Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘J-1 Visa New Zealand’

25th February 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of State has proposed a final rule which would raise some of the costs and fees associated with the J-1 visa, a travel document designed for exchange visitors wishing to visit the United States of America. To quote directly from the Federal Register’s official website

§ 62.17 Fees and charges.

(a) Remittances. Fees prescribed within the framework of 31 U.S.C. 9701 must be submitted as directed by the Department and must be in the amount prescribed by law or regulation...

(b) Amounts of fees. The following fees are prescribed...

(1) For filing an application for program designation and/or redesignation (Form DS-3036)—$2,700.00…

(2) For filing an application for exchange visitor status changes (i.e., extension beyond the maximum duration, change of category, reinstatement, reinstatement-update, SEVIS status, ECFMG sponsorship authorization, and permission to issue)—$233.00.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that those interested in this issue click on the links above to read the Federal Register entry in its entirety.

Those who are unfamiliar with the J-1 visa should also note that this visa category is sometimes utilized by foreign nationals wishing to act as Au pairs in the United States of America.

Pursuant to the provisions of section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Consular Officers at every US Embassy or US Consulate abroad are required to make the presumption that the applicant for a non-immigrant visa is actually an intending immigrant unless the applicant can provide evidence to overcome this presumption. This triggers a “strong ties” vs. “weak ties” analysis in the mind of the interviewing Consular officer. During such an analysis, the Consular officer will weigh the ties that the applicant has to their home country and compare these with the applicant’s ties to the United States. If the offficer feels that the applicant has stronger ties to a country abroad than to the USA, then the visa will likely be granted.

In some cases, applicants for a United States visa are denied. This would seem to happen more frequently in non-immigrant visa cases than immigrant visa cases, but this can, at least partially, be attributed to the stringent analysis that all Consular Officers must make during the adjudication of certain non-immigrant visa applications. Should a visa be denied, then it may be possible to request reconsideration of that decision. That said, appealing visa denials, especially denials pursuant to section 214(b), is difficult, if not impossible, pursuant to the doctrine of Consular Non-Reviewability (sometimes referred to as Consular Absolutism). This doctrine states that, with exceptions in rare and highly extreme circumstances, a Consular Officer’s discretion regarding the issuance of a visa is virtually absolute.

Some have pondered whether the provisions of section 214(b) applies to applicants for a K-1 visa. In point of fact, although the K-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category similar to the J-1 visa; the K-1 visa applicant is not scrutinized subject to section 214(b) of the INA as the applicant for said US fiance visa is entitled to have immigrant intent at the time of the K-1 application.

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19th February 2011

Those who read this blog with any frequency are no doubt aware that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various Asia-Pacific US Missions as a courtesy to the public. The following 2011 holiday closing schedule is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand:




January 1 – Saturday (holiday Dec 31, 2010 (US), Jan 3 (NZ)) New Year’s Day NZ/US
January 2 – Sunday (holiday Jan 4 (NZ)) Day After New Year’s Day NZ
January 17 – Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday US
January 24 – Monday Wellington Anniversary (Wellington Only) NZ
January 31 – Monday Auckland Anniversary (Auckland Only) NZ
February 6 - Sunday Waitangi Day NZ
February 21 – Monday Presidents’ Day US
April 22 – Friday Good Friday NZ
April 25 – Monday Easter Monday NZ
April 25 – Monday Anzac Day NZ
May 30 – Monday Memorial Day US
June 6 – Monday Queen’s Birthday NZ
July 4 – Monday Independence Day US
September 5 – Monday Labor Day US
October 10 – Monday Columbus Day US
October 24 – Monday Labour Day NZ
November 11 – Friday Veterans Day US
November 11 – Friday Canterbury Anniversary (Christchurch Only) NZ
November 24 – Thursday Thanksgiving Day US
December 25 – Sunday Christmas Day NZ/US
December 26 – Monday Boxing Day NZ

Note: The Embassy and Consulate observe New Zealand and American public holidays.

Those wishing to visit the official website of the US Embassy in New Zealand please click HERE.

Those wishing to obtain services which can only be performed by American Consular officers (such as Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, US Passport issuance, or issuance of additional visa pages to a previously issued US Passport) are well advised to attempt to make an appointment online with the American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the US Embassy or US Consulate with appropriate geographic jurisdiction.

Those seeking Non-Immigrant Visas such as the US student visa (F-1 visa) or the J-1 exchange visitor visa are likely to see their visa application processed by a non-immigrant visa unit. It should be noted that applications for the visa categories noted above are likely to be scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents seeking immigrant visas such as the CR-1 visa and/or the IR-1 visa for a foreign spouse are likely to see the beneficiary’s visa application processed at an Immigrant Visa Unit abroad. It should be noted that for processing purposes the K-1 visa (A non-immigrant US fiance visa) is treated in much the same manner as the spousal visa categories noted above.

EB-5 visa seekers and L-1 visa seekers must generally obtain approval on an immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to making a visa application at a US Mission abroad. E-2 visa seekers may be required to process an immigration petition or apply at a US Post abroad depending upon the applicant’s circumstances.

For more information about Immigration In America by Investment please see: EB-5 Visa New Zealand.

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