Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K3 Visa Thailand’

6th February 2018

It has recently been announced that the Trump administration is creating a new “National Vetting Center”. The following article is intended to shed light on what this institution is designed to do and how it will fit into the overall immigration process.

It should first be noted that the National Vetting Center should not be confused with the preexisting National Visa Center which acts as a sort of clearing house and central repository for documentation pertaining to visa applications through the Department of State. The National Visa Center’s function is to gather relevant documentation and forward cases to the appropriate US Embassy or US Consulate for visa interview scheduling.

The National Vetting Center would seem to have a different mandate, although not altogether different as both institutions deal with matters pertaining to US Immigration. In an effort to provide further insight it is necessary to cite a recent article from the website of USA Today:

The National Vetting Center will be run by the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the intelligence community and the departments of State, Justice and Defense. Its mission: To “collect, store, share, disseminate, and use” a broad range of information about people who seek to enter the United States, with a goal of identifying people who may be a threat to national security or public safety. “This is yet another step towards knowing who is coming to the United States — that they are who they say they are and that they do not pose a threat to our nation,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a statement.

Although disregarded by some at the time as overreacting, this blogger has noted in prior discussion of so-called extreme vetting policy that although it was initially discussed in a very narrow geographical and situational context the establishment of the National Vetting Center and the presumption that all future US Immigration processing will involve said institution shows that this policy will have broad ramifications for all visa applicants.

What does this mean for the timing of US visa applications? At this time it is too soon to say whether the addition of National Vetting Center protocols will result in slower processing times. However, it stands to reason that adding an entirely new institutional bureaucracy to the overall immigration framework will result in at least some delays in the processing of petitions and applications.

As has been discussed previously on this blog and through some of our firm’s videos: the Trump administration’s policies with respect to Immigration could have wide ranging and long lasting ramifications for those seeking visas in the future. Furthermore, if a deal can be reached with respect to Comprehensive Immigration Reform it looks as though the era of so-called “chain migration” (allowing extended family of Lawful Permanent Residents and American citizens to seek visa benefits)  and the visa lottery will likely come to an end.

more Comments: 04

6th April 2012

The administration of this web log routinely posts the estimated case processing times of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in order to provide pertinent information to interested parties. The following estimated processing times are quoted directly from the official website of USCIS:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
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 June 22, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 January 13, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 May 22, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 15, 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 February 24, 2007
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 8 Months
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-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 All other applications for employment authorization 3 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-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) 6 Months
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 Texas Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
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 November 9, 2011
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child October 2, 2010
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child October 2, 2010
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 a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister 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 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-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal May 3, 2010
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants April 2, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) May 3, 2010
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers April 2, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications June 2, 2011
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 August 16, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago 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 June 4, 2011
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)] August 9, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] August 9, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] October 17, 2011
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] August 9, 2011
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 All other applications for employment authorization August 9, 2011
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program 6 Months
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition May 31, 2011
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
Field Office Processing Dates for Vermont Service Center as of: January 31, 2012
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 November 20, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. November 20, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. October 16, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses 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 December 18, 2011
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 November 27, 2011
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 June 17, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 January 9, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister November 13, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document August 2, 2011
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit August 2, 2011
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-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal May 2, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants April 17, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) April 17, 2011
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers June 5, 2011
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications August 14, 2011
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-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 8 Months
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-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 June 20, 2011
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)] December 25, 2011
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)] October 31, 2010
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on TPS for Honduras/Nicaragua [(c)(19), (a)(12)] January 6, 2011
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 July 16, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador extension October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension October 31, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing October 31, 2010
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) 6 Months
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 6 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 July 25, 2011
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 23, 2011
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate 6 Months
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship 5 Months
N-643 Application for Certification of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child Application for recognition of U.S. citizenship on behalf of an adopted child 5 Months

It should be noted that these processing time estimates may not accurately reflect the overall time it takes to process an entire case as further time may be expended processing a case through the National Visa Center (NVC). Furthermore, those awaiting a US visa (such as a K-1 visa or a CR-1 visa) outside of the United States will likely be required to undergo Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad  before prospective issuance.

