Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US Fiance Visa’

7th December 2017

Khmer language translation of the video found here: ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 ពី​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា៖

នៅ​ក្នុង​វីដេអូ​នេះ យើង​នឹង​ពិភាក្សា​អំពី​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 សំរាប់​គូដណ្ដឹង ​ក្នុង​បរិបទ​នៃ​ការ​ដំណើរ​ការ​របស់ការិយាល័យ​កុងស៊ុល​នៃ​​ស្ថានទូត​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក​ប្រចាំ​នៅរាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញនៃ​ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រ​កម្ពុជា ។

សំរាប់​អ្នក​ដែល​បាន​ចូល​មក​កាន់​ទំព័រ​របស់​យើង ហើយ​បាន​ឃើញ​វីដេអូ​មួយ​ចំនួន​របស់​យើង​ហើយ អ្នក​ប្រហែល​ជា​ដឹង​ហើយ​ថា​យើង​មាន​ទីតាំង​នៅ​ក្នុង​ទីក្រុង​បាងកកនៃ​ប្រទេស​ថៃ ។ យើង​ធ្វើ​ការ​ដោះស្រាយជា​​ចម្បង​លើ​សំណុំរឿង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ។ ជា​ទូទៅ​គឺ​សំរាប់​ជនជាតិ​ថៃ​អាមេរិកាំង ហើយ​យើង​ធ្វើ​ការ​រត់​ការ​សំណុំរឿង​ជាច្រើន​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​សំណុំរឿង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍សំរាប់​គ្រួសារ​អាមេរិក ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​គូដណ្ដឹង ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ​រៀបការ ។ល។

