Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US Visa Cambodia’

2nd February 2012

In order to provide relevant information for those seeking Consular Services in Southeast Asia the administration of this web log routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Missions in Asia. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the US Embassy in Cambodia:

Month Day Holiday Khmer/U.S.
January 2 Mon International New Year’s Day U.S.
Jan 16 Mon Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. U.S.
Feb 20 Mon George Washington’s Birthday U.S.
Mar 8 Tue International Women’s Day Khmer
Apr 13 Fri Khmer New Year’s Day Khmer
Apr 16 Mon Khmer New Year’s Day Khmer
May 14 Fri King Sihamoni’s Birthday Khmer
May 28 Mon Memorial Day U.S.
Jun 18 Mon King Mother’s Birthday Khmer
Jul 4 Wed Independence Day U.S.
Sep 3 Mon Labor Day U.S.
Oct 8 Mon Columbus Day U.S.
Oct 15 Mon Pchum Ben Day Khmer
Oct 16 Tue Pchum Ben Day Khmer
Oct 31 Mon King Father’s Birthday Khmer
Nov 9 Wed Independence Day Khmer
Nov 12 Mon Veterans Day U.S.
Nov 22 Thu Thanksgiving Day U.S.
Nov 29 Thu Water Festival Khmer
Dec 25 Mon Christmas U.S.

For further information from the aforementioned website please click HERE.

Those seeking services such as notarization, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, or US passport renewals are well advised to seek such services from the US Consular section of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In many cases it will likely be necessary to make an online appointment prior to arrival at the Post in order to ensure processing of a specific request for services.

In order to obtain a US visa for a foreign fiancee the American fiance is generally required to submit a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to the case file being processed through the National Visa Center (NVC), assuming approval; and finally on to the US Embassy or US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction. Those seeking an immigrant visa for a foreign spouse are also likely to be required to receive an approved USCIS petition prior to processing at the National Visa Center before eventual interview and processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

In general, it has been this blogger’s experience that the non-immigrant visa categories for foreign loved ones, such as the K-1 visa or the K-3 visa are processed by the non-immigrant visa unit at the American post with appropriate Consular jurisdiction. Meanwhile, immigrant visa categories such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are processed by an immigrant visa unit. That stated, some protocols may vary depending upon the unique circumstances of a particular Post.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

more Comments: 04

14th June 2011

Those who read this blog with any frequency may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the estimated processing times from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as a courtesy to the public-at-large. To quote directly from the official website of the USCIS, USCIS.gov:

Field Office Processing Dates for California Service Center as of: April 30, 2011
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94 2.5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers 2 Weeks
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation 5 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional 2 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for 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 September 27, 2007
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 May 7, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 1, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister April 25, 2007
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 4 Months
I-526 Immigrant Petition By Alien Entrepreneur For use by an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States 5 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 an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on 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-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 December 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing December 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension December 16, 2010
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing December 16, 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 September 12, 1997
Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: April 30, 2011
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 August 1, 2006
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 August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. August 1, 2006
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 August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation August 1, 2006
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional August 1, 2006
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 September 9, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 September 9, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 September 9, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 September 9, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister September 9, 2010
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 November 9, 2008
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) November 9, 2008
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 December 2, 2010
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 5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors January 21, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications January 21, 2011
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-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 5 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on 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-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 January 11, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status El Salvador initial or late filing January 11, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua extension January 11, 2011
I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status Honduras and Nicaragua initial or late filing January 11, 2011
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition November 21, 2010
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-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal January 3, 2011
I-90A Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement for Special Agricultral Workers (SAW) 3.5 Months
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
Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: April 30, 2011
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 January 22, 2011
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Blanket L December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Visa to be issued abroad December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Change of status in the U.S. December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1B – Specialty occupation – Extension of stay in the U.S. December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-1C – Nurses December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2A – Temporary workers December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-2B – Other temporary workers December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker H-3 – Temporary trainees December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker O – Extraordinary ability December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker P – Athletes, artists, and entertainers December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker Q – Cultural exchange visitors and exchange visitors participating in the Irish Peace process December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker R – Religious occupation December 27, 2007
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker TN – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional December 27, 2007
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-1/K-2 – Not yet married – fiance and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 5 Months
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for 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 September 4, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher September 4, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager September 4, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability September 16, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional September 16, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker September 16, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver September 7, 2010
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses September 16, 2010
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal July 31, 2009
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants July 31, 2010
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) July 31, 2009
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant Religious workers July 31, 2010
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications October 31, 2010
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 November 26, 2010
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 September 29, 2008
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-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 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 June 29, 2008
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on 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-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-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition November 2, 2010
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement March 16, 2010
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: April 30, 2011
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-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 March 13, 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 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 September 11, 2010
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21 November 27, 2010
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 July 10, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document September 14, 2010
I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit September 14, 2010
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 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver January 30, 2008
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses January 30, 2008
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal 4 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) 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 November 13, 2010
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 5 Months
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change status to the F or M academic or vocational student categories February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change of status to H or L dependents February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Change Status to the J exchange visitor category February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other change of status applications February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for F or M academic or vocational students February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of stay for H and L dependents February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Extension of Stay for J exchange visitors February 12, 2011
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications February 12, 2011
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-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee 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 an approved asylum application [(a)(5)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)] 3 Weeks
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)] 3 Months
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on 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 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-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-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement 3.5 Months
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal March 31, 2009
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 4 Months
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