For related information please see: K1 visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

14th February 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has implemented a program to issue advance parole authorization on the same document as that of employment authorization. To quote directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it is now issuing employment and travel authorization on a single card for certain applicants filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. This new card represents a significant improvement from the current practice of issuing paper Advance Parole documents.

The card looks similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but will include text that reads, “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” A card with this text will serve as both an employment authorization and Advance Parole document. The new card is also more secure and more durable than the current paper Advance Parole document.

For those who are unfamiliar with the K-1 visa process, the adjustment of status occurs after a foreign fiancee arrives in America, marries the American petitioner, and files to have their status regularized to that of Lawful Permanent Resident. The card that is given to the foreign spouse is often colloquially referred to as a “Green Card”. Prior to adjustment of status, if a foreign fiancee leaves the USA, then they will need to obtain an advance parole travel document in order to keep their visa status alive and thereby permit reentry to the USA. Failure to obtain advance parole could result in a foreign fiancee losing his or her visa upon departure from the USA and thereby compelling them to go through the whole process anew.

An employment authorization document permits foreign fiancees in the United States on a K-1 visa to work prior to being approved for Green Card status. In many instances, couples opt not to apply for employment authorization and simply await the foreign fiance’s adjustment to Lawful Permanent Residence.

Once a foreign fiance is adjusted to lawful permanent residence, he or she may still be required to eventually apply for a lift of conditions. Those in the USA as a lawful permanent resident based upon marriage are placed in conditional status for the first two years of their presence in the USA if the couple was married less than 2 years at the time they acquired lawful permanent residence.

The above analysis could be utilized for K3 visa purposes as well. However, as the K-3 visa is currently being issued in very rare instances due to administrative closure policies at the National Visa Center, this blogger only mentions this issue as an aside.

For related information please see: K-1 Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

22nd September 2010

Those who read this blog on a regular basis may have noted that recently less attention has been paid to the K1 visa than in the past. This development is partly due to the fact that there has been little to report regarding the US fiance visa as there have been few dramatic changes to the K1 visa process since the beginning of the year 2010. That said, with Comprehensive Immigration Reform possibly on the horizon, there are those who believe that many changes will be made to current US Immigration protocols. In a recent announcement, the American State Department sought comments regarding the DS-156K. This form is specifically used for Consular Processing of the K1 fiance visa. To directly quote an excerpt from the announcement as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to: Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary to properly perform our functions. Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, Abstract of proposed collection: Form DS-156K is used by consular officers to determine the eligibility of an alien applicant for a non- immigrant fiancee visa. Methodology: The DS-156K is submitted to consular posts abroad.

In the past, the DS-156K might have also been utilized in a K3 Visa application pending before a US Consulate or US Embassy. However, the National Visa Center announced this year that many of the K3 visa applications will be “administratively closed” in cases where the underlying I-130 petition (used for spouse visas such as the CR1 Visa and the IR1 Visa) arrives at NVC simultaneously or prior to the arrival of the I-129f petition for a K3 visa.

In the context of the K1 visa, this request for comments would appear to be an attempt by the State Department to assess the utility of the DS-156K in an effort to streamline the processing of future K visa applications. How the comments will ultimately be used remains to be seen, but any attempt to make the visa process more efficient should be greeted positively by this author as the visa process can sometimes prove to be confusing and cumbersome those American Citizens wishing to bring a loved one to the United States.

For further information please see: K1 Visa Thailand or K3 Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

13th June 2010

With the recently announced fee increases associated with K visa applications filed overseas, there are many who feel that serious thought should be given to the type of visa a couple should petition to obtain. In the past, many couples who were thinking of marriage opted to apply for a US fiance visa, also referred to as a K1 visa. That being said, it was recently announced that the application fee for all K visas sought overseas would be increased from $131 to $350. Apparently, the resources accrued are to be used in furtherance of fraud prevention measures as well as implementation of measures meant to streamline the overall visa process. As the fee increase was only recently announced, it remains to be seen how newly acquired fees will be used on the Consular level. With that in mind, it has also been recently announced that USCIS may be raising fees for Immigrant visa petitions. For those who are unfamiliar with this blog, it should be noted that for purposes of traveling to the USA, the K1 visa and the K3 Visa are considered to be immigrant visas even though they do not automatically confer lawful permanent residence to the bearer upon entry in the USA.

