Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘USCIS website’

21st December 2009

The United States Visa Process can be extremely confusing particularly when it come to United States Family Immigration. Below are the processing time estimates promulgated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). We post these processing times on this blog as a courtesy to those thinking about filing an Immigration petition or with a petition currently pending. To learn more visit the USCIS website.

These are the current processing time estimates for the USCIS California Service Center

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 January 23, 2005
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 May 23, 2002
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister September 09, 2000
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 November 02, 2006
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 November 02, 2002
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal 4 Months

These are the processing time estimates for the Vermont Service Center of USCIS:

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 April 16, 2007
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21 June 05, 2006
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister June 19, 2007
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21 June 12, 2006
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21 June 05, 2006
I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole 3 Months
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal Readmission after deportation or removal 4 Months

It should always be remembered that these processing times are merely estimates and cannot be definitively relied upon. Every case is unique and processes in its own time based upon the unique facts of the case. That being said, the above figures fairly accurately reflect the amount of time it takes to obtain a decision from USCIS. For those processing through the US Embassy Bangkok, it should be noted that the above figures do not take into account Consular Processing as the Embassy is under the jurisdiction of the American State Department and not the Department of Homeland Security.

Although the K1 visa remains the fastest family based visa category, it does not confer lawful permanent residence upon entry like the IR1 or CR1 visa. This can also be said for the K3 visa as it is classified as a non-immigrant dual intent visa and therefore requires the alien to adjust status after entering the USA.

For previous figures please see: US visa processing times.

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28th November 2009

The Department of Homeland Security is a vast bureaucracy with many different components. The Ombudsman’s office can be very helpful for those who have had a file go missing or otherwise need assistance in dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Recently, Secretary Napolitano of Homeland Security appointed a new Ombudsman. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), noted the appointment in a recent press release:

“In a message to employees yesterday afternoon, Secretary Napolitano announced the appointment of January Contreras as Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman for the Department of Homeland Security.”

Secretary Napolitano was quoted as saying that the new Ombudsman has “valuable experience,” which will assist in her future endeavors. To further quote the above press release:

“Ms. Contreras previously served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Napolitano, where she helped lead the Department’s response to the H1N1 flu and oversaw Department initiatives for the White House Council on Women and Girls. She formerly led the Arizona Department of Health Services, managing nearly 2,000 employees and overseeing the state’s public health and behavioral health systems. In addition, she has 10 years of experience in litigation and policy including health and its interaction with immigration policy and legislation.”

The aforementioned press release also noted the exact nature of the USCIS Ombudsman’s role:

“The CIS Ombudsman provides independent analysis of problems encountered by individuals and employers interacting with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and proposes changes to mitigate those problems.”

Contacting the USCIS Ombudsman’s office can be very beneficial for those with a pending K1 visa or K3 visa application. However, the office should not be contacted simply to request information regarding the status of a pending case as the USCIS website is probably the more appropriate place to seek this information.

This author hopes that the appointment of this new Ombudsman will further protect the interests of those processing their application with USCIS. With that in mind, in recent months the USCIS Service Centers seem to be processing applications with a great deal of efficiency and there does not appear to be any reason to believe that this will not continue in the future. It should be noted that the Ombdsman does not oversee the administration of the US Embassy Thailand. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State (the agency with jurisdiction over US Embassies and Consulates, like the US Consulate in Chiang Mai) are two separate agencies and their staff do not generally have overlapping jurisdiction. For issues concerning the Embassy it is usually best to contact the Embassy directly.

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