Readers may recall that the processing times noted above only pertain to the USCIS processing portion of the overall US visa process. Therefore, readers should not mistake the processing times noted above for the time it takes to actually acquire a visa. After a visa petition has been adjudicated by the officers at the USCIS, if approved, the case file is forwarded to the National Visa Center where it is then sent on to the US Embassy, American Institute, or US Consulate with appropriate Consular jurisdiction. This phase of the process is referred to as Consular Processing. Consular Processing can sometimes be quite quick while, in some cases, the process can be rather cumbersome if the facts of the case are extremely complex.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand.

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21st May 2011

Those conducting research with regard to United States Family Immigration often look at either the K-1 visa or a CR-1 visa for a recent or prospective spouse. That stated, an acute concern for many American Citizens is the speedy admission of the foreign fiance or spouse to the United States of America. Under many circumstances in places such as the Kingdom of Thailand or the Kingdom of Cambodia, virtually the only means to lawfully bring a Thai or Khmer fiance or spouse to the USA involves a US Marriage Visa (such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa) or a US fiance visa (officially categorized as a K-1 visa). The question then becomes: which visa can be obtained in a more timely manner?

Currently, it usually takes less time to obtain a K-1 visa compared to a CR-1 visa. That stated, it is this blogger’s opinion that the once large gap separating the processing times of these respective visa categories has closed somewhat, from a practical perspective; and, as a result, it may be best for those researching these issues to ponder the notion of applying for a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa from the outset rather than undergoing the K1 visa process. Bearing this in mind, the reader should note that the process is unique to every couple as circumstances tend to dictate the timing of various stages of the process.

Although the K-1 visa does usually result in a foreign fiancee arriving in the United States more quickly than a foreign spouse under the CR-1 visa category, readers should be aware of the fact that CR-1 visa holders are admitted into the United States in Lawful Permanent Resident status. Conversely, those admitted into the United States of America in K-1 visa status must undergo the adjustment of status process in order to obtain their Green Card.

Regardless of the fact that the current USCIS Processing Times note little change in the time it takes to receive adjudication of a K-1 visa petition compared to years past, the plain truth of the matter is that the overall K-1 visa process has lengthened for many in recent months. This increased wait time may be attributable to the fact that the National Visa Center and each and every US Embassy or US Consulate has its own backlog of cases to either process or adjudicate. As the ebb and flow of American immigration continues the consular processing times are likely to increase and/or decrease depending upon the circumstances at the various US Posts abroad. At present, it is difficult to calculate with any specificity what the time frame is for Consular Processing in Asia as many factors must be taken into consideration. It is this blogger’s current opinion that under the totality of the circumstances it may be prudent for prospective family visa petitioners to conduct thorough research into the immigration process before making an irrevocable immigration decision as a visa category that looks more efficient at first glance may, in fact, turn out to be an inefficient travel document if one takes into consideration all of the factors which must be addressed in order to ultimately receive lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.A.

For related information please see: Legal.