Those seeking a US visa would be prudent to seriously consider their options because the costs associated with the process of applying for and obtaining a CR1 visa or an IR1 visa may be lower in some cases when compared to the costs associated with the K1 visa process. When viewed from a long term perspective the CR1 visa, although more time consuming to obtain, confers lawful permanent residence to the bearer upon entry and thereby negates the necessity of adjustment of status which is necessary for those who travel to the US on a K1 visa with the intent to marry the Petitioner and remain in the USA permanently.

In most cases, those wishing to bring a spouse to the USA are wise to bear in mind the fact that K3 visa applications, once a popular travel document for bi-national married couples, are now being administratively closed by the National Visa Center if the underlying I-130 is approved prior to, or at the same time as, the I-129f application. This has lead to many instances of spouses being required by circumstance to process a CR1 or IR1 visa rather than a K3 visa because the NVC simply will not process the K3 application.

For those interested in further information about US Immigration please see: American Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

27th May 2010

For those who bring a foreign fiance or fiancee to the United States of America, an often asked question is: “What if my fiancee wants to work in the USA prior to her adjustment of status?” The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. When a foreign fiancee or spouse enters the United States on a non-immigrant K1 visa or K3 Visa, the entrant is generally not authorized to take up employment in the USA until that alien either adjusts status to permanent residence (Green Card) or obtains employment authorization. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that, in an effort to decrease immigration fraud, new Employment Authorization Documents are to be issued. The following is a direct quote from USCIS’s official statement:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card.. This update to the EAD is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. Starting May 11, USCIS began issuing the revised EAD cards. The machine-readable zone is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. USCIS also removed the two-dimensional bar code on the backside of the card and moved the informational box of text to just beneath the magnetic stripe on the card. The revised card retains all of its existing security features.

In most cases, foreign fiancees or spouses of US Citizens opt to wait for permanent residence before taking up employment. However, in some instances this is not the case as there are increasing numbers of foreign fiancees and spouses who work for multi-national companies. These international businesses sometimes wish to have their non-US Citizen employee start work in the USA as soon as they can. Therefore, there are situations in which speedy employment authorization is a necessity.

In the past, K3 Visa holders could seek employment authorization at the port of entry when they entered the USA. As the K-3 Visa is being increasingly phased out, this method of receiving employment authorization is being employed less frequently. Another issue that often arises in the context of Employment Authorization is that of advance parole. Holders of a US fiance visa cannot leave the United States prior to adjustment of status and simultaneously maintain their lawful K1 status unless they apply for, and receive, an advance parole travel document.  In some cases, couples making an application for advance parole will also make an application for an EAD in order to work in the USA.

more Comments: 04

22nd May 2010

Please be advised that the following was posted upon the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. Embassy Visa Services Closed May 24, 2010

Due to continuing security concerns in the area and access issues on Wireless Road, the U.S. Embassy is currently operating under emergency personnel staffing only.  The Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visa sections will be closed May 24, 2010.  If you have a non-immigrant visa interview appointment scheduled for May 24, 2010, your appointment will be rescheduled.  As soon as the U.S. Embassy has determined the situation to be safe for Embassy Consular staff to return to work and for visa applicants to travel to the Embassy for visa appointments, we will advise those impacted through e-mail or phone with details on new appointment dates.  Please Note:  As a large number of people have been affected by these events, and the volume of appointments that have been scheduled for the upcoming weeks, it will not be possible to consider expedited appointments.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this has caused.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reschedule my appointment?

At present, we must ask applicants with visa appointments scheduled for the period of May 14 through May 24 to wait until the Embassy has determined when that it is safe to conduct visa appointments.  All those impacted by this unexpected closure will be notified through the e-mail address or phone number provided during the visa interview appointment process.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  I have urgent travel to the United States, what can I do?

Unfortunately, due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Visa Services is currently closed.  We are unable to reschedule any visa appointments for applicants who had appointments made for the period of May 14 – May 24 and will be unable to accommodate expedited appointments.  We suggest that you make alternate travel plans.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I reschedule my appointment at another U.S. Embassy in a neighboring country?

