Integrity Legal

3rd November 2010

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is responsible for adjudicating and processing petitions for American Immigration benefits. In the majority of cases, the petitioner is required to file a petition in the USA. However, in some relatively rare cases, it may be possible to file for immigrant spouse visa benefits at either an overseas office of USCIS or through Direct Consular Filing at a United States Mission, Embassy, or Consulate abroad. This blogger recently discovered that the USCIS is inviting stakeholders to a meeting to discuss overseas filings of I-130 petitions.  To quote directly from a recent memo distributed by the Department of Homeland Security’s USCIS:

The USCIS International Operations Division, Office of Policy & Strategy, and Office of Public Engagement invite you to participate in a teleconference to discuss changes to the adjudication of the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by petitioners residing overseas.

Currently, petitioners living outside the United States may file a Form I-130 with and have the petition adjudicated by a USCIS field office or American Consulate overseas. USCIS is reviewing options to have all Forms I-130 adjudicated domestically. During the session, USCIS will provide an overview of how changes may affect filing and adjudication as well as address questions and concerns from stakeholders.

It remains to be seen whether or not this proposed policy will be implemented, but if the policy is implemented, then all of those seeking immigrant visas will probably be required to file for visa benefits at a facility in the USA.

The United States Immigration process can vary depending upon the facts of a given case and the visa category being sought. Therefore, those seeking a CR1 visa or an IR1 visa will not undergo the same process as one who is seeking a K1 visa. This is especially true in cases where individuals are seeking non-immigrant visa benefits as many of these applications do not require the initial filing of an immigration petition in the USA. However, applicants for non-immigrant visa categories are likely to be scrutinized pursuant to the provisions of section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act which can lead to a higher number of visa denials when compared to immigrant visa categories.

Those interested in retaining the services of a professional to assist in the immigration process are well advised to ascertain the credentials of those claiming expertise in United States Immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is entitled to provide advice and counsel in immigration related matters for a fee.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.