ដោយ​សារ​យើង​មាន​ទីតាំង​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុងទី​ក្រុង​បាងកក មិន​មែន​មាន​ន័យ​ថា​យើង​ធ្វើ​ការ​ផ្ដាច់​មុខ​លើរឿង​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​អាមេរិក​​តែនៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​នេះ នោះ​ទេ ។ វា​គួរ​អោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍​ដែរ ដែល​មេធាវីអន្តោប្រវេសន៍ជា​ច្រើនដែល​ធ្វើ​ការ​នៅ​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក​ហាក់​ដូច​ជាធ្វើ​ការ​ជាមួយ​អតិថិជន​ចំរុះ​ជាតិសាសន៍ ប៉ុន្តែ​ផ្ទុយ​ទៅ​វិញ​ យើង​នៅ​ទី​ក្រុង​បាងកក​នេះ ហាក់​ដូច​ជា​ធ្វើ​ការ​តែ​ជាមួយ​​ជនជាតិ​ថៃ​ ។ ទោះ​បី​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ ខ្ញុំ​ក៏​ធ្លាប់​បាន​ធ្វើ​ការជាមួយ​សំណុំរឿងមួយចំនួនដែរ​ដែល​​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ស្ថានទូត​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក​ប្រចាំ​នៅរាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញនៃ​ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រ​កម្ពុជាដែរ​ ដោយសារ​តែ​ប្រទេស​នេះ​នៅ​ជិត​ប្រទេស​ថៃ ។ សំរាប់​អ្នក​ដោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍​លើ​ដំណើរ​ការដោយ​មើល​ពី​ទិដ្ឋភាព​ទូទៅ ជា​ការ​ល្អ​បំផុត​គឺ​អ្នក​គួរ​មើល​ទៅ​លើ​រឿង​នេះ​ជា​២​ដំណាក់​កាល៖ ដំណាក់​កាល​មួយ​គឺ​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ក្រសួង​សន្ដិសុខ​មាតុភូមិ ។ ស្ថាប័នអន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ​ហៅ​កាត់​ថា USCIS​ ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្រោម​ការ​គ្រប់​គ្រង​របស់​ក្រសួង​សន្ដិសុខ​មាតុភូមិ នឹង​ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ដំបូង​ដោយ​ធ្វើ​ការ​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រម​លើ​ទំរង់បែបបទធានា I-129F ។ ពាក្យ​ធានា​នេះ គឺ​ជា​ចំនុច​ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ដំបូង​នៃ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នេះ ។ អ្នក​ត្រូវ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ធានា ហើយ​អ្នក​ត្រូវ​តែ​ទទួល​បាន​ការ​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រម​ពី​ USCIS​ នៃ​ក្រសួង​សន្ដិសុខ​មាតុភូមិ មុនពេល​ដែល​អ្នក​អាច​បន្ត​ដំណើរ​ការ​ជាមួយ​នឹង​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 រប​ស់​អ្នក​ ។ បន្ទាប់​ពី​ទទួល​បាន​ការ​​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រមលើ​ពាក្យ​ធានា​របស់​អ្នក​ហើយ យើង​នឹង​និយាយ​អំពី​តំរូវ​ការ​លំអិត​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ពាក្យ​ធានា ។ អ្វី​ដែល​ត្រូវ​កំណត់​ចំណាំ​ជាង​គេ​បំផុត​នោះ​ គឺ​ដៃ​គូ​ដែល​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ធានាទាំង​ពីរ​នាក់​​ត្រូវ​តែ​នៅ​ទំនេរ​និង​អាច​រៀប​ការ​បានដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់​ នៅ​ពេល​ដែល​ពាក្យ​ធានា​ត្រូវ​បាន​ដាក់​ ។ លើស​ពី​នេះ​ទៅ​ទៀត ភាគីទាំង​ពីរ​ត្រូវធ្លាប់​បាន​ជួប​គ្នា​ផ្ទាល់​ក្នុង​កំឡុង​ពេល​២ឆ្នាំមុន​ពេល​ដែល​ពួក​គេ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​ធានា​សុំ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 ។ រឿង​ដែល​សំខាន់​ជាង​គេ​ដែល​ត្រូវ​ចាំគឺ «អ្នក​ត្រូវ​តែ​នៅ​ទំនេរ​និង​អាច​រៀប​ការបាន​ដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់ ។ អ្នក​មិន​អាច​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ស្ថានភាព​កំពុង​លែង​លះនោះ​ទេ ។ អ្នក​​ត្រូវតែ​លែង​លះ​រួច​រាល់​ហើយ ប្រសិន​បើអ្នក​មាន​ប្ដី​ឬ​ប្រពន្ធ​មុន ។ ​អ្នក​ត្រូវ​តែ​នៅ​ទំនេរ​និង​អាច​រៀប​ការ​បានដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់ ហើយ​អ្វី​ដែល​អ្នក​ត្រូវចង​ចាំ ​ដែរ​នោះ​គឺ​ថា​ តំរូវ​ការ​នេះ​អាច​នឹង​មាន​នៅ​ក្នុងយុត្តាធិការ​នៃ​ច្បាប់​សាមញ្ញ ឬ​ពេល​ខ្លះ​ក៏​មាន​នៅ​ក្នុងយុត្តាធិការ​នៃ​​ច្បាប់​រដ្ឋ​ប្បវេណី​ផង​ដែរ ។ អ្នក​មិន​អាច​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ស្ថានភាព​មាន​ប្ដី​ឬ​ប្រពន្ធ​ នៅពេល​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 នោះ​ទេ បើ​ទោះ​បី​ជា​អ្នក​ទាំង​ពីរ​ជាប្ដី​ប្រពន្ធ​ក៏​ដោយ ។ អ្នក​ត្រូវ​រង់ចាំ និង​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នង​ស្ថានភាព​ជាគូដណ្ដឹង រហូត​ដល់​គូដណ្ដឹងបរទេសរបស់​អ្នក​ដែល​ក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​នេះ ជា​ជនជាតិ​ខ្មែរ ចាកចេញ​ពី​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ ទៅ​កាន់​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ហើយ​បន្ទាប់​មក​អ្នក​នឹង​មាន​រយៈពេល​ ៩០​ថ្ងៃ ដើម្បី​រៀប​អាពាហ៍​ពិពាហ៍ និង​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​សុំ​ផ្លាស់​ប្ដូរ​ស្ថានភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍​ ។ ការ​​ផ្លាស់​ប្ដូរ​ស្ថានភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ គឺ​ជា​ដំណើរ​ការ​មួយ​ផ្សេងទៀត ។ វា​កើតឡើង​បន្ទាប់​ពី​ការ​រៀបការ​នៅ​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ។ មាន​វីដេអូ​មួយ​ផ្សេងទៀត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ទំព័រ​នេះ ដែល​ពិភាក្សា​ជាពិសេស​លើ​សេចក្ដី​លំអិត​នៃ​ការ​​ផ្លាស់​ប្ដូរ​ស្ថានភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ។ យើង​អាច​និយាយ​បាន​ថា ជា​មូលដ្ឋានវា​គឺ​ជា​ដំណើរ​ការដែល​គូដណ្ដឹងបរទេស​ ដែល​បន្ទាប់​មកនឹង​ក្លាយ​ទៅ​ប្តី​ឬ​ប្រពន្ធ នឹង​ទទួល​បាន​សិទ្ធិ​ជាអ្នក​រស់​នៅ​ជា​អចិន្ត្រៃយ៍​ដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់ ឬ​ដែល​ត្រូ​វ​បាន​គេ​ស្គាល់ថា​ជា​អ្នក​កាន់​ green card នៅ​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ។ អញ្ចឹង​ វា​គឺ​ជា​រឿង​ដែល​កើត​ឡើង​ចុង​ក្រោយ​នៃ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នេះ ។ ត្រឡប់​មក​និយាយ​ពីសំណុំបែបបទធានា​វិញ ដៃ​គូត្រូវ​តែ​បាន​ជួប​គ្នា​ផ្ទាល់​ក្នុង​កំឡុង​ពេល​២ឆ្នាំ​មុន​ការ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ ត្រូវ​តែ​នៅ​ទំនេរ និង​អាច​រៀប​ការបាន​ដោយ​ស្របច្បាប់​ ។ មាន​ពត៌មាន​លំអិត​ជា​ច្រើន​ទៀត​ដែល​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​រឿង​នេះ​ ដែល​ខ្ញុំ​នឹង​មិន​ពិភាក្សា​ស៊ី​ជម្រៅ​ពេក​ទេ ។ ​សន្មត់​ថា ស្ថាប័ន USCIS DHS​ បាន​ធ្វើ​ការ​សំរេច​យល់​ព្រម​លើ​ពាក្យ​ធានា ។ សំណុំរឿង​នេះ​នឹង​ត្រូវ​បញ្ជូន​​យ៉ាង​លឿន​ទៅ​កាន់​មជ្ឍមណ្ឌល​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ជាតិ ដែល​ដើរ​តួ​ដូច​ជា​កន្លែង​លាង​សំអាតឯកសារ ឬ​ទីតាំង​សំរាប់​បញ្ជូនឯកសារ ដើម្បី​បញ្ជូន​សំណុំ​រឿង​នេះ​ទៅ​កាន់ស្ថានទូត ឬ​ស្ថាន​កុងស៊ុល​ក្រៅ​ប្រទេស​ដែល​សមស្រប ហើយ​នៅ​ក្នុង​សំណុំរឿង​នេះ​គឺកម្ពុជា ។ សំណុំរឿង​នឹង​ត្រូវ​បញ្ជូន​ទៅ​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញនៃ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ហើយ​នៅ​ពេល​នោះ អ្នក​ត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​ការ​រត់​ការ​តាម​ដំណើរ​ការ​ជាក់លាក់​របស់​ផ្នែក​ទិដ្ឋាការនៃការិយាល័យ​កុងស៊ុល​របស់​ស្ថាន​ទូត​នៅទីនោះ ។

ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 មាន​លក្ខណៈគួរ​អោយ​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍ ដោយ​សារ​វា​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​ចាត់​ទុក​ថា​ជា​ប្រភេទ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ដែល​មាន​គោល​បំណង​ពីរ ។ បើ​យើង​និយាយ​តាម​ច្បាប់ វា​ស្ថិត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រភេទ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​មិន​មែន​អន្តោ​ប្រវេសន៍ ប៉ុន្តែ​ចំពោះ​​ការ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នៅ​ក្នុង​កុងស៊ុល និង​ដំណើរ​ការនៃ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ វា​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​គិត​ថា​មាន​បំណងដើម្បីទទួល​បាន​​ទិដ្ឋាការ​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ ដូចជា​​ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ​ប្តី​ប្រពន្ធ​ ឬ CR-1 ឬ IR-1 ដែរ ប៉ុន្តែ​លើក​លែង​តែ​ទិដ្ឋាការប្រភេទ K-3 ។ ដូច្នេះ ជា​សរុប​រួមនៅ​ក្នុង​វីដេអូនេះ ដំណើរ​ការ​នៃ​ការ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​សុំយក​គូដណ្ដឹងជនជាតិ​ខ្មែរ​ទៅ​កាន់​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ពី​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ដំណើរ​ការ​តាម​រយៈភ្នាក់ងារ​មួយ​ចំនួន​នៅ​ទី​នោះ មុន​ពេល​បញ្ជូន​ទៅ​ដល់​ស្ថានទូតសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកប្រចាំ​នៅ​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ ។ បន្ទាប់​មក​ទៀត មាន​ឯកសារ​ជា​ច្រើន​ដែល​ពាក់​នឹង​ដំណើរ​ការ​រួម​ និង​ឯកសារ​មួយ​ចំនួន​ដែល​ត្រូវ​បកប្រែពី​ភាសាខ្មែរ ទៅ​អង់គ្លេស ។ សំរាប់​សេវាកម្ម​របស់​យើង​ខ្ញុំ​ យើង​អាច​ធ្វើ​ការ​បក​ប្រែ​ឯកសារ​ទាំង​នោះបាន​ ដែល​វា​គឺជា​ផ្នែកដ៏​សំខាន់មួយ​នៃអ្វី​​យើង​ត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​ការ​រត់​ការជាធម្មតា ។ ជា​រឿយៗ ខ្ញុំ​ត្រូវ​ទៅ​រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ ដើម្បី​ដោះស្រាយ​សំណុំរឿង​ជាមួយ​អតិថិជន ហើយ​ពេល​ខ្លះ​អាច​នឹង​ត្រូវ​ការ​ការ​បក​ប្រែដែរ ។ ប៉ុន្តែ​និយាយ​ជារួម​ទៅ បើ​យើង​មើល​ទៅ​លើ​លក្ខណៈទូទៅ​នៃ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នៃ​ការ​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​នេះ ហើយ​និង​អ្វី​ដែល​យើង​អាច​ជួយ​បាន​ប្រសិន​បើ​ចាំ​បាច់ គឺ​ថា​វា​ត្រូវ​ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ចេញពី​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ហើយ​និង​មក​ស្ថានទូត​ជា​ចុង​ក្រោយ ។ ខ្ញុំ​គិត​ថា​វា​អាច​នឹង​ទាម​ទារ​ពេល​ប្រហែល​ជា​ ៨ ឬ ៩​ខែជា​មធ្យម សំរាប់​ដំណើរ​ការ​ទាំង​អស់​ដើម្បីទទួល​បាន​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 ។ វា​អាច​ដំណើរ​ការ​លឿន​ ឬ​យឺត​ជាង​នេះ ។ អ្វី​ដែល​ត្រូវ​ចាំ​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នឹង​ពាក្យ​សុំ​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ទៅសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក គឺ​ថា​វា​ដូច​ជា​ដុំ​ព្រិល​អញ្ចឹង ដុំ​នីមួយៗ​មាន​លក្ខណៈពិសេស​ខុសៗគ្នា ហើយ​អ្នក​អាច​នឹង​ឃើញ​ថា​សំណុំរឿង​មួយ​អាច​នឹង​ដំណើរ​ការ​យ៉ាង​លឿនដោយ​នឹក​ស្មាន​មិន​ដល់ ។ យើង​ធ្លាប់​រត់​ការ​សំណុំរឿង​មួយ​ដែល​ដំណើរ​ការ​យ៉ាង​លឿន បើ​ប្រៀបធៀប​ទៅ​នឹង​សំណុំរឿង​ផ្សេងៗ​ទៀត​ជា​មធ្យម ហើយ​ខ្ញុំ​គិត​ថា​នេះគឺ​ដោយ​សារ​តែ​វា​ទៅ​កាន់​ចំទីកន្លែង និង​ពេល​វេលាដែល​ត្រូវ​ជា​ទី​បំផុត ដែល​ធ្វើ​អោយ​វា​ដំណើរ​ការ​លឿន ខណៈពេល​ដែល​សំណុំរឿង​ខ្លះ​ដំណើរ​ការ​យឺត ។ សំណុំរឿងនីមួយៗមាន​លក្ខណៈខុសៗគ្នា​ទៅតាម​សំណុំរឿង និង​ស្ថានភាព​ផ្សេងៗគ្នា ប៉ុន្តែ​ដូច​អ្វី​ដែល​យើង​បាន​និយាយ ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ​ K-1 សំរាប់​ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ គឺ​ត្រូវ​ចាប់​ផ្ដើម​ចេញ​ពី​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ហើយ​វា​នឹង​ត្រូវ​មក​បញ្ចប់​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ។ បន្ទាប់​ពីពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរនោះ​ធ្វើ​ដំណើរ​ទៅ​កាន់​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក​ ហើយ​រៀបការ​ជាមួយ​គូដណ្ដឹង​ដែល​មាន​សញ្ជាតិ​អាមេរិក​របស់​គេ​ហើយ ពួក​គេ​អា​ច​ដាក់​ពាក្យ​សុំ​ផ្លាស់​ប្ដូរ​ស្ថាន​ភាព​អន្តោប្រវេសន៍ និង​ទទួល​បាន​ប័ណ្ណ Green Card នៅ​ក្នុង​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ។