Each U.S. Embassy has its own scheduling system and requirements for visa applicants.  Fees paid in Thailand for the visa interview cannot be used abroad.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I reschedule my appointment for the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai?

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai has its own appointment system and you must live within their consular district to schedule an appointment there.  Please see http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/ for more information.

I had a visa appointment scheduled during the period of May 14 – May 24.  Can I make a special request?

Due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Visa Services will be closed for the period of May 14 – May 24.  As such, we will be unable to reply to visa inquiries and/or special requests during that period.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our disruption of service has caused.

I am an immigrant visa applicant – can I come in for my scheduled appointment, to drop off documents, or to pick up my visa?

If you had/have an immigrant visa appointment for the period of May 14 – May 24, it will be rescheduled.  You will be contacted with a new date and time once the Embassy reopens.  If you have been told to bring in documents on Mondays or Wednesdays, or to come in to pick up your visa, please do not come in until the Embassy reopens.  Please look for announcements on the Embassy website.

The documentation mentioned above is likely referencing 221g refusals or requests for other types of documentation related to the issuance of travel documents such as, but not limited to, the K1 visa, the K3 Visa, or Immigrant visas such as the CR1 Visa and the IR1 Visa.

For further information about American attorney assistance in Immigration matters as well as Consular Processing in Bangkok, Thailand please see: US Embassy Bangkok and/or US Embassy Thailand.

more Comments: 04

21st May 2010

To see this information in English please see: US visa denial

อย่างที่ผู้เขียนได้เคยพูดไว้ในกระทู้ก่อนๆ เหตุผลหลักๆที่ทำให้วีซ่าอเมริกาถูกปฏิเสธขึ้นอยู่กับเหตุที่ทำให้ไม่สามารถเข้าเมืองได้ ในเคสนั้นๆ เหตุหนึ่งก็คือ เจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลพบว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าทำความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม ( CIMT ) นั่นหมายความว่า บางครั้งก็เป็นเรื่องยากที่จะวินิจฉัยว่าความผิดที่ผู้ขอวีซ่ากระทำนั้นเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมหรือไม่ คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศกล่าวถึงลักษณะของความผิดที่เป็นความผิดเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมเอาไว้ ด้านล่างคือข้อความบางส่วนที่ตัดตอนมา

ข้อ9 คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศ 40.21(a) N 2.3-1 ความผิดต่อทรัพย์สิน

( CT. VISA-1318;09-24-2009 )

เอ. ความผิดทางอาญาส่วนใหญ่ที่ถือว่าเกี่ยวข้องกับศีลธรรมอันเป็นความผิดต่อทรัพย์สินได้แก่ ฉ้อโกง การกระทำความผิดฐานฉ้อโกงถือเป็นความผิดต่อศีลธรรมไม่ว่าจะเป็นการกระทำต่อบุคคลหรือความผิดต่อแผ่นดิน ความผิดฐานฉ้อโกง โดยทั่วไป

เกี่ยวกับ

(1) ทำให้บุคคลอื่นหลงเข้าใจผิด

(2) รู้ถึงข้อความที่หลอกลวงซึ่งทำขึ้นโดยตัวผู้ก่อการ

(3) เชื่อถือในสิ่งที่แสดงให้เข้าใจผิดโดยบุคคลที่ถูกหลอก

(4) เจตนาหลอกลวง และ

(5) การกระทำการฉ้อโกง

ความผิดต่อทรัพย์สินไม่เพียงเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวเนื่องด้วยศีลธรรมชนิดเดียวแต่ความผิดต่อเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐก็ถือเป็นความผิดทางอาญาที่เกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมด้วย

ข้อ9 คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศ 40.21(a) N 2.3-2 ความผิดต่อการเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐ

( CT: VISA-1318; 09-24-2009 )

เอ. ความผิดต่อเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐที่เข้ากับนิยามความผิดทางศีลธรรมได้แก่:

