Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Administrative Processing’

21st December 2021

There was discussion that the “test and go” scheme, which effectively eliminated quarantine for foreign travelers, would be suspended and then the discussion became moot as authorities in Thailand announced that the scheme would end effective immediately. To quote directly from the Thai Enquirer website:

The Thai government said on Tuesday that it will scrap the recently implemented Test and Go Plan as Omicron variant cases spike worldwide. The Test and Go Plan, which allowed foreign arrivals to skip quarantine, and the Thailand Pass system will be suspended and reevaluated again on January 4.

This raises the question: what about those who already booked their travel plans and were expecting to use the “test and go” system? Well, apparently, they will be allowed to enter so long as they had already booked their travel, quoting further:

All travelers that previously applied for and received the Thailand Pass can still enter the kingdom until January 10 but must report two more PCR negative tests.

Meanwhile, it seems the Thailand Pass system may also be suspended. To quote directly from the ASEAN Now website:

Thailand has suspended its ‘Thailand Pass’ and ‘Test & Go’ schemes due to fears over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha has ordered the immediate suspension of new registrations for Thailand Pass and at the same reinstated mandatory quarantine effective immediately. The PM announced on Tuesday afternoon that Test & Go will be put on hold until at least January 4, 2022. The so-called ‘Sandbox’ programs will also be suspended. “After Dec. 21, there will be no new registrations for ‘Test and Go’, only quarantine or Phuket sandbox,” said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek.

With a “stroke of the pen” the travel situation has reverted back to the status it was at in mid-summer of 2021. This raises the question: will certificates of entry once again be the order of the day when traveling to Thailand? It would appear so, although the situation remains in flux and could change rather rapidly as past events have shown.

Concurrently, many of those wishing to obtain visas to the USA are finding that backlogs are common throughout the Immigration process. Presently, there are very few interview being scheduled at the US Embassy in Bangkok, citing concerns about the pandemic. Furthermore, American tourist visa applications are not processing as quickly as they did in the past due to interviews being scheduled nearly a year out. Even cases that have seen interview are seeing issues as Administrative Processing is delaying a number of cases, sometimes for a prolonged period of time.

Hopefully, the overall situation will improve and we will update this blog as the situation evolves.

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26th November 2010

Recently, this blogger was reading a report from the Department of State regarding the statistics pertaining to the United States Visa Process. To quote the report directly:

Immigrant visa issuances during fiscal year 2011 are limited by the terms of INA 201 to no more than 226,000 in the family-sponsored preferences and 140,000 in the employment-based preferences. (Visas for “Immediate Relatives” – i.e., spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 years, and parents – of U.S. citizens are not subject to numerical limitation, however.) It should by no means be assumed that once an applicant is registered, the case is then continually included in the waiting list totals unless and until a visa is issued. The consular procedures mandate a regular culling of visa cases to remove from the count those unlikely to see further action, so that totals are not unreasonably inflated. If, for example, a consular post receives no response within one year from an applicant to whom the visa application instruction letter (i.e., the consular “Packet 3″ letter) is sent when the movement of the visa availability cutoff date indicates a visa may become available within a reasonable time frame, the case is considered “inactive” under the consular procedures and is no longer included in waiting list totals.

It has be routinely noted on this blog and elsewhere online that the American visa process is somewhat restrictive when it comes to non-immediate relative petitions as there are limited numbers of visas available to the immediate family of American lawful permanent residents and the non-immediate relatives of American Citizens. That said, this was not the portion of the above citation that this author felt was noteworthy. Instead, a central issue for this blogger is that of “culling visa cases”. For those who do not have a great deal of experience dealing with US Immigration matters it may seem rather heavy handed to simply cancel a visa file. However, it should be pointed out that a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad is responsible for reviewing, adjudicating, and processing a large number of visa applications each year. Therefore, in the name of organization and efficiency it is often necessary for cases to be removed from the processing queue lest the whole system become overloaded and inefficient.

Those wishing to obtain a visa to the USA should be cognizant of the fact that failure to follow up with the US Mission with Consular jurisdiction could result in the canceling of one’s visa application thereby resulting in an end to the entire proceeding. This is also true for those who receive a 221g denial as failure to respond within one year of the denial’s issuance could result in the culling of the case file.

Some find that the assistance of an American Immigration attorney can be highly beneficial as such an individual can provide insight into and assistance with the United States visa process. Furthermore, American attorneys working overseas can provide real time assistance with Consular processing at American Missions abroad.

For related information please see: Consular Processing.

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23rd January 2010

The United States Consulate at the American Embassy in Bangkok conducts most, if not all, of the immigrant and non-immigrant family based visa application interviews submitted by those resident in the Kingdom of Thailand. The Immigrant Visa Unit is a division of the United States Consulate which has been given the specific task of adjudicating Immigrant visa applications for travel documents such as the IR1 and the CR1 visa as well as the non-immigrant dual intent travel documents such as the K1 visa and the K3 visa.

The visa interview itself is viewed by many applicants with apprehension and fear as they are worried that it will be used in an attempt to undermine the applicant’s visa application. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. In cases where the applicant has been candid, told the truth on the application forms,  and provided proper documentation the interview is simply an exercise on the part of the Consular Officers to determine that the applicant is who they say they are and that they meet the legal and factual requirements for visa issuance. The interview is not conducted in an effort to somehow humiliate or degrade the applicant, it is truly an investigation into the facts of the case. This being said, those that lie on an application or falsify documentation will likely have an unpleasant experience at the US Embassy as an Administrative Processing interview with the Fraud Prevention Unit can be a less-than-pleasant undertaking. Although courteous, the Consular Officers will often conduct their due diligence zealously in order to uncover the truth regarding the facts of the application.

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to US Immigration matters. Unfortunately, some so-called “visa agents” in Thailand encourage applicants to lie in order to cover up some perceived problem with the application.  Not only is this practice unethical, but in the case of visa interviews it is almost cruel to send a non-native English speaker into the Embassy to be interrogated by officers trained and experienced in conducting these kinds of due diligence.

After the visa interview, should the application be approved, the Consular Officer will usually take the applicant’s passport and provide them with a “Red Card.” Many who research US Immigration are quite familiar with the so-called “Green Card,” which is the Resident Alien Card provided to aliens in the US as proof of lawful permanent residence in America. A “Red Card,” is the appellation that some Immigration attorneys in Thailand as well as Thai visa applicants have applied to the the small index card that the US Embassy in Bangkok provides the applicant should their passport be taken for visa issuance. The reason that this card is referred to it as a “Red Card” is due to the fact that the stamp on the card, which denotes (in Thai and English) the date and time that an applicant can pick up the passport and visa, is red.

Red Cards are not necessarily a guarantee of visa issuance as in rare cases necessary documentation is overlooked and must still be presented by the applicant. However, in the vast majority of cases when a Red Card it issued it means that the visa will more than likely be issued and can be picked up a few days after the conclusion of the interview.

Please note that each US Embassy or US Consulate has different administrative procedures and rules. Therefore, the information regarding “Red Card” issuance at the US Embassy in Bangkok may be completely irrelevant when it comes to other posts such as the US Embassy in Myanmar or the US Consulate in HCMC. Therefore it is advisable to refer to each Embassy’s individual website for specific information about processing a visa application through that particular post.

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