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23rd November 2017

The following is a transcript of the video which can be found here: K-1 Visas from Vietnam

In this video we are going to be discussing K-1 Visas specifically in the context of cases that will be processed presumably through the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City primarily.

As can be heard from the preamble to this video, I’m an American attorney but we’re located here in Bangkok. Primarily we do the vast majority of our cases do involve Thai nationals though we do deal with cases regionally and I sort of thought about it the other day and I said that you know, I really don’t do enough videos talking about some of the other posts and other nationalities we deal with in the immigration context within the immigration practice here. So I went ahead and decided to do this video.

The way to look at the K-1 process specifically and the K-1 fiancée process is slightly different than dealing with other family based petitions. First of all, you have to be intending to marry an American citizen unlike marriage visas where you can be married to a lawful permanent resident and process a case that way for one of the preference categories. K-1 Visas are only between a foreign national and an American citizen. Both parties have to be legally free to marry, that’s rather important. This can come up and cause some confusion, and cause some problems in a lot cases because folks think “oh, we filed and now we can marry”. “No, you have to remain fiancées throughout the whole process!”  You have to be legally free to marry up until the fiancée, the Vietnamese fiancée comes to the United States at which point it is then possible to go ahead and get married in the United States and file for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. In another video on this channel I discuss specifically adjustment of status. Adjustment of status is the process by which an individual comes to the United States, in this case in K-1 status, gets married and goes ahead and  lawful permanent residence attached,  aka Green Card Status. Another thing to keep in mind with respect to the K-1 specifically, the couple in question needs to have met physically in person within 2 years of the filing of the petition for the visa benefits.  There are exceptions to this rule but they are very, very narrow in scope and for that reason it’s best to effectively just go ahead and say “look, I have to meet in person. That usually means they are going to have to travel at least once to, in the case of a Vietnamese fiancée, presumably Vietnam and meet physically in person, the Vietnamese fiancée before filing can be perfected or at least before an acceptable filing can be perfected.

