Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K1 Visa Lawyer’

5th June 2011

This posting discusses the issues associated with retaining an American attorney to assist with the K-1 visa process. Those thinking about retaining assistance in the K-1 visa process are well advised to conduct thorough research prior to making any irrevocable decisions.

The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant US fiance visa which was intended to be used solely by the foreign fiances of American Citizens. The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancee of an American Citizen to enter the United States for a period of 90 days of the purpose of marriage. Those who do not marry their American fiance after 90 days in the USA will be required to depart from the USA. Readers should bear in mind that the entrant to the United States on a K-1 visa who marries their loved one must undergo the adjustment of status process in order to gain lawful permanent residence in the U.S.A.

The purpose of this article is to provide insight to Americans about the perils of dealing with non-licensed individuals who purport to be qualified to practice United States Immigration law (or any American law, for that matter) . Pursuant to 8 CFR 292.1 only a qualified lawyer licensed to practice law in at least one U.S. State or Federal jurisdiction is entitled to engage in the receiving of client fees in connection with the practice of United States immigration law. Therefore, those not so qualified must either fit within a narrow exception to the aforementioned rule lest their behavior be deemed to be illegal. It should be noted that attorney-client confidentiality is a significant issue which should be considered when ascertaining the credentials of those claiming qualification in United States immigration matters abroad as there are many so-called “visa agents” or “immigration consultants” claiming qualification to provide services in connection with U.S. immigration. Attorney-client privilege is not extended to those not qualified as an American attorney and therefore discussions with unqualified individuals are likely not privileged communications. Meanwhile, some individuals brazenly, albeit falsely, portray themselves as American attorneys when, in fact, this is simply not the case.

For all of the reasons outlined above it should be noted that only a competent licensed attorney from the United States should be retained to assist prospective clients. Readers should understand that this message is not conveyed as an advertisement of this particular blogger’s services, as this is not this blogger’s intention in creating this posting. Instead, this post should be viewed as a reminder to readers that this decision should be made by prospective clients after serious contemplation and thorough research of all possible candidates for an attorney position. Attorney-Client relationships are not “one size fits-all” and neither is quality legal service. Therefore, the public should conduct research before coming to an informed decision about hiring an attorney.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand or K1 Visa Cambodia.

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9th June 2009

What is the Process for Obtaining a K-1 Fiancee Visa?

The K-1 visa process is a time consuming and complex endeavor. Many arm-chair attorneys believe that they understand the K-1 process based upon second hand or incorrect information. Further complicating the research process are so-called visa agents and Immigration consulting firms providing misleading information. In Thailand, there are some “US Immigration Lawyers” who are not licensed to practice law in any US jurisdiction and therefore cannot practice US Immigration law. Without all of this “background noise” of bad information, what are the facts about the K-1 Visa Process?

The K-1 Visa Process: The Visa Application

The K-1 Visa Application is one of the most critical components of the K-1 visa process. Currently, the I-129f application is used by those who wish to petition for K-1 benefits for a foreign fiancee. The I-129f petition seems uncomplicated at first blush, but legislation passed within the last decade has made K-1 visa application questions more detailed and created restrictions regarding who can submit an application for a K-1 visa.

After the application is completed, it must then be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) center with proper jurisdiction. USCIS Service Center jurisdiction is based upon the location of the US Citizen’s primary residence in the United States.

K-1 Visa Process: Submission of the K-1 Visa Application to the USCIS Service Center

After the US Citizen sends the K-1 Visa application to the USCIS service center, the wait begins. Due to the heavy caseload of both service centers, it can take some time before the K-1 application is adjudicated. Currently, both USCIS service centers state that it will take approximately 6 months to adjudicate the K-1 visa application. However, is has been the experience of the writer that this is a conservative estimate and the K-1 application is usually adjudicated in a shorter time period. An issue that can arise and slow down a K-1 visa application is a Request For Evidence (RFE). An RFE is sent from USCIS to the US Citizen if there is a deficiency of documentation in the K1 application. This is where retaining the services of a US Visa Lawyer could be a benefit because the lawyer could assist in forestalling an RFE.

