Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘us visa lawyer’

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.

more Comments: 04

25th March 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may be changing some of the procedures associated with the processing of immigration petitions pertaining to the application for issuance of the CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, K-1 visa, and K-3 visa filed by United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. To quote directly from a recent USCIS Memo posted on ILW.com:

This memorandum provides guidance to USCIS service centers regarding changes in the handling of all stand-alone I-130 and I-129F petitions filed by petitioners who have been convicted of any “specified offense against a minor” under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (“Adam Walsh Act” or “AWA”) and related issues.1 This memorandum applies only to petitions that are adjudicated at the service centers and not to petitions adjudicated at USCIS field offices.

Generally I-130 petitions (the categorical designation used to refer to the petition for a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa) are processed by the USCIS Service Center designated by the lockbox upon receipt. In some cases, it may be possible to process an I-130 petition at one of the various USCIS field offices located abroad, such as the USCIS office in Bangkok. The I-129f petition (categorical designation used to denote the US fiance visa or K1 visa) can only be processed at a USCIS Service Center in the USA as the field offices overseas do not process such petitions as of the time of this writing. To quote further from the previously mentioned memorandum:

USCIS will centralize at VSC all files currently at service centers if the service center adjudicator has made a preliminary determination that the petition warrants review as an AWA-related case. The VSC will serve as a central clearinghouse for inquiries from Federal, State, and local agencies regarding AWA-related cases that are pending or were recently adjudicated at one of the four service centers [hereafter referred to as “originating service center” or “sending service center”]. While AWA-related cases require special handling, the decision to centralize AWA-related adjudications at the VSC will affect caseloads at other service centers only minimally.

Clearly, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is making policy changes in an effort to take steps to more efficiently process cases requiring further scrutiny pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act (AWA). In a way, the Vermont Service Center’s role in AWA-related cases is somewhat similar to the role of the National Visa Center in the overall US visa process as that agency is tasked with acting as a sort of clearinghouse for visa applications arriving from USCIS and being processed out to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Although, NVC is under the authority of the Department of State whereas the Vermont Service Center (like the other USCIS Service Centers) is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS.

For related information please see: Adam Walsh Act.

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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.

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1st May 2010

On this blog, we try to provide up to date information regarding the processing time estimates of certain family based, and in limited instances non-family based, United States Immigration Petitions.

Below are the current processing time estimates from the USCIS Service Center in California as of February 28, 2010:

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 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 July 09, 2005
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 May 24, 2002
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister March 02, 2001
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 June 02, 2007
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 March 02, 2003
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker E – Treaty traders and investors 2 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Month

The following are processing time estimates for the USCIS Vermont Service Center as of February 28, 2010:

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 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 February 13, 2009
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 January 23, 2009
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister January 16, 2009
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 November 05, 2008
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 February 27, 2009
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-129 Petition for A Nonimmigrant Worker L – Intracompany transfers 1 Month

These estimates should not be viewed as accurate for each individual case as each case is unique and some cases take more time to process through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and others may take considerably little time to process through the Service Center. In any case, the assistance of a US Visa Lawyer can be helpful to clients as an authorized representative is entitled to correspond with USCIS on behalf of clients and can thereby streamline the overall visa process.

It should be noted that these estimates do not include the time that it takes to get the case processed through a US Embassy or US Consulate overseas. For those processing a Thai case, it usually takes about 6-8 weeks to process through the US Embassy Thailand.

For further information please see: Fiance Visa Thailand.

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8th March 2010

Recently the Department of Homeland Security issued a notice that the rules regarding attorney representation would be amended in order to fall in line with the relevant Department of Justice regulations. To quote a the summary in the Federal Register which is displayed on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website:

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations governing representation and appearances by, and professional conduct of, practitioners in immigration practice before its components to: Conform the grounds of discipline and procedures regulations with those promulgated by the Department of Justice (DOJ); clarify who is authorized to represent applicants and petitioners in cases before DHS; remove duplicative rules, procedures, and authority; improve the clarity and uniformity of the existing regulations; make technical and procedural changes; and conform terminology. This rule enhances the integrity of the immigration adjudication process by updating and clarifying the regulation of professional conduct of immigration practitioners who practice before DHS.”

As has been discussed on this blog before, the issue of attorney representation is of great importance due to the fact that there are many disreputable organizations calling themselves such things as “visa company,” “visa agency,” or, “visa consultant” and other unscrupulous operators who go so far as to claim attorney credentials when they are, in fact, unlicensed to practice law in the United States and therefore unable to practice US Immigration law. To quote the Federal Register again:

“Definition of attorney. This rule amends the definition of “attorney” at 8 CFR 1.1(f), to conform with DOJ’s definition at 8 CFR 1001.1(f), by adding the requirement that an attorney must be eligible to practice law in the bar of any State, possession, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or of the District of Columbia, in addition to the other requirements for attorneys set forth in that regulation. State bar rules uniformly require licensed attorneys to maintain an active status in order to practice law; however, there has been some confusion as to the applicability of that requirement in determining eligibility to appear as a representative before DHS.”