Some things to think about as far as how it works.  Well the case starts off over at the Department of Homeland Security, specifically USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. They go ahead and process the petition. If the petition is approved, the case moves to the National Visa Center which is under the auspices of the Department of State. The National Visa Center, they act as a sort of clearing house or sort of administrative hub for sending these cases out, making sure it gets from the approval at DHS and gets to the appropriate embassy or consulate. In the vast majority of cases involving Vietnam you’re  not going to be dealing with the post in Hanoi, in the vast majority of cases at least that we deal with, you’re dealing with the consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a higher volume post, so processing can take a little bit longer. In Vietnam, as far as Consular processing goes, it can take a little bit longer when compared to other posts in the region, Bangkok included, but Bangkok is a pretty high volume post as well. Some of the other smaller posts, Cambodia, Laos definitely, even Yangon, don’t quite have the volume so things may move a little bit more quickly.  But that being said, it’s just the process you have to deal with and every case is sort of being unique and you have to deal with the circumstances as you take them.  So that being said, it will go to the Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and at that point the case, the Vietnamese fiancée will be informed of the protocols that he or she needs to undertake to go ahead and complete the consular processing portion. In the cases where we have been retained to assist in these matters, we often assist with translations, compilation of documentation, filling out of various forms, both online and physical forms cases and in a lot of cases going ahead and submitting the request for the actual visa application interview.  And then on top of that we go ahead and assist in preparing certain questions or I really hate to say we provide the questions that they are going to ask, we don’t; we provide an overview with respect to how, what is the process looking for? What kind of due diligence is the Consular Officer likely to be interested in conducting? In most cases it’s ascertaining that the couple is a genuine couple, they are legally free to marry, they’ve remained legally free to marry, they adhere to the law, they adhere to the Immigration policy, they don’t have any legal grounds of inadmissibility and all the documentation relevant to the case that that officer feels is pertinent is present and accounted for with respect to the underlying application. That’s basically what they’re looking to do. It’s not an exercise in “stump the applicant”, it’s an exercise in due diligence. They want to make certain that the couple is bona fide.  So for that reason, that is sort of a general overview of what the interview process is like. If the officer requests further documentation, they can issue what is called a 221-G request for further documentation.

In some cases they may feel that the case is denied for various reasons. They have to give a legal reason why they are denying the case. In most cases that I have dealt when you get a denial, you are looking at a legal ground of inadmissibility, and a legal ground of inadmissibility is defined in the Immigration Nationality Act and in some cases it’s often possible to overcome that legal ground of inadmissibility through use of an I-601 waiver. There are various videos on this channel with respect to the I-601 specifically but to sort of just sum up K-1 visa processing through Vietnam, you’re looking at a matter of months; I think you are looking at probably 8 or 9 months with respect to the overall “door to door” process with respect to processing a successful K-1 visa, on average.  There are outliers on both sides. Every case is unique; it’s like a snow flake. But that being said, that’s kind of a general overview with respect to timeline, the thing to keep in mind, just sort of in sum. It’s a 3 part process. It effectively begins in the US, goes through various offices in the US, finally to wind up, generally speaking, at the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City where the matter will be adjudicated by the Consular Officer at the Immigrant Visa Unit. Again, K-1s are interesting because they’re a non-immigrant visa that has dual intent. You are actually a non-immigrant visa but to all intents and purposes, the consular section treats it as if it were an immigrant visa and you go ahead and undertake the interview and hopefully, presuming a successful interview, a visa will be issued shortly after the interview date.

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10th November 2017

The following is a transcript of the video found here: K-1 Fiance Visas From Cambodia:

In this video we are going to be discussing the K-1 Fiancee Visa specifically in the context of Consular processing in the Kingdom of Cambodia; specifically the US Embassy in Phnom Penh.

For those of you who have checked out this channel and seen some of the other videos, you probably know that we are based in Bangkok, Thailand, we do deal primarily with immigration matters arising with Thai-American nationality generally, we deal with a lot of US family immigration matters, fiancée visas, marriage visas etc.

Just because we’re located here, does not mean necessarily that this is our exclusive bailiwick with respect to US immigration.  It is sort of interesting in so far as immigration attorneys who practice in the United States tend to have a plethora of rather wide range of nationality of clientele that they deal with, whereas, it is sort of somewhat inverted by us being based in Bangkok we primarily deal with Thai nationals. But that being said, I have dealt with cases involving the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, quite a number of cases involving that particular post, mostly because of its nearby proximity to Thailand here.  But that being said, for those who are interested in sort of an overview of the process it’s best to sort of look at it in 2 phases: One involves the Department of Homeland Security.  The Immigration apparatus, USCIS under the auspices of DHS, Department of Homeland Security, is going to go ahead and adjudicate what is called an I-129 F petition. That petition is basically the starting point of the process if you will. You have got to file a petition and you have got to get approval from the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, before being able to proceed further with the K-1 visa. After the initial adjudication of the petition, and let’s go into some details of some requirements associated with the petition, most notably the couple in question must both be legally free to  marry at the time that the application is filed. Moreover, both parties need to have met physically, in person within a 2-year period of their initial filing of the petition for a K-1 visa status. The big things to keep in mind is that “You have got to be legally free to marry”, you can’t be getting a divorce, you have to already be divorced if you have a prior spouse; you have got to be legally free to marry and the other thing to keep in mind is this can sort of happen in certain common law jurisdictions or sometimes even in civil law jurisdictions. You can’t get married legally while the K-1 is processing, even if it’s to each other, you have to wait and remain fiancées until the foreign fiancée in this case Khmer, presumably coming out of Phnom Penh, comes to the United States and then you have 90 days to get married and file to adjust status. Adjustment of status is a different process. It comes subsequent to marriage, in the United States. There’s another video on this channel which specifically discusses the details of adjustment of status. Suffice it to say that basically that’s the process by which the foreign fiancée, and later spouse, becomes a lawful permanent resident, aka a green card holder in the United States.  So that’s sort of the back end of the process. Going back, petition, have to have met within 2 years of filing, need to be legally free to marry, there’s other details associated with this, I am not going to get too deep into that side of things, but presuming USCIS DHS approval, the matter is going to move quickly over to the National Visa Center which acts as a sort of clearing house or routing hub to send it to the appropriate Embassy or  Consulate abroad, in the case of Cambodia Nationals, presumably that’s going to be Phnom Penh , Cambodia and at that point, you need to deal with the specific Consular processing mandates of the visa section of the Embassy over there.

