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Posts Tagged ‘us visa lawyer bangkok’

5th February 2010

In cases where a US visa application is denied it may be possible to remedy the visa denial by applying for a waiver if the denial was based upon a legal grounds of inadmissibility. This type of waiver is called an I-601 waiver. At one time, if a United States visa applicant was infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), then they would be denied a visa visa based upon this factor alone, if no other issues existed that called for a denial. However, recently the United States Immigration authorities have changed this rule. To quote a document promulgated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

“[I]nfection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is no longer a ground of inadmissibility. If you have the HIV infection, you are no longer inadmissible to the United States, and are no longer required to file Form I-601 because of your HIV infection. As part of the revisions to Form I-601, any reference to HIV infection in the form and the instructions were removed.”

This is not the only rule change that has been recently promulgated as the filing instructions themselves have recently changed in order to more accurately reflect the proper filing locations as well as other regulatory modifications.

“In addition, USCIS… announced that there are revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. The change of filing location is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of benefit forms from USCIS local offices and Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. By centralizing form and fee intake to a Lockbox environment, USCIS can provide customers with more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.”

The “lockbox” method is currently employed when processing immigrant visa applications such as the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa. This allows USCIS to streamline the application process as all applications are submitted to one location. K1 visa applications as well as K3 marriage visa applications are submitted directly to the USCIS Service Center with appropriate jurisdiction.

In situations where an I-601 waiver application is submitted overseas, the application is usually submitted at the US Embassy or US Consulate where the visa is denied. This allows the Consular Officer to make a recommendation regarding the waiver application. Those interested in US visa waivers should note that only licensed United States attorneys or accredited representatives are allowed to represent clients before both the United States Embassy and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). That being said, only an attorney is entitled to charge fees for such services as accredited representatives are usually not-for-profit agencies who only charge a nominal fee (if anything) when assisting immigrants. Those who are not licensed to represent clients is US Immigration matters cannot charge a fee to represent clients in Immigration proceedings pursuant to US law.  For more information please click here.

For more information about American visas and the remedies available upon application denial please see: US Visa Denial.

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8th April 2009

US Visa Lawyer Thailand

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Finding an American Immigration attorney in Thailand can be somewhat difficult due to the fact that there are quite a few “con-men” claiming to be visa experts in the Kingdom of Thailand. They range from people outright lying about being US Visa Lawyers to “visa agents” who claim they can assist in preparing Immigration forms for submission to USCIS or the US Embassy. In reality only a licensed American Attorney is allowed to represent clients before USCIS (Immigration).  Perhaps it is best to quote the USCIS website:

“Notarios, notary publics and immigration consultants may NOT represent you before USCIS. They may not give you legal advice on what immigration benefit you may apply for or what to say in an immigration interview. These individuals may NOT hold themselves out as qualified in legal matters or in immigration and naturalization procedure and may only charge nominal (inexpensive) fees as regulated by state law. In many other countries, the word “notario” means that the individual is an attorney, but that is not true in the United States. Individuals seeking help with immigration questions should be very careful before paying money to non-attorneys.”

Former Commissioner of the INS (now USCIS)  Doris Meissner at one point released a memo stating, “Only attorneys and accredited representatives may engage in the practice of law before the Service.” There are exceptions to this rule, but Meissner continued, “These exceptions are available only if the person receives no payment for the appearance.” She also wrote that the “practice of law includes advising individuals concerning the selection, completion, and filing of Service forms (such as petitions or applications), in addition to actually appearing before the Service officer… Even advice limited to something as simple’ as selecting and completing the proper Service forms constitutes the practice of law, since this depends on a legal conclusion that the client is eligible for the particular benefit.” For more on this memo and its effect on immigration consultants in the USA please click here.

Only an attorney licensed to practice law in at least one US state, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia may represent clients in Immigration matters before USCIS. Therefore, any “visa agent” or “immigration consultant” that is claiming that they are a US Visa Lawyer and have the right to represent people before USCIS is lying.

The day before writing this post I personally went to the US Embassy in Bangkok in order to respond to a 221g refusal in the process of providing the information I spoke with a consular officer who probed me about my credentials. I showed him my state and federal bar cards and he very politely informed me that he apologized for any inconvenience, but he just wanted to ensure that I was duly licensed. This would similarly occur at USCIS if I had been representing a client there. Had I not been a licensed attorney, I do not know what would have happened. Although I have an idea because the consular officer explained that security had already been called. Had I not been able to produce the proper credentials I think I would have been escorted out.

For more Information about retaining the services of a licensed American Immigration Attorney in Thailand please see US Visa Lawyer Thailand

Note: None of the above information should be used as a substitute for advice from a competent US Immigration Attorney

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