Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K-1 Visa Lawyer’

5th June 2011

This posting discusses the issues associated with retaining an American attorney to assist with the K-1 visa process. Those thinking about retaining assistance in the K-1 visa process are well advised to conduct thorough research prior to making any irrevocable decisions.

The K-1 visa is a non-immigrant US fiance visa which was intended to be used solely by the foreign fiances of American Citizens. The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancee of an American Citizen to enter the United States for a period of 90 days of the purpose of marriage. Those who do not marry their American fiance after 90 days in the USA will be required to depart from the USA. Readers should bear in mind that the entrant to the United States on a K-1 visa who marries their loved one must undergo the adjustment of status process in order to gain lawful permanent residence in the U.S.A.

The purpose of this article is to provide insight to Americans about the perils of dealing with non-licensed individuals who purport to be qualified to practice United States Immigration law (or any American law, for that matter) . Pursuant to 8 CFR 292.1 only a qualified lawyer licensed to practice law in at least one U.S. State or Federal jurisdiction is entitled to engage in the receiving of client fees in connection with the practice of United States immigration law. Therefore, those not so qualified must either fit within a narrow exception to the aforementioned rule lest their behavior be deemed to be illegal. It should be noted that attorney-client confidentiality is a significant issue which should be considered when ascertaining the credentials of those claiming qualification in United States immigration matters abroad as there are many so-called “visa agents” or “immigration consultants” claiming qualification to provide services in connection with U.S. immigration. Attorney-client privilege is not extended to those not qualified as an American attorney and therefore discussions with unqualified individuals are likely not privileged communications. Meanwhile, some individuals brazenly, albeit falsely, portray themselves as American attorneys when, in fact, this is simply not the case.

For all of the reasons outlined above it should be noted that only a competent licensed attorney from the United States should be retained to assist prospective clients. Readers should understand that this message is not conveyed as an advertisement of this particular blogger’s services, as this is not this blogger’s intention in creating this posting. Instead, this post should be viewed as a reminder to readers that this decision should be made by prospective clients after serious contemplation and thorough research of all possible candidates for an attorney position. Attorney-Client relationships are not “one size fits-all” and neither is quality legal service. Therefore, the public should conduct research before coming to an informed decision about hiring an attorney.

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

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15th July 2009

One of the most prevalent advertising incentives utilized by people claiming to be a “visa agent,” “immigration consultant,” or “lawyer,” is the 100 percent guarantee that a visa will be issued. A variation on this scheme  is also the 100% money back guarantee if the visa is not obtained.

The most common visa category in which people run into these “guarantees” is the K-1 visa. When doing research regarding US Immigration Lawyers in Thailand, prospective petitioners and beneficiaries come across something that is seemingly too good to be true: a no-lose situation. The “agent,” does all of the work and should the visa be denied the fee will be refunded.

Sounds great right? Except for the fact that it really is too good to be true. First, no one can guarantee a visa will be obtained. Let me make this clear: NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE THAT A VISA WILL BE OBTAINED. Much like any other field of law, US Immigration has success and failure and there is a common incorrect belief that a marital, or intended marital, relationship with an American citizen gives the Thai spouse or fiancee the “right” to a marriage or fiance visa. Although an American Citizen does have the right to marry or date whomever they please, this relationship does not, in itself, create a right to United States Immigration benefits. Therefore, no visa guarantee can honestly be made regarding United States Immigration and visa regulations or how United States consular officers and USCIS adjudicators will interpret those regulations.

I have seen many cases in Thailand where an “agent” or “lawyer,” provided a 100% money back guarantee, failed to obtain a visa for his client, and did not subsequently provide a refund.

In the same vein as the 100% Guarantee is the notion that some “agents” have a special relationship with the US Embassy in Bangkok with regard to visa matters. In reality, no one has any type of special pull with Embassy and consular officials. In fact the US Embassy will occasionally comment regarding this phenomenon, if for no other reason than to explain that no person or organization has any special influence regarding Immigration or visa obtainment matters.

Although it is true that currently the US Embassy in Thailand will allow licensed American attorneys to present follow up documentation if a US visa is denied based upon section 221g of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, Embassy policy dictates that only the visa applicant may be present for the visa interview. Further, simply being able to present follow up documentation does not connote any sort of “special relationship,” but merely a policy decision.

(This posting doesn’t constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship should be inferred from reading this posting.)

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