(1) การติดสินบน

(2) ปลอมเอกสาร

(3) ฉ้อโกงกรมสรรพากร หรือหน่วยงานราชการอื่น

(4) ฉ้อฉลทางเอกสาร

(5) ให้การเท็จ

(6) ให้ที่พักพิงแก่ผู้ร้ายหลบหนี ( โดยทราบความผิด ) และ

(7) เลี่ยงภาษี ( โดยมีเจตนา )

คู่มือทางกิจการต่างประเทศได้กล่าวถึงกิจกรรมอีกหลายๆลักษณะที่อาจไม่ถือเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม เป็นหน้าที่ของเจ้าหน้าที่ที่พิจารณาเรื่องในการตัดสินข้อเท็จจริงของคดีและตัดสินว่าการกระทำดังกล่าวเป็นความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวเนื่องกับศีลธรรมหรือไม่ หากว่าได้กระทำความผิดจริง ก็จะต้องถูกปฏิเสธวีซ่า  ภายใต้ทฤษฎีอำนาจที่ห้ามตรวจสอบของกงสุล ( รู้จักกันในชื่อ อำนาจเด็ดขาดของกงสุล ) คำตัดสินนี้ไม่สามารถอุทธรณ์ได้ อย่างไรก็ตาม ผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่าสามารถแก้ไขปัญหาวีซ่าถูกปฏิเสธได้โดยยื่นขออภัยโทษแบบ I-601

เพื่อประโยชน์ของบางคน มีคำพิพากษาของ ศาลภาค กล่าวว่า

“คำสั่งส่งตัวออกนอกสหรัฐอเมริกาที่มีต่อ ผู้ร้อง อาร์มานโด อัลวาเรซ เรย์นากาเนื่องจากกระทำความผิดอาญาฐานรับยานพาหนะที่ขโมยมา มีความผิดตามมาตรา 496d(a) ตามประมวลกฎหมายอาญาแคลิฟอร์เนีย คำร้องของเขาขอให้พิจาณาใหม่ว่าความผิดทางอาชญากรรมที่กระทำลงนั้น เป็นความผิดตามศีลธรรมหรือไม่ เราสรุปได้ว่าเป็นความผิดฐานอาชญากรรมแต่ไม่ใช่อาชญากรรมเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรม เราปฏิเสธคำร้องขอพิจารณาใหม่”

เมื่อกฎหมายเปลี่ยนแปลงไป นิยามของความผิดทางอาญาเกี่ยวกับศีลธรรมและกิจกรรมที่อยู่ภายใต้ข้อกำหนดของความผิดอาญาทางศีลธรรมตามพระราชบัญญัติคนเข้าเมืองและสัญชาติก็เปลี่ยนแปลงไปด้วย

สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมสำหรับวีซ่าอเมริกาจากประเทศไทย โปรดดู วีซ่าอเมริกาประเทศไทย

more Comments: 04

6th May 2010

Few people realize that Puerto Rico is, for immigration purposes, part of the United States of America. This legal posture is enshrined in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. In a recent posting on the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Website it was announced that the Puerto Rican authorities will be making sweeping changes to the rules effecting the issuance of birth certificates:

The government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico.

The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.

Under the new law, all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated so that new, more secure certificates can be issued. Until that date, all birth certificates will remain valid.

It is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1.  It is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes need request a new birth certificate right away.

As many may be aware, birth certificates are an integral component of many visa petition packages. This is particularly true for K1 visa petitions, K3 Visa petitions, IR1 and CR1 visa petitions. How these proposed chages will impact immigration to the United States from abroad, and from Puerto Rico, remains to be seen, but it is clear that government officials are taking the issue of fraud prevention seriously.

Birth certificates are such an important piece of documentation that some believe that it is clearly self evident that maintaining the integrity of such documents is vitally important in maintaining security in the United States of America. In the 50 United States, there have been innumerable programs that are intended to make it more difficult for individuals to obtain fraudulent documentation. It would appear that this overall policy is being extended to US territorial possessions in order to provide increased document security in the outlying jurisdictions of the United States of America.

For more information about births overseas and obtaining birth registration documentation from abroad please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For information about registering Thai births overseas please see: Thai Consular Report of Birth Abroad.


more Comments: 04

21st April 2010

For information in English please see: National Visa Center.