K-1 Visa Application Approval at USCIS and Forwarding to the National Visa Center

Once USCIS approves a K-1 visa application, they will send the visa application to an office within the American State Department called the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will ascertain where the Fiancee beneficiary of the visa application will be conducting her interview. Once it is determined where the Fiancee will conduct her K-1 visa interview, the NVC will forward the application to that Embassy or Consulate.

K-1 Visa Process: Packet 3 and the K-1 Visa Interview

After the NVC has forwarded the K-1 application to the Embassy the embassy will send out packet 3, which explains the documentation that must be submitted prior to the K-1 visa interview. Having an attorney on the scene to assist with consular processing can be a major advantage to the Non-Citizen fiancee especially where the fiancee’s mother tongue is not English. After Packet 3 is submitted and the Interview is scheduled, the Fiancee will go to the Embassy and have her interview.

K-1 Visa Process: K-1 Visa Interview and 221g Refusals

One common delay in the K-1 visa process is caused by a 221 g denial. A 221 g visa denial occurs when the consular officer conducting the K-1 visa interview determines that the applicant has provided insufficient documentation and will need to retrieve the necessary documentation before a visa will be issued. An American Immigration attorney in the fiancee’s home country can be indispensable at the K-1 interview phase because they can attempt to forestall 221 g denials by using their knowledge of the law and experience in order to prepare all of the necessary documentation in advance. Further, if a 221 g should arise, the attorney is in a position to advise how best to deal with the deficiency.

K-1 Visa Process: K1 Visa Denial based upon a Legal Ground of Inadmissibility

In cases where the K-1 beneficiary is deemed legally inadmissible to the US, the K-1 visa application will be denied. In many cases, the Inadmissibility can be waived by filing an I-601 waiver application. retaining an Immigration attorney at the beginning of the process can enable all parties to form an effective strategy regarding a finding of inadmissibility. If an attorney believes that a ground of inadmissibility exists, then he can prepare the application for a waiver before the visa is ultimately denied and file the waiver application contemporaneously or shortly following denial.  Luckily for those reading this, most foreign beneficiaries are not inadmissible, but it may be wise to contact an attorney in order to understand all facets of the K-1 Visa Process.

(Nothing in this article should be used for purposes other than education and research. Further, no part of this post is a satifactory alternative to competenet personal legal advice from a licensed attorney. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship between author and reader.)

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8th March 2009

Many Americans journey to Thailand each year for a myriad of reasons. One of the main reasons is tourism, as one of the top tourist destinations in the world Thailand boasts a thriving tourism sector. The upshot of a large tourism sector is a large percentage of American tourists coming from the US meet and form relationships with Thais. Many people each year fall in love in the Land of Smiles and seek to bring their Thai fiancée or spouse back to their home in the USA. US Immigration can be a daunting process for those unfamiliar with US Immigration laws and procedures. This is why it could be beneficial to retain the advice of a competent Immigration Attorney before filing any applications for a US Visa from Thailand.

What is a K1 Fiancée Visa and is it the proper American visa for my Thai Fiancée?

The K1 Fiancée Visa is a hybrid visa in that it is technically a non-immigrant visa, but it is a non-immigrant visa issued for the sole purpose of traveling to the US for the purpose of getting married and adjusting status to permanent residence. In order to get a K1 fiancée Visa in Thailand an I-129f petition for a K1 Visa must first be submitted to the USCIS (Immigration) office with jurisdiction over the American Citizen’s residence. After approval, USCIS will forward this I-129f application on to the National Visa Center and ultimately the US Embassy in Bangkok, where the Thai fiancée will conduct her visa interview.

How long does it take to get a K1 Visa for a Thai?

The K1 Visa sought in Thailand is generally the fastest family based visa to obtain. It usually takes approximately 6 months from submission of the I-129f petition at USCIS until the Thai fiancée receives the Fiancée Visa from the US Embassy in Bangkok.

Getting Started: How do I begin the K1 Visa Process from Thailand?

The best way to begin the K1 Visa process is to contact Integrity Legal at Info@integrity-legal.com or call us today. Let Integrity Legal help your Thai loved one obtain a K1 Visa in the fastest most efficient way possible.

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