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3rd May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the media mogul and Mayor of the City of New York Michael Bloomberg has been noted for remarks about the beneficial aspects of immigration to America. To quote directly from the website myfoxny.com:

WASHINGTON – Detroit should take a page from Lady Liberty and shine a beacon of welcome to immigrants as a way to overcome its severe population loss, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday.

For those who follow this blog with any frequency it should be noted that New York has recently seen efforts by the attorney generals of that State to decrease the amount of immigration fraud in the form of illegitimate operators claiming expertise in U.S. immigration matters. It would appear that the city of Detroit has encountered much economic turbulence as a result of recent economic downturns. Meanwhile, there can be significant benefits to a national economy to be had through effective immigration policies. To quote further from the aforementioned article:

Bloomberg’s prescription for Detroit’s salvation came in a discussion about what he called a “crisis of confidence” among business people about the nation’s economy. Bloomberg said the “most obvious” answer is to encourage immigration.

“This is a country that was built by immigrants … that became a superpower because of its immigrant population, and unless we continue to have immigrants, we cannot maintain as a superpower,” he said.

Virtually all Americans are descended from those who immigrated to the United States of America. In a modern context, there are many visa categories available to prospective immigrants who are interested in conducting business in America. For example, the EB-5 visa provides lawful permanent residence to the visa holder upon lawful admission to the United States. Furthermore, the E-2 visa may allow for non-immigrant visa benefits to those foreign nationals conducting business pursuant to a Treaty with the United States. In the context of Thailand, there may be visa benefits which can be acquired pursuant to the bi-lateral relationship between the USA and Thailand as codified in agreements such as the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. Some may be eligible for similar benefits in the form of the E-1 visa. Those working for a multi-national organization may be eligible to obtain an L-1 visa as an intra-company transferee either in the form of an L-1A visa or an L-1B visa, depending upon the factual circumstances of the case.

Clearly, there are benefits to be accrued to those immigrating to the USA. Concurrently, there may also be benefits to the American economy and the American People as a result of immigration to the USA by foreign nationals.

For related information please see: US lawyer or US business visa.

 

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29th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the discretionary powers accorded to Consular Officers at United States Missions abroad with regard to visa issuance are to be expanded to provide further latitude to Consular Officers with regard to the revocation of US visas. To quote directly from Justia.com:

This rule changes Department regulations to broaden the authority of a consular officer to revoke a visa at any time subsequent to issuance of the visa, in his or her discretion. These changes to the Department’s revocation regulations expand consular officer visa revocation authority to the full extent allowed by statute. Additionally, this rule change allows consular officers and designated officials within the Department to revoke a visa provisionally while considering a final visa revocation.

Clearly, this rule would expand the authority currently granted to Consular Officers in adjudicating American visa matters. For those who are unfamiliar with this topic it should be noted that Consular Officers currently maintain virtually un-reviewable discretion in matters pertaining to US visa application adjudication. This discretion occurs pursuant to a doctrine referred to as Consular Non-Reviewability (or colloquially referred to as Consular Absolutism). Pursuant to the philosophy underlying this doctrine Courts in the United States are unlikely to review the decisions of a Consular Officer at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad unless the Consular Officer’s decision in the matter appears “facially illegitimate” to the Court of competent jurisdiction.

Bearing this in mind the announcement went on to point out the reasoning behind the recent decision to make this rule change:

On occasion, after a visa has been issued, the Department or a consular officer may determine that a visa should be revoked when information reveals that the applicant was originally or has since become ineligible or may be ineligible to possess a U.S. visa. Section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)) (INA) authorizes the Secretary and consular officers to revoke a visa in their discretion. Current regulations limit the circumstances in which consular officers may revoke visas. In light of security concerns, this amendment grants additional authority to consular officers to revoke visas, consistent with the statutory provisions of the INA. Although this rule eliminates the provisions that permit reconsideration of a revocation, it also allows for the provisional revocation of a visa when there is a need for further consideration of information that might lead to a final revocation. In cases where the person subject to a provisional revocation is found to be eligible for the visa, the visa will be reinstated with no need for reapplication. However, with the exception of provisional revocations, an applicant whose visa has been revoked must apply for another visa, at which time his or her eligibility for the visa will be adjudicated.

