Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘k2 visa thailand’

1st April 2010

As we have previously discussed on this blog, the K1 visa (the category that is used to denote the US fiance visa) has a derivative counterpart that allows for the children of a foreign fiance or fiancee to travel to the United States with their parent. From a legal standpoint, there is nothing particularly interesting about this, but it does become interesting when holders of K2 Visas apply for adjustment of status in order to obtain United States Lawful Permanent Residence also referred to as a “Green Card.” Under the current rules, there is some question as to whether or not a K2 visa holder is allowed to adjust status after they turn 21 years of age. In a recent article posted on the Immigration Slip Opinion Blog, the author noted that issues surrounding K2 adjustment have yet to be fully addressed, but upcoming cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) may clarify this vexing issue:

“‘Aging out’ issues: K-2 and CSPA

There are at least seven cases currently before the BIA that raise the question of whether Congress intended that a K-2 visa holder, admitted to the United States as the child of a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, would become ineligible for adjustment of status upon turning 21. In briefs submitted as amici curiae, the American Immigration Council (Immigration Council) and AILA argue that such a result would produce absurd results and could not have been Congress’s intent. After all, the statute permits – and DHS practice allows – a child of a fiancée to enter the country on a K-2 visa up until his or her 21st birthday. In numerous cases, children enter with only a few days to spare before turning 21. Interpreting the statute as allowing these children to enter until age 21, but then also requiring that an adjustment be completed before they turn 21, is simply unreasonable. The only reasonable interpretation of the statute is that a K-2 child must be under 21 at admission but not at the time of adjustment. A recent favorable 10th Circuit decision doesn’t go quite this far, but should help convince the BIA that DHS is wrong. We have asked the BIA to schedule oral