Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘administratively closed’

15th October 2010

Those American Citizens with an Indonesian spouse sometimes posit: “Would it be possible for me to obtain a K3 visa for my Indonesian husband or wife?” Although, the answer to this question is not exactly “cut and dried” it is a qualified No. However, this does not necessarily mean that there is not another US Marriage Visa category available to the Indonesian husband or wife of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

The reason that a K3 marriage visa is likely unavailable to the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen (K visas are not available to lawful permanent residents, this includes the popular K1 visa which is often used to bring fiances of American Citizens back to the USA) is due to the fact that the US State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) has promulgated a policy whereby all K3 Visa applications will be administratively closed if the I-129f petition arrives contemporaneously with, or before, the arrival of an I-130 petition. As the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has recently reduced their backlog when adjudicating I-130 petitions this has lead to a situation where I-130 petitions are arriving at NVC prior to their I-129f counterparts. In a way, circumstances as they exist under the aforementioned scenario negate the need for the K3 visa in most situations.

The K3 visa was created under the language of the so-called “Life Act” which was promulgated during the latter part of the Clinton Administration. At that time, the backlog of I-130 petitions was rather large and the K3 visa was created to allow expedited marriage visa processing for the spouses of US Citizens. As technology improved and USCIS overcame their I-130 backlog the USCIS processing time for the K3 visa and the Immigrant visa categories (CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa) came into alignment. Therefore, the K3 visa became somewhat redundant and the National Visa Center seems to have made the decision to “phase out” these types of visas when they are no longer needed.

This does not mean that American marriage visas are no longer available at all. Instead, more and more couples seek visa benefits by using the classic I-130 petition. This petition, if approved, can be used to obtain a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa for the spouse of an American Citizen (Lawful Permanent Residents are eligible to petition for CR1 or IR1 immigration benefits, but it generally takes longer to process such requests). Currently, it takes approximately 11-12 months to obtain an Immigrant visa for the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen taking into account USCIS adjudication (currently taking approximately 5-6 months), NVC processing, and Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Indonesia or K3 Visa Indonesia.

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14th October 2010

On the internet the term “K3 visa” seems to have become the ubiquitous buzzword used to refer to a US Marriage Visa. However, this type of visa is not the classic method employed by American Citizens wishing to bring their Cambodian spouse back to the United States of America. In reality, many utilize either a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa when seeking immigration benefits for a foreign spouse. This is largely due to the recently enacted policy of the National Visa Center (NVC) to “Administratively close” K3 visa applications arriving contemporaneously with, or after, the arrival of an approved I-130 petition at the National Visa Center.

At one time, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) had a major backlog of pending I-130 petitions for spouses of Americans. President Clinton and the Congress at that time promulgated legislation known as the Life Act which created a new visa category called the K3 Visa. This type of travel document was a sort of expedited non-immigrant marriage visa for spouses of American Citizens (Lawful Permanent Residents have never been eligible for K visa benefits including the K1 visa). Those using such a travel document were required to file an adjustment of status application following their spouse’s arrival in the USA, but the K3 visa was issued as a multiple entry travel document so physical presence in the USA was not a rigorously demanded during the adjustment process for K3 visa holder, as opposed to K1 visa holders who cannot leave the USA while the adjustment of status is processing without applying for an advance parole travel document. Under such circumstances, should a K1 visa holder leave the USA without adjusting status then they will fall out of status and the whole process must begin anew.

Since the the creation of the K3 visa USCIS has cut down their backlog of US Marriage visas tremendously. Currently, it takes approximately 5-6 months for USCIS to adjudicate an I-130 for the spouse of a US Citizen. This brought K3 visa processing times and CR1 visa processing times into greater alignment resulting in a situation where it took virtually the same amount of time to fully process either type of visa, give or take a few weeks depending upon the unique circumstances of a case. As a result, the National Visa Center seems to have adopted the policy that there is little use for the K3 visa under the current circumstances which lead to the automatic “administrative closure” of such applications where the underlying I-130 petition has been adjudicated. This does not mean that the entire visa process is at an end, but the applicant is effectively required to seek an Immigrant spouse visa rather than a K3 visa where the I-130 is adjudicated in a timely manner.

For related information please see: K3 Visa Cambodia or K1 Visa Cambodia.

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