In this blogger’s opinion, this rule change could have significant ramifications for prospective visa applicants. That stated, it remains to be seen what the practical implications of this rule change will be. The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click on the above hyperlinks to learn more about this topic on Justia.com.

It should be noted that within the text of this memo it was pointed out that this rule is being promulgated pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. To quote one final time from the aforementioned document:

This regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the United States and, therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553 (a) (1), is not subject to the rule making procedures set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553.

Those who have read this blog in the past may recall that the United States Department of State maintains a mandate to conduct the foreign affairs of the United States and one of the duties that is entailed within this mandate is the duty to adjudicate applications for a US visa. This can include applications for visas such as the B-2 visa (for those wishing to engage in recreational travel in the United States), the K-1 visa (a US fiance visa for the foreign fiance of a US Citizen), the CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa (for the spouse of an American Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident), or, in increasingly rare instances, a K-3 visa (which is a non-immigrant spouse visa for the husband or wife of an American Citizen). It is even posited that this new discretion could have an effect upon adjudication of L-1 visa and EB-5 visa applications, as well as the possible aftermath thereof. In any case, increased Consular discretion is likely to have an impact upon visa applications across the categorical spectrum of American travel documents.

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

For information related to waivers of grounds of inadmissibility (ineligibility) please see: I-601 waiver or I-212 waiver.

more Comments: 04

29th March 2011

สิ่งที่เกิดขึ้นและเป็นที่น่าสนใจเมื่อเร็วๆนี้  หน่วยบริการคนเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองสัญชาติอเมริกัน (USCIS) อาจจะมีการเปลี่ยนแปลงในขั้นตอนต่างๆซึงเกี่ยวกับกระบวนการการยื่นคำขอเข้าเมืองที่เกี่ยวกับการขอวีซ่าประเภทซีอาร์-1 ไออาร์-1 วีซ่า เค-1 และวีซ่าเค-3 ซึ่งยื่นโดยพลเมืองอเมริกันและพลเมืองที่มีถิ่นฐานถาวร อ้างโดยตรงจากบันทึกของ USCIS ที่อ้างลงใน ILW.com:

บันทึกนี้ได้ให้คำแนะนำในเรื่องของศูนย์บริการ USCIS ในประเด็นของการเปลี่ยนแปลงในการจัดการของคำขอ I-130 และ คำขอ I-129F ที่ยื่นโดยผู้ยื่นคำขอที่เกี่ยวข้องกับ “ข้อหาเกี่ยวกับความผิดเล็กๆน้อยๆ” ภายใต้พระราชบัญญัติการความปลอดภัยและการปกป้องเด็กอดัม วอร์ช ปี 2006 (พระราชบัญญัติอดัม วอร์ช หรือ AWA) และเกี่ยวข้องกันกับประเด็นนี้ บันทึกนี้ปรับใช้กับคำขอที่เกี่ยวกับศูนย์บริการและไม่ใช่คำขอที่เกี่ยวข้องกับสำนักงานของ USCIS

โดยทั่วไปแล้ว คำขอ I-130 (ประเภทที่ใช้สำหรับการอ้างคำขอของวีซ่า CR-1 หรือวีซ่า IR-1)เป็นกระบวนการของ หน่วยบริการ USCIS ซึ่งเป็นกระบวนการเฉพาะและเป็นหลักฐานการชำระเงิน ในบางกรณี อาจจะเป็นไปได้ที่กระบวนการของ I-130ในสำนักงานต่างๆที่ตั้งอยู่ในต่างแดน เช่นสำนักงาน USCISในกรุงเทพฯ คำขอของ I-129f (เป็นประเภทหนึ่งของการยื่นคำขอวีซ่าคู่หมั้นสหรัฐ หรือวีซ่า K1)ซึ่งอยู่ในขั้นตอนการดำเนินงานของศูนย์บริการUSCISในสหรัฐอเมริกา เนื่องจากสำนักงานหลักไม่สามารถดำเนินการต่างๆได้ในขณะที่เขียนบทความนี้อยู่ อ้างเพิ่มเติมจากบันทึกข้อความที่กล่าวถึงก่อนหน้านี้

