Integrity Legal

13th March 2011

The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security of the of the United States:

This advisory is for Japanese and other foreign nationals from the Pacific stranded in the United States due to the earthquakes and tsunami devastation. If you have exceeded or are about to exceed your authorized stay in the U.S. you may be permitted up to an additional 30 days to depart.

Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

Visitors traveling under a nonimmigrant visa:

For additional immigration relief options, please visit the Special Situations Web page.

As readers may be aware, a recent earthquake in Japan has resulted in possible serious problems at nuclear facilities and displaced many. The Earthquake itself has been categorized between 8.8 and 9.1 on the Richter scale. This tragedy has had reverberations throughout the globe in the form of tsunamis and some even speculating about the possibility that radiation could be leaking from Japanese reactors at the time of this writing. Concurrently, it has also been reported that a volcano has erupted in southern japan which may result in further problems for both the Japanese governmental authorities as well as the Japanese people.

It is this blogger’s hope that this tragedy does not cause further loss of life and injury while Japanese and international organizations take measures to assist survivors and clean up the fallout. Japan has been a staunch ally of the United States in Asia for many years and there are likely to be economic and political repercussions for both the United States and Japan. Meanwhile, similar things could be said about relations between Thailand and Japan as the recent events are likely to have an impact upon economic and political issues pertaining to Thai-Japanese bilateral relations.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is primarily responsible for adjudicating immigration matters and also implementing some immigration policies. It would appear that in light of the recent Japanese tragedy the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS are taking the humanitarian aspects of the overall situation into consideration as policies are promulgated in an effort to efficiently deal with the repercussions of the recent Earthquake in an American context. The Department of Homeland Security took similar measures when dealing with the aftermath of the Earthquake in Haiti.

For related information please see: visa waiver program.


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