It is interesting to bring up with respect to K-1 visas, they are what is considered a dual intent visa. So technically speaking, they’re non-immigrant category but for purposes of consular processing, and sort of the application process, they are treated for all intents and purposes as Immigrant visas, just like a spouse visa, CR -1 IR -1 or “shades of grey” here but the K-3 visa. So basically to sum up, with respect to this video, the process for getting a fiancée of Cambodian nationality into the United States, begins in the United States, progresses through multiple agencies over there before getting to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh and then there’s various documentation associated with the overall process and various documents which need to be translated from Khmer to English etc. Our services, we can provide those translations, part and parcel with what we deal with on a regular basis. I oftentimes have to go over to Phnom Penh to deal with clients as well and that can sometimes come up. But just generally speaking, as sort of from an overview of how the process works and what we can do to assist if necessary is basically, it starts in the US, comes over to the Embassy and finally, I think it is pretty safe to say probably 8 months, 9 months on average, all in, the processing time for getting a K-1. It can move faster, it can move slower. The thing to keep in mind with respect to all US visa applications is they’re like snowflakes, every one of them is unique, every one of them is slightly different and you are going to see one case may move inordinately quickly, we actually had one process through quite quickly as far as sort of compared to averages and I think it sort of just hit the right desk at the right minute and just sort of went through whereas some cases they just move more slowly.  It’s going to differ, case to case, circumstance to circumstance but that being said, with respect specifically to Cambodia K-1 Visas again are going to start processing in the United States, they’re going to end up in Cambodia and then once the Cambodian national comes to the United States and marries their American citizen fiancée, they can go ahead and petition to adjust status and receive a green card in the US.

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13th October 2013

A frequently asked question from those wishing to sponsor a foreign fiance or spouse for a US Fiance Visa or US Marriage Visa is: do I make enough income to act as a sponsor for my loved one? The answer to this question involves the affidavit of support which is a primary component of the visa application process. When a fiance or spouse visa application is adjudicated by a Consular Officer at a US Embassy or US Consulate overseas part of the application includes either and I-134 or I-864 affidavit of support. This document allows the adjudicating Consular officer to make a determination as to whether or not the US Citizen spouse or fiance has the income necessary to support their fiance or spouse in the United States. This affidavit also acts as a sort of third party beneficiary contract between the American spouse and the United States government in order to make certain that the American spouse pays the US government for any means tested benefits that the foreign spouse may acquire while in the USA.

When determining whether or not an American spouse or fiance can support a foreign spouse or fiance the adjudicating officer will first look to the American’s adjusted annual income on his or her income tax return. In order to meet the minimum eligibility requirements the American spouse or fiance must earn 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for a family of their size. The current federal poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous States as well as Alaska and Hawaii can be found below (as quoted from the official website of Housing and Human Services):

2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES
AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person.
1 $11,490
2 15,510
3 19,530
4 23,550
5 27,570
6 31,590
7 35,610
8 39,630

 

2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR ALASKA
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,030 for each additional person.
1 $14,350
2 19,380
3 24,410
4 29,440
5 34,470
6 39,500
7 44,530
8 49,560

 

2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR HAWAII
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,620 for each additional person.
1 $13,230
2 17,850
3 22,470
4 27,090
5 31,710
6 36,330
7 40,950
8 45,570

SOURCE: Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 16, January 24, 2013, pp. 5182-5183

Those wishing to ascertain whether they are eligible to sponsor their foreign fiance or spouse should use the above figures to determine 125% of the poverty guidelines for a family of their size (including the foreign family member(s)). It should be noted that active duty members of the United States Armed Forces must only meet 100% of the federal poverty guidelines in order to be eligible to sponsor a foreign fiance or spouse. Those unable to meet the 125% income level noted above may be able to use assets to offset the difference between their level of income and the 125% requirement. For affidavit of support purposes, a prospective sponsor of a Thai fiancee or wife can make up the difference in income between what is actually earned and what is legally required by providing evidence of assets which equal 5 times the difference between what a prospective sponsor earns and the level required by law. Thus, if a prospective sponsor fall short of the 125% level by 5,000 USD, then the prospective sponsor can show proof of assets in the amount of 25,000 USD in order to overcome the disparity.