USCIS จะเป็นศูนย์กลางที่ VSC ในการเป็นศูนย์บริการ หากศูนย์บริการได้มีการตัดสินใจในเบื้องต้นว่ามีการประกันคำขอในฐานะที่เป็นเรื่องเกี่ยวกับ AWA ที่ VSCจะให้บริการการจัดการกับปัญหาต่างๆจากรัฐบาลกลาง รัฐ และตัวแทนท้องถิ่นอื่นๆในเรื่องที่เกี่ยวกับ AWA ดำเนินการอยู่ หรือเรื่องที่เกี่ยวกับหนึ่งในสี่ของศูนย์บริการ (ในที่นี้อ้างถึง “หน่วยบริการต้นกำเนิด” หรือ “หน่วยบริการที่ส่งไป”) ในนขณะที่เรื่องที่เกี่ยวกับAWA ต้องการที่จะจัดการแบบพิเศษ การตัดสินใจที่จะรวมอำนาจเกี่ยวกับ AWAที่ VSC จะกระทบต่อเรื่องที่อยู่ในศูนย์บริการอื่นเพียงเล็กน้อย

เป็นที่เห็นได้ชัดเจนว่า หน่วยบริการการเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองอเมริกัน (USCIS) ได้มีการเปลี่ยนแปลงนโยบายเพื่อที่จะเพิ่มประสิทธิภาพในการตรวจสอบตามพระราชบัญญัติอดัม วอร์ช (AWA) ในบทบาทของศูนย์บริการในเวอร์มอนท์ซึ่งเกี่ยวข้อง

กับ AWAในบทบาทของศูนย์บริการวีซ่าแห่งชาติในกระบวนการทั่วทั้งสหรัฐเนื่องจากตัวแทนมีภาระหน้าที่ในเรื่องเกี่ยวกับคำขอวีซ่าซึ่งมาจาก USCIS และผ่านกระบวนการของสถานทูตอเมริกา หรือกงสุลสหรัฐในต่างประเทศ แม้NVCอยู่ภายใต้อำนาจของกระทรวงของรัฐในขณะที่ศูนย์บริการเUSCISวอร์มอนท์(เหมือนกับศูนย์บริการ USCIS อื่นๆ) ภายใต้เขตขอำนาจของกระทรวงความมั่นคงแห่งมาตุภูมิ (DHS)และ USCIS

To view this posting in English please see: K-1 visa.

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23rd February 2011

In recent weeks it has come to this blogger’s attention, via organizations such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and through the website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), that the USCIS has made decisions which has lead to a delay in processing a relatively significant number of I-130 petitions for Immediate relative immigration benefits. To quote directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS):

In November 2010, USCIS transferred approximately 36,000 Immediate Relative petitions from our California Service Center to our Texas Service Center. We anticipated that this redistribution of work would result in more timely adjudication of these petitions. Due to a number of unforeseen circumstances at our Texas Service Center, many of these cases have not been processed and are beyond our estimated processing times. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you and we are making every effort to remedy this situation as soon as possible.

It is easy to lay blame upon people and organizations. Those reading this piece should note that mistakes occur in life. Businesses, individuals, organizations, and governments do make mistakes and playing the “blame game” often yields little in terms of practical solutions. That said, the USCIS is a government entity and should be accountable for their mistakes. Clearly, the USCIS has taken responsibility for this error and has taken measures to rectify the situation. To quote further from the official website of the USCIS:

On Feb. 7, 2011, we implemented a rapid response plan to expedite the adjudication of these petitions. We have transferred a large number of these Immediate Relative petitions back to our California Service Center to take advantage of resources currently available to immediately process these cases. Petitioners will see an action such as an approval, denial or a Request for Evidence (RFE) on their case from our California or Texas Service Centers by the end of February. Additionally, we have briefed the Department of State’s National Visa Center about these cases.

USCIS’s efforts to solve this problem should not be overlooked. For those seeking an Immigrant visa for a foreign spouse, the K-3 visa has been used in the past to obtain an expedited travel document when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has a backlog of cases. In recent months, the United States National Visa Centerpiece  has had an “administrative closure” policy regarding those K-3 visa applications that arrive at the NVC with, or after, their I-130 counterparts. There are some who speculate that there might be more K-3 visas issued as a result of the backlog created from the situation note above. At the time of this writing, it remains unclear as to exactly how American Immigration officials will opt to deal with this matter.

