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Posts Tagged ‘US Visa South Korea’

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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30th January 2011

Frequent readers will, no doubt, note that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Missions in Asia as a courtesy to American travelers who may need Consular services while abroad. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Seoul, Korea:

The American Embassy will observe the following American and Local holidays during 2011.

2011 Name American/Local
January 17 (Mon) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday American
February 2,3,4 (Wed, Thurs, Fri) Seol-Nal (Lunar New Year Days) Local
February 21 (Mon) Presidents’ Day American
March 1 (Tues) Sam Il Jul (Independence Movement Day) Local
May 5 (Thurs) Orininal (Children’s Day) Local
May 30 (Mon) Memorial Day American
June 6 (Mon) Hyun Choong Il (Memorial Day) Local
July 4 (Mon) Independence Day American
August 15 (Mon) Kwang Bok Jul (Independence Day) Local
September 5 (Mon) Labor Day American
September 12, 13, (Mon, Tues) Chusok (Korean Thanksgiving) Local
October 3 (Mon) Kae Chun Jul (National Foundation Day) Local
October 10 (Mon) Columbus Day American
November 11 (Fri) Veterans Day American
November 24 (Thu) Thanksgiving Day American
December 26 (Mon) Christmas Day American/Local

Those wishing to view the official homepage of the US Embassy in Seoul, Korea please click HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided at an American Citizen Services Section of a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad, such as: issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, issuance of a US Passport, or issuance of additional pages for a US Passport are well advised to schedule an appointment online with the Post in advance, if possible, in order to streamline the processing of one’s request.

Those seeking non-immigrant visa benefits such as the US business visa (B-1 visa category), US tourist visa (B-2 visa category), US student visa (F-1 visa category), or US exchange visitor visa (J-1 visa category) are likely to see their visa application processed at a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit abroad. Those seeking non-immigrant visa benefits are well advised to bear in mind the fact that non-immigrant visa applications are scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those American Citizens seeking American family visa benefits are likely to only see a visa application for a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa processed after receiving approval of an underlying Immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It should be noted that for processing purposes the K-1 visa application, although used by seekers of a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is treated in much the same way as immigrant visa applications.

Those seeking US business visa benefits for travel documents such as an E-2 visa, L-1 visa, or EB-5 visa may be required to process, and receive approval of, an immigration petition at the USCIS.  For E-2 visa seekers this may not be the case, but the unique facts in a given case must be examined prior to making a conclusion regarding the appropriate avenue for processing.

Those interested in related information please see: US Visa Korea.

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