It may also be possible to use the income and assets of a joint sponsor if the person petitioning for the foreign national’s visa is unable to overcome the income and asset requirements. It should be noted that only the I-864 affidavit of support (that used in cases involving the application for a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa) may utilize a joint sponsor. Those seeking a K-1 visa are not eligible to use a joint sponsor, therefore, only the American Citizen fiance’s income and assets will be adjudicated during the K1 visa application process. In the past, Consular Officers at the US Embassy in Bangkok were known to accept joint sponsors in K-1 visa application adjudications. However, as of the time of this writing that practice has ceased.

Those interested in learning more on these topics are encouraged to click on the following link: Affidavit of Support.

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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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31st July 2013

The administration of this blog periodically posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and US Consulates in the Southeast Asia region in order to provide a level of convenience to Americans traveling in the area. The following holiday closing schedule was quoted directly from the official website of the US Embassy in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar):

Date Day U.S.* Burmese**
January 1 Tuesday New Year’s Day
January 4 Friday Independence Day
January 21 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday
February 12 Tuesday Union Day
February 18 Monday President’s Day
March 27 Wednesday Armed Forces Day
April 15 Monday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 16 Tuesday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 17 Wednesday Burmese New Year
May 1 Wednesday Workers’ Day
May 27 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Thursday Independence Day
July 19 Friday Martyrs’ Day
July 22 Monday Full Moon of Waso
September 2 Monday Labor Day
October 14 Monday Columbus Day
November 11 Monday Veteran’s Day
November 27 Wednesday National Day
November 28 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day Christmas Day

Many Americans traveling abroad find that it is necessary to travel to an American Embassy or Consulate in order to request services such as Passport renewal, adding of visa pages, notarial services, or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Many of these requests can be made at an American Citizen Services Section of the US Embassy or US Consulate-General.

Meanwhile, every year many foreign nationals from around the globe travel to American posts abroad to apply for visas and other travel documents granting permission to travel to the United States. Some visa seekers only wish to remain temporarily in the US on non-immigrant visas such as the B-1 visa (Business Visa), the B-2 visa (Tourist Visa), the F-1 visa (Student Visa), or the J-1 visa (Exchange worker visa). Generally, applications for the aforementioned visa categories can be made at a non-immigrant visa unit within the Consular Section of the US Embassy or US Consulate-General. Applicants are usually required to make an appointment in advance to apply for these types of visas.

Some foreign nationals wish to travel to the United States for business purposes. Depending upon the circumstances of the individual applying for admission to the USA, a business traveler may be issued a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa. The L-1 visa, the E-1 visa, the E-2 visa, the EB-5 visa, the EB-4 visa, the EB-3 visa, the EB-2 visa, the EB-1 visa, and the H-1B visa are all business visa categories commonly sought by foreign nationals. Generally, a business travel unit  within the Consular Section of a US Embassy or Consulate-General abroad is responsible for adjudicating such applications.

Some foreign nationals seek visa benefits based upon a relationship to a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident. One of the most commonly sought US family based visas is the immigrant visa based upon marriage to an American Citizen, these types of visas are generally classified as a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa. Fiancees of US Citizens may be eligible to apply for a K-1 visa (US fiance visa). Furthermore, those married to Americans sometimes seek a US K-3 visa. K-1 visas and K-3 visas are generally adjudicated by an Immigrant visa unit, notwithstanding the fact that they are non-immigrant visa categories as they are treated as immigrant visas since the applicants have immigrant intent.

For related information please see: US Immigration Asia.

 

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27th July 2013

Periodically, the administration of this web log post the estimated processing times from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It should be noted that the following processing time estimates are exxactly that: estimates. Some petitions may process more quickly while other petitions may proccess more slowly. To quote directly from the USCIS official website:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: May 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 November 15, 2011
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 February 1, 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 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 November 28, 2011
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 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: May 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 March 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 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 January 16, 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 January 16, 2013
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)] May 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 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 January 15, 2013
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
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: May 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-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 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 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 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-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 7, 2013
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (immigrant investors) based on PL107-273 6 Months
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: May 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 July 1, 2012
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 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-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 April 16, 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 9, 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 5, 2012
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister December 4, 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 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) May 7, 2012
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications April 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-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)] March 27, 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 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 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 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-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-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 7, 2012

It should be also noted that although these USCIS estimated processing times can provide a general framework for understanding the time frames for petition adjudication by USCIS, these estimates do not necessarily reflect the estimated time frame for the entire US visa process especially if the unique circumstances of a given case requires Consular Processing of a US visa application at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

For a married couple seeking an IR1 visa or a CR1 Visa for a foreign spouse of US Citizen the process begins at the USCIS where the initial petition will be adjudicated. Assuming USCIS approves the initial petition, then the petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will require certain documents before forwarding the application to a US Embassy or Consulate abroad where a foreign spouse must undergo an interview prior to the Consular Officer making a decision regarding visa issuance. In some cases, the Consular Officer may approve the visa application at the interview. Meanwhile, in some circumstances, the officer may deny the application (especially where a ground of inadmissibility is found to exist in the case and under such circumstances the applicant must be granted an I-601 waiver, or something similar, prior to the application receiving further favorable treatment). In some cases, the officer may simply find that some further evidence of the relationship or documentation pertaining to the foreign national is lacking and will thereby deny the application pursuant to section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under these circumstances, the 221(G) denial may be overcome by presenting further evidence to the Consular Officer and upon their finding that the relevant requirements have been met the application may be approved.