For related information please see: USCIS processing time.

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28th January 2011

Those who have read this web log with any frequency in the past may have noticed that the administration routinely posts information regarding attorney licensure and the practice of United States Immigration law. Recently, this blogger discovered some interesting information on this subject while researching the issue on the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). To quote some of that information directly:

If Then
You are filing within the United States Attorneys and accredited representatives may communicate with USCIS on your behalf and receive information from USCIS regarding your application or petition.
You are filing an application or petition at an office outside the United States Attorneys and accredited representatives may communicate with USCIS on your behalf and receive information from USCIS regarding your application or petition…

It should be reiterated that only a licensed American attorney has the unfettered privilege of practicing American immigration law before the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Although charitable organizations in the USA may be accredited to represent individuals before the USCIS and/or the US Immigration Courts, such representation is conducted on a not-for-profit basis. Licensed American attorneys are generally in a good position to provide advice and counsel regarding immigration matters due to education and experience. However, so-called “immigration consultants,” “visa agents,” and “visa companies” lack both the credentials and qualification to provide advice and representation of clients before USCIS, DHS, and/or the Department of State (DOS). To quote the USCIS website further:

Attorneys must be a member in good standing of the bar of a U.S. State (or U.S. possession, territory, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia) and not be under any court order restricting their practice of law. Attorneys will check the first block on Form G-28 and must provide information regarding their admission to practice.

Only attorneys and accredited representatives may communicate on your behalf regarding your application with USCIS.

In choosing an attorney, you should:

  • Ensure that the attorney is a member in good standing of the “bar” of a U.S. State (or possession, territory, Commonwealth or District of Columbia)
  • Ensure that the attorney is not under any court order restricting their practice of law
  • Review the current attorney licensing document for the attorney and contact the relevant State bar admission authorities to verify the information.  See the “American Bar Association – State Bar Associations” link to the right for a list of state bar associations.
  • Review the “List of Currently Disciplined Practitioners” in the link to the right. This is where the Executive Office for Immigration Review lists if an attorney has been expelled or suspended from practice before USCIS/DHS
  • Review the “List of Previously Disciplined Practitioners” available from the “List of Currently Disciplined Practitioners”  page on the EOIR website

A lawfully admitted attorney should honor your request for this information, as State Bar practice rules require disclosure of this information to clients. Before you pay attorney fees for help with your immigration case, make sure that the individual is a licensed attorney.

You should also review the lists of currently disciplined and previously disciplined practitioners on the Executive Office for Immigration Review website. These lists will help you to determine whether the attorney has been expelled or suspended from practice before USCIS/DHS.  To review these lists, please see the links in the “External Links” section of this page.

Those wishing to retain professional assistance during the United States Immigration process are well advised to take note of the citation quoted above as this information is very useful for those seeking attorney assistance. That said, the forthcoming quote deals with the issue of fake lawyers, visa agents, notarios, and immigration consultants who have been known to imitate genuine American attorneys in an effort to further their own interests while simultaneously fleecing an unsuspecting public (both immigrants and American Citizens). To quote the USCIS website one further time:

Notarios, notary publics and immigration consultants may NOT represent you before USCIS.

Those wishing to bring their loved one from another country for family reunification in the USA should take note of the above quotation. In Thailand, for example, there are some fly-by-night operators claiming both expertise in immigration law as well as qualification, without actually possessing either. For this reason, it is always prudent to ask for the licensure information of those claiming the ability to represent individuals before USCIS, DHS, and DOS.

Licensed foreign lawyers may, under some circumstances, be able to provide some limited representation, but only upon authorization from USCIS, those interested should consult the USCIS website directly as this issue is not the intended topic of this posting.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Thailand.

more Comments: 04

1st December 2010

Those who frequently read this blog are likely to note that we frequently discuss issues surrounding Consular processing of US visa applications. In some cases, a visa applicant is refused a visa, but issued what is commonly referred to as a 221(g) form. The term “221g” refers to section 221(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a Consular Officer adjudicating a visa application may refuse to issue a visa if the adjudicating Consular officer finds that the application is somehow deficient of documentation. Consular Officers are basically tasked with the responsibility of conducting due diligence regarding a visa applicant’s subjective intentions. Therefore, in a K1 visa interview the Consular Officer may be concerned with the Cambodian applicant’s subjective intentions regarding the K1 visa petitioner.