It is interesting that this addition was made as it imposes an more stringent burden upon practitioners as anyone practicing before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or its agencies, like the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP), and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) must be eligible to practice in virtually every American jurisdiction. It should be noted that eligibility is the only new requirement added as DHS does not require that practitioners be licensed to practice in all US jurisdictions.

It should also be pointed out that attorneys are not the only individuals who can represent clients before DHS. In fact, if an individual is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals, then they may represent individuals in certain DHS proceedings. However, such agents are usually non-profit organizations as non-attorney representatives are NOT entitled to charge anything except nominal fees.

For related information please see US Lawyer Thailand or US Visa Thailand.


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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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5th October 2009

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service adjudicates many applications for US Immigration benefits. As a result, they deal with a large number of government forms. A form that is quite familiar to United States Immigration Attorneys is known as the G28. The G28 is the form which puts the United States government on notice that a licensed attorney has entered his or her appearance in the case. According to recent statements from USCIS, the current G28 is to be phased out and replaced by a new version.

According to a recent government press release:

“USCIS will provide a 30-day grace period for the Form G-28, until Oct. 30, so that Forms G-28 currently in the mail will be considered valid when received at the USCIS Lockbox facility or USCIS Service Center. After Oct. 30, any prior versions of the Form G-28 that are received will be considered invalid. All Forms G-28 filed before Oct. 30, will be honored for previously filed cases as long as the Forms G-28 were properly completed by an eligible attorney or accredited representative. The new Form G-28 is not required for receiving updates or interviews unless a new attorney is representing the applicant.”

Usage of form G28 is a method of detecting whether one is dealing with a licensed attorney as opposed to a “visa agent” “visa consultant” or an out and out fraud claiming to be an “immigration lawyer”. The G28 can be useful for weeding out impostors because it requires that the attorney provide his or her state of license. Other forms in a visa application will likely require the attorney’s license number. Although there are some refugee and other non-profit agencies entitled to represent clients before USCIS, these groups are not allowed to profit from said representation. Therefore, the only paid representative that will be recognized by USCIS for matters in the USA is an attorney licensed in a United States jurisdiction.

For those who are not licensed to practice law in the United States, filing a G28 on behalf of another could be construed as the unauthorized practice of law due to the rule that only attorneys are qualified to represent clients before the Immigration service for profit.

The grace period mentioned in the quote above means that at the time of this writing there are approximately 25 days left to use the old G28 form. Bearing this in mind, it may be better to simply begin using the new form as soon as possible in order to forestall a rejection of the form due to expiration.

For more information please see K1 visa application

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9th June 2009

What is the Process for Obtaining a K-1 Fiancee Visa?

The K-1 visa process is a time consuming and complex endeavor. Many arm-chair attorneys believe that they understand the K-1 process based upon second hand or incorrect information. Further complicating the research process are so-called visa agents and Immigration consulting firms providing misleading information. In Thailand, there are some “US Immigration Lawyers” who are not licensed to practice law in any US jurisdiction and therefore cannot practice US Immigration law. Without all of this “background noise” of bad information, what are the facts about the K-1 Visa Process?

The K-1 Visa Process: The Visa Application

The K-1 Visa Application is one of the most critical components of the K-1 visa process. Currently, the I-129f application is used by those who wish to petition for K-1 benefits for a foreign fiancee. The I-129f petition seems uncomplicated at first blush, but legislation passed within the last decade has made K-1 visa application questions more detailed and created restrictions regarding who can submit an application for a K-1 visa.

After the application is completed, it must then be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) center with proper jurisdiction. USCIS Service Center jurisdiction is based upon the location of the US Citizen’s primary residence in the United States.

K-1 Visa Process: Submission of the K-1 Visa Application to the USCIS Service Center

After the US Citizen sends the K-1 Visa application to the USCIS service center, the wait begins. Due to the heavy caseload of both service centers, it can take some time before the K-1 application is adjudicated. Currently, both USCIS service centers state that it will take approximately 6 months to adjudicate the K-1 visa application. However, is has been the experience of the writer that this is a conservative estimate and the K-1 application is usually adjudicated in a shorter time period. An issue that can arise and slow down a K-1 visa application is a Request For Evidence (RFE). An RFE is sent from USCIS to the US Citizen if there is a deficiency of documentation in the K1 application. This is where retaining the services of a US Visa Lawyer could be a benefit because the lawyer could assist in forestalling an RFE.

K-1 Visa Application Approval at USCIS and Forwarding to the National Visa Center

Once USCIS approves a K-1 visa application, they will send the visa application to an office within the American State Department called the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will ascertain where the Fiancee beneficiary of the visa application will be conducting her interview. Once it is determined where the Fiancee will conduct her K-1 visa interview, the NVC will forward the application to that Embassy or Consulate.

