the reopening and request updated information in support of your petition.
  • To alert USCIS of an I-130 petition that you believe falls within this category, USCIS recommends that you send an e-mail from an account that can receive replies to USCIS at USCIS-626@uscis.dhs.gov stating that you have a pending petition.  USCIS will reply to that message with follow-up questions as necessary to update your petition for processing.  (DHS has sought to keep track of DOMA denials that occurred after the President determined not to defend Section 3 of DOMA on February 23, 2011, although to ensure that DHS is aware of your denial, please feel free to alert USCIS if you believe your application falls within this category.)
  • For denials of I-130 petitions that occurred prior to February 23, 2011, you must notify USCIS by March 31, 2014, in order for USCIS to act on its own to reopen your I-130 petition.  Please notify USCIS by sending an e-mail to USCIS at USCIS-626@uscis.dhs.gov and noting that you believe that your petition was denied on the basis of DOMA section 3.

Once your I-130 petition is reopened, it will be considered anew—without regard to DOMA section 3—based upon the information previously submitted and any new information provided.   USCIS will also concurrently reopen associated applications as may be necessary to the extent they also were denied as a result of the denial of the I-130 petition (such as concurrently filed Form I-485 applications).

Additionally, if your work authorization was denied or revoked based upon the denial of the Form I-485, the denial or revocation will be concurrently reconsidered, and a new Employment Authorization Document issued, to the extent necessary.  If a decision cannot be rendered immediately on a reopened adjustment of status application, USCIS will either (1) immediately process any pending or denied application for employment authorization or (2) reopen and approve any previously revoked application for employment authorization.  If USCIS has already obtained the applicant’s biometric information at an Application Support Center (ASC), a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be produced and delivered without any further action by the applicant.  In cases where USCIS has not yet obtained the required biometric information, the applicant will be scheduled for an ASC appointment.

  • If another type of petition or application (other than an I-130 petition or associated application) was denied based solely upon DOMA section 3, please notify USCIS by March 31, 2014, by sending an e-mail to USCIS at USCIS-626@uscis.dhs.gov as directed above.  USCIS will promptly consider whether reopening of that petition or application is appropriate under the law and the circumstances presented.

No fee will be required to request USCIS to consider reopening your petition or application pursuant to this procedure.  In the alternative to this procedure, you may file a new petition or application to the extent provided by law and according to the form instructions including payment of applicable fees as directed.

Clearly, USCIS is committed to implementing policies and regulations based upon the US Supreme Court’s recent finding. By reopening previously denied petitions and taking steps to provide same sex couples with the same standing as different-sex couples in future immigration adjudications this agency is making great strides toward equalizing the US family immigration process for families of all kinds.

To review the recently released information on this topic from the Department of State please see: Consular Processing.

more Comments: 04

7th August 2013

The administration of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and US Consulates in the Southeast Asia region to provide a single source for such information to Americans who frequently travel in the region as well as foreign nationals who may be seeking services at such posts. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos:


Date Day Holiday
January 1 Tuesday New Year’s Day
January 21 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
February 18 Monday Presidents’ Day
March 8 Friday International Women’s Day
April 15-17 Monday – Wednesday Lao New Year
May 1 Wednesday Lao Labor Day
May 27 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Thursday Independence Day
September 2 Monday Labor Day
October 14 Monday Columbus Day
October 21 Monday Boat Racing Festival
November 11 Monday Veteran’s Day
November 18 Monday That Luang Festival
November 28 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 2 Monday Lao National Day
December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day

Substitution days. Please note: According to the prevailing practice in Laos, official holidays which fall on Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday and Sunday on the following Monday.

Each year, a significant number of Americans travel to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad in order to request services such as Passport renewal, additional visa pages, notarization, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and much more. Those wishing to avail themselves of these services are encouraged to contact American Citizen Services at the US Embassy or US Consulate concerned. In most cases, Americans are well-advised to make an appointment prior to traveling to the post as some Embassies and Consulates require a prior appointment while others can process a request much more quickly if an appointment has been made before arrival at the post.

Foreign nationals, especially those wishing to apply for a US visa, are also occasionally in need of access to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. In circumstances where a US visa is being sought it is generally a requirement that the foreign national schedule an appointment for visa interview prior to traveling to the post. Applicants for a US Tourist Visa (B-2 visa), US Business Visa (B-1 visa), US Student Visa (F-1 visa), or an Exchange Worker Visa (J-1 visa) are usually interviewed by a Consular Officer with a Non-immigrant visa unit. Meanwhile, those seeking an IR-1 visa (immigrant relative visa), CR-1 visa (conditional immigrant visa for an immigrant relative), K-3 visa (non-immigrant spouse visa), or a K-1 visa (US fiance visa for the fiance or fiancee of an American Citizen) are usually required to undergo an interview before a Consular Officer under the Immigrant Visa Section of the Consular Post.

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