There is some debate as to the legal ramifications of a 221g especially in the context of the United States Visa Waiver Program. The American visa waiver program allows certain foreign nationals to enter the USA without a visa provided those individuals register on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Although Cambodia is not currently a participating country in the Visa Waiver program it should be noted that a 221g refusal issued by a US Consulate or US Embassy abroad should be disclosed in the ESTA system when seeking travel authorization online. Therefore, a 221g refusal is effectively treated as a “denial” by the Department of Homeland Security which should be noted by anyone seeking American immigration benefits at an American Mission abroad since such a development could have an adverse impact upon one options at a later date.

Many are under the mistaken impression that a 221(g) refusal cannot be remedied. In point of fact, this is not the case as some 221g refusals simply require further documentation before a Consular Officer is prepared to make an adjudication in the underlying application. That said, in some cases, a 221g could evolve into a legal finding of inadmissibility which is an outright visa denial. In such cases, a visa applicant may be able to have the legal grounds of inadmissibility waived through use of an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility. That said, such waivers are adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service under an “extreme hardship” standard of review. This “extreme hardship” standard can be difficult to overcome for some. In any event, many couples find that the assistance of an American attorney can be beneficial during the US visa process or the I-601 waiver process as such an individual can provide insight into the process and advocate on behalf of the petitioner and beneficiary. Furthermore, some find that an attorney’s assistance can result in smoother overall processing of visa applications as such an individual can foresee issues which may arise in a given case and attempt to deal with such issues before they become a problem.

Receiving a 221g refusal letter after the visa interview can be worrying, but in some cases the issue can be resolved through better understanding of the adjudication process and relevant United States Immigration law. Those who receive a 221g refusal at the US Embassy in Cambodia are likely required to follow up within 1 year of issuance lest the visa application be deemed to have been abandoned.

For related information please see: US Visa Cambodia.

more Comments: 04

14th October 2010

On the internet the term “K3 visa” seems to have become the ubiquitous buzzword used to refer to a US Marriage Visa. However, this type of visa is not the classic method employed by American Citizens wishing to bring their Cambodian spouse back to the United States of America. In reality, many utilize either a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa when seeking immigration benefits for a foreign spouse. This is largely due to the recently enacted policy of the National Visa Center (NVC) to “Administratively close” K3 visa applications arriving contemporaneously with, or after, the arrival of an approved I-130 petition at the National Visa Center.

At one time, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) had a major backlog of pending I-130 petitions for spouses of Americans. President Clinton and the Congress at that time promulgated legislation known as the Life Act which created a new visa category called the K3 Visa. This type of travel document was a sort of expedited non-immigrant marriage visa for spouses of American Citizens (Lawful Permanent Residents have never been eligible for K visa benefits including the K1 visa). Those using such a travel document were required to file an adjustment of status application following their spouse’s arrival in the USA, but the K3 visa was issued as a multiple entry travel document so physical presence in the USA was not a rigorously demanded during the adjustment process for K3 visa holder, as opposed to K1 visa holders who cannot leave the USA while the adjustment of status is processing without applying for an advance parole travel document. Under such circumstances, should a K1 visa holder leave the USA without adjusting status then they will fall out of status and the whole process must begin anew.

Since the the creation of the K3 visa USCIS has cut down their backlog of US Marriage visas tremendously. Currently, it takes approximately 5-6 months for USCIS to adjudicate an I-130 for the spouse of a US Citizen. This brought K3 visa processing times and CR1 visa processing times into greater alignment resulting in a situation where it took virtually the same amount of time to fully process either type of visa, give or take a few weeks depending upon the unique circumstances of a case. As a result, the National Visa Center seems to have adopted the policy that there is little use for the K3 visa under the current circumstances which lead to the automatic “administrative closure” of such applications where the underlying I-130 petition has been adjudicated. This does not mean that the entire visa process is at an end, but the applicant is effectively required to seek an Immigrant spouse visa rather than a K3 visa where the I-130 is adjudicated in a timely manner.

For related information please see: K3 Visa Cambodia or K1 Visa Cambodia.

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