K-1 Visa Process: Packet 3 and the K-1 Visa Interview

After the NVC has forwarded the K-1 application to the Embassy the embassy will send out packet 3, which explains the documentation that must be submitted prior to the K-1 visa interview. Having an attorney on the scene to assist with consular processing can be a major advantage to the Non-Citizen fiancee especially where the fiancee’s mother tongue is not English. After Packet 3 is submitted and the Interview is scheduled, the Fiancee will go to the Embassy and have her interview.

K-1 Visa Process: K-1 Visa Interview and 221g Refusals

One common delay in the K-1 visa process is caused by a 221 g denial. A 221 g visa denial occurs when the consular officer conducting the K-1 visa interview determines that the applicant has provided insufficient documentation and will need to retrieve the necessary documentation before a visa will be issued. An American Immigration attorney in the fiancee’s home country can be indispensable at the K-1 interview phase because they can attempt to forestall 221 g denials by using their knowledge of the law and experience in order to prepare all of the necessary documentation in advance. Further, if a 221 g should arise, the attorney is in a position to advise how best to deal with the deficiency.

K-1 Visa Process: K1 Visa Denial based upon a Legal Ground of Inadmissibility

In cases where the K-1 beneficiary is deemed legally inadmissible to the US, the K-1 visa application will be denied. In many cases, the Inadmissibility can be waived by filing an I-601 waiver application. retaining an Immigration attorney at the beginning of the process can enable all parties to form an effective strategy regarding a finding of inadmissibility. If an attorney believes that a ground of inadmissibility exists, then he can prepare the application for a waiver before the visa is ultimately denied and file the waiver application contemporaneously or shortly following denial.  Luckily for those reading this, most foreign beneficiaries are not inadmissible, but it may be wise to contact an attorney in order to understand all facets of the K-1 Visa Process.

(Nothing in this article should be used for purposes other than education and research. Further, no part of this post is a satifactory alternative to competenet personal legal advice from a licensed attorney. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship between author and reader.)

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8th April 2009

US Visa Lawyer Thailand

Posted by : admin

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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8th April 2009

What is Advance Parole?

It is an immigration travel document conferred by the USA.


Unlike a re-entry  permit, advance parole is granted to those who have yet to obtain lawful permanent resident status.  For the purposes of this post we will discuss advance parole with regard to the K1 Visa. Since the K1 Visa is a non-immigrant single entry visa  advance parole may be a necessity if one enters the United States and would like to subsequently leave after entry with permission to return upon the same visa. This is especially important in terms of adjustment of status. When a Thai spouse enters the USA on a K1 Visa she must adjust status in order to obtain lawful permanent residence (a “Green Card,” to use the colloquial term). Should she leave the US while the adjustment is still processing, her adjustment application will be canceled and the visa process will have to start all over again in order for her to re-enter the USA. Therefore, advance parole is a very important concept in terms of US Family Immigration. (Although a K-3 Visa is a non-immigrant visa it is a multiple entry visa so the issues of advance parole aren’t as important)

Advance Parole and US Possessions and Territories

In previous articles about advance parole, I have written about my hesitance to advise those in the USA on a K1 Visa to travel to certain possessions of the United States. I still renew this caution, but I believe some clarification of the travel issue can be found in the definition of “United States” found at 8 CFR Chapter 12 Subchapter 1 § 1101 (a) (38):

“The term “United States”, except as otherwise specifically herein provided, when used in a geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.”

This definition begs the question, “What about other possessions of the United States?”

Advance Parole Document

The United States is also in possession of : American Samoa, Palau, the Northern Marianas Islands, and the Marshall Islands. The United States is also in a compact of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia. It would appear from the definition of “United States,” provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act that one would need to obtain advance parole in order to travel to any of these minor US outlying possessions because they are not part of the United States for the purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

I think it may be wise to look at issues of advance parole on a spectrum:

Travel within the 50 US States: No need for Advance Parole

Travel to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, or Guam after entry into the US on a K1 Visa: it would appear that one can travel to these possessions, but there may be an issue because these territories are not technically within the USA. I would strongly recommend against traveling to these locations (unless absolutely necessary and after consultation with a competent US visa lawyer in your jurisdiction)  until after the adjustment of status process is complete.

Travel to American Samoa, Palau, the Northern Marianas Islands, and the Marshall Islands: Pursuant to the INA’s definition of “United States” it would be highly inadvisable to travel to one of these places without first obtaining advance parole because these locations do not fall within the definition of “United States,” as the author reads it.

Travel to any other state not mentioned above: Advance parole a definite necessity.

Hopefully, this post has shed some light upon this subject, but as always, do not use any of the above as a substitute or in any way in lieu of legal advice from a competent licensed attorney with experience in US Immigration matters.

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