Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘United States Immigration and Nationality Act’

29th January 2011

The administration of this web log routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various US Missions in the Asia-Pacific region as a courtesy to travelers abroad who may need services from a US Embassy or US Consulate while overseas. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan:

The Embassy will be closed to the public in observance of the following United States and Japanese holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1, 2011 Saturday (Observed on Fri., Dec. 31)
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Jan. 17 Monday
National Foundation Day Feb. 11 Friday
Washington’s Birthday Feb. 21 Monday
Vernal Equinox Day March 21 Monday
Golden Week Holidays April 29, May 3-5 Friday, Tuesday – Thursday
Memorial Day May 30 Monday
Independence Day July 4 Monday
Marine Day July 18 Monday
Labor Day Sept. 5 Monday
Autumn Equinox Day Sept. 23 Friday
Columbus Day/Sports Day Oct. 10 Monday
Veterans Day Nov. 11 Friday
Labor Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23 Wednesday
Thanksgiving Day Nov.24 Thursday
Emperor’s Birthday Dec.23 Friday
Christmas Day Dec. 25 Sunday (Observed on Mon., Dec. 26)

Note:

The Embassy will remain open for the following three Japanese holidays in 2011:

Adult’s Day Jan. 10 Monday
Respect for the Aged Day Sept. 19 Monday
Culture Day Nov. Thursday

Those wishing to view the official homepage of the US Embassy in Japan please click HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided by a US Mission abroad such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a US Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Mission with appropriate Consular jurisdiction. In some cases, it may be possible to set an appointment with the Post in advance over the internet. Setting an appointment in advance can greatly streamline the processing of requests as Consular Officers are often better able to anticipate one’s needs.

Those seeking non-immigrant visa benefits such as a US tourist visa (B-2), US student visa (F-1), US exchange visitor visa (J-1), or US business visa (B-1) are likely to see their visa application processed at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. It should be noted that non-immigrant visa applicants are scrutinized subject to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those American Citizens seeking American family visa benefits for a Japanese spouse such as a CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa are generally required to process and receive approval of a United States immigration petition prior to processing a US visa application at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. It should be noted that for processing purposes, the K-1 visa, although a US fiance visa, is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visa categories.

Those seeking US business visa benefits such as E-2 visa benefits for certain qualified traders, L-1 visa benefits for intra-company transferees of multi-national corporations, or EB-5 visa benefits for immigrant investors are likely to be required to process, and receive approval of, an immigration petition prior to application for visa benefits at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

Those denied a US visa may be able to still ultimately obtain visa benefits through use of an I-601 waiver of a finding of inadmissibility or through use of an I-212 waiver (depending on the reason for denial). However, all cases must be analyzed based upon the unique set of facts in the case in order to make a determination as to the eligibility of an applicant for any immigration waiver.

Japan currently participates in the visa waiver program. That said, those wishing to travel to the US on their Japanese passport utilizing the visa waiver program must register online via the electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA) system prior to traveling to the USA.

For related information please see: US Visa Japan.

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16th August 2010

The J1 visa can be an effective travel document for those seeking admission to the United States for cultural and educational exchange. It was recently announced that certain changes will be implemented which may have a significant impact upon J1 visa applicants. The American State Department has made rule changes which may effect J1 visa processing, to quote a recent press release distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

On June 19, 2007, the Department published an interim final rule amending its regulations regarding Trainees and Interns to, among other things, eliminate the distinction between “non-specialty occupations” and “specialty occupations,” establish a new internship program, and modify the selection criteria for participation in a training program.

This document confirms the Interim Final Rule as final and amends the requirements to permit the use of telephone interviews to screen potential participants for eligibility, to remove the requirement that sponsors secure a Dun & Bradstreet report profiling companies with whom a participant will be placed and also amends this provision to provide clarification regarding the verification of Worker’s Compensation coverage for participants and use of an Employer Identification Number to ascertain that a third-party host organization providing training is a viable entity, and to clarify that trainees and interns may repeat training and internship programs under certain conditions.

It would appear that the US State Department is making these changes in order to better enjoy the benefits of technological advances. The use of telephone interviews for eligibility screening purposes will likely decrease overall processing time. Furthermore, repealing the Dun & Bradstreet report requirement will likely save individuals as well as companies time and resources when they opt to file for J-1 visa benefits on behalf of a foreign national.

The J-1 visa is often utilized by those who travel to the USA as exchange visitors. Often, those applying for such a travel documents do so at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. As the J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, the Consular Officer adjudicating the application must ascertain whether the applicant should be granted the visa notwithstanding the provisions of section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act which requires that those seeking a non-immigrant visa show “strong ties” to their home country and “weak ties” to the United States. Some are under the mistaken impression that a J-1 visa is a “dual intent” travel document akin to the L1 visa. Due to the provisions of section 214b of the INA, the applicant for a J1 visa should not maintain an intention to remain in the USA indefinitely.

For related information please see: US Tourist Visa.

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