NVC คืออะไร?

กระบวนการขอรับผลประโยชน์จากการเข้าเมืองของสหรัฐอเมริกาอาจจะยุ่งยากเป็นบางครั้ง แต่โดยภาพรวมแล้วหากว่าเข้าใจขั้นตอนหรือมีการจ้างทนายความผู้มีประสบการณ์ก็อาจจะทำให้ง่ายขึ้น

คำถามที่พบบ่อยๆเกี่ยวกับกระบวนการขอวีซ่าก็คือ NVC คืออะไรและมีหน้าที่อะไร NVC ย่อมาจากศูนย์วีซ่าแห่งชาติ ซึ่งเป็นหน่วยงานรัฐภายใต้อำนาจของกระทรวงต่างประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา NVC มีสำนักงานอยู่ที่ Portsmouth มลรัฐ New Hampshire อำนาจของ NVC คือการดำเนินการคำขอวีซ่าและทำให้แน่ใจว่าคำขอวีซ่าจะถูกส่งต่อไปยังหน่วยงานที่อยู่ในพื้นที่ผู้รับผลประโยชน์มีภูมิลำเนาอยู่

NVC ยังรับผิดชอบในการรวบรวมค่าธรรมเนียมวีซ่าถาวร และเอกสารสำคัญที่จำเป็นต้อเจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลในการพิจารณาคำขอ

กระบวรการดำเนินการของ NVC วีซ่าไม่ถาวรและวีซ่าถาวร

การดำเนินการของ NVC นั้นยุ่งยากและใช้เวลาค่อนข้างมากกว่าสำหรับวีซ่าถาวร ซึ่งตรงข้ามกับวีซ่าไม่ถาวร กิจกรรมหนึ่งที่ NVC ทำบ่อยๆก็คือการตรวจสอบด้านความมั่นคงและตรวจสอบภูมิหลังของผู้ที่มีความประสงค์จะเข้าประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา หลังจากเหตุการณ์ 11 กันยายน 2544 NVC ได้มีบทบาทสำคัญเพื่อทำให้มั่นใจว่าบุคคลเหล่านั้นจะไม่เป็นภัยต่อความมั่นคงของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา

NVC นั้นบางครั้งถูกเข้าใจสับสนกับ NBC หรือ ศูนย์ผลประโยชน์แห่งชาติซึ่งได้รับมอบหมายจาก USCIS ให้จัดการเกี่ยวกับเอกสารก่อนสัมภาษณ์สำหรับการสัมภาษณ์คนเข้าเมืองในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา

สำหรับคนที่ต้องการนำคู่หมั้นชาวไทยไปอเมริกาโดยวีซ่า K1 ขั้นตอน NVC มักจะเร็วกว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าอพยพ ซึ่งก็เป็นจริงสำหรับกรณีวีซ่า K3 จากประเทศไทยที่ยื่นคำขอเพิ่มเติม I129F ในกรณีใดๆก็ตาม เมื่อวีซ่าได้รับการอนุมัติจาก USCIS มันจะถูกส่งต่อไปยัง NVC และ เมื่อได้รับอนุมัติคำขอจะถูกส่งไปยังสถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกาหรือสถานกงสุลใหญ่

ขึ้นอยู่กับจำนวนเรื่องที่ NVC กระบวนการอาจจะใช้เวลาจาก 2 ถึง 8 สัปดาห์ ในการดำเนินการและส่งต่อเรื่องไปยังสถานทูตในต่างประเทศ อย่างไรก็ตามนี่ก็เป็นแค่ระยะเวลาโดยเฉลี่ยเท่านั้น ระยะเวลาในการดำเนินการสำหรับหน่วยงานของสหรัฐก็มักจะต่างกันไป

เมื่อยื่นคำขอที่ USCIS ในกรุงเทพมหานคร NVC จะไม่เข้ามามีส่วนในขั้นตอนใดๆเนื่องจากคำขอจะถูกส่งตรงไปยังสถานทูตอเมริกาประจำกรุงเทพมหานครซึ่งอยู่ฝั่งตรงข้ามทันที

more Comments: 04

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