As one can infer from the above example, the USCIS estimateed  processing times may not accurately reflect the total time it may take to obtain a US visa since the process is sometimes more complex than simple USCIS petition approval.

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26th July 2013

It has come to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued a new set of answers to frequently asked questions stemming from the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court which overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In previous postings on this blog the fact that lawful permanent residents and American Citizens with same-sex spouses can now file for immigration benefits for their same sex spouse has been discussed at length. That said, USCIS discussed this issue in their recently issued FAQ release, to quote directly from the USCIS website:

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?
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 automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage. [italics added]

As previously pointed out on this blog, the ability of American Citizens to file for immigration benefits for a same-sex foreign spouse is a fairly clear cut result of the recent Supreme Court decision finding Section 3 of DOMA unConstituional. It should be noted that the USCIS seems to also imply that a K3 visa would also now be a possibility for same sex couples as it could be construed to be an “applicable accompanying application”. However, an issue that was not so clearly dealt with by the Supreme Court’s decision pertains to the K-1 visa (US fiance visa). As Fiance visas are, by  definition, not based upon a marriage, but an intended marriage; further clarification from USCIS on these types of visas post-DOMA is considered by some to be quite helpful. To quote further from the aforementioned USCIS FAQ section:

Q2. I am a U.S. citizen who is engaged to be married to a foreign national of the same sex.  Can I file a fiancé or fiancée petition for him or her?
A2. Yes.  You may file a Form I-129F.  As long as all other immigration requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow your fiancé to enter the United States for marriage. [italics added]

This clarification from USCIS regarding the fiance visa in the context of same sex marriage, while helpful, is slightly qualified by the next section of the same FAQ page:

Q3: My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?
A3: Yes, you can file the petition. In evaluating the petition, as a general matter, USCIS looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances. If necessary, we may provide further guidance on this question going forward. [italics added]

Clearly, the US fiance visa is now a viable option for same sex couples with a bona fide intention to marry in those jurisdictions of the United States which recognize same sex marriage. Since the jurisdiction of the celebration of the intended marriage is USCIS’s primary concern it would appear that a K1 visa itself will be a possibility for same sex couples in the future. However, it would appear that some ancillary immigration benefits may or may not be available at this time for some same sex bi-national couples depending upon the unique residency circumstances of those couples.

Of further interest to some same sex couples will likely be the fact that there are benefits for the foreign same sex spouse of an American Citizen with respect to naturalization:

Q8. Can same-sex marriages, like opposite-sex marriages, reduce the residence period required for naturalization?
A8. Yes.  As a general matter, naturalization requires five years of residence in the United States following admission as a lawful permanent resident.  But, according to the immigration laws, naturalization is available after a required residence period of three years, if during that three year period you have been living in “marital union” with a U.S. citizen “spouse” and your spouse has been a United States citizen.  For this purpose, same-sex marriages will be treated exactly the same as opposite-sex marriages. [italics added]

Therefore, the same sex spouse of an American Citizen will be treated the same way as the opposite sex spouse of an American for purposes of obtaining US Citizenship based upon the couple’s marriage and lawful permanent residence obtained thereby. Finally, of further note in this recently issued USCIS FAQ page relates to the I-601 waiver process:

Q9. I know that the immigration laws allow discretionary waivers of certain inadmissibility grounds under certain circumstances.  For some of those waivers, the person has to be the “spouse” or other family member of a U.S. citizen or of a lawful permanent resident.  In cases where the required family relationship depends on whether the individual or the individual’s parents meet the definition of “spouse,” will same-sex marriages count for that purpose?
A9.Yes.   Whenever the immigration laws condition eligibility for a waiver on the existence of a “marriage” or status as a “spouse,” same-sex marriages will be treated exactly the same as opposite-sex marriages. [italics added]

Waivers of inadmissibility can be difficult to obtain under certain circumstances as they are, by definition, a discretionary waiver. However, one major hurdle for many same-sex bi-national couples in the US immigration sphere has been cast aside by the comendable decision of the United States Supreme Court. USCIS deserves comendation as well for their efforts to quickly and decisively implement policies which bring immigration regulations in line with changes in the law.

Readers are encouraged to read the USCIS website and the FAQ section quoted above to find out further details regarding immigration regulations pertaining to same sex couples.

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand.

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

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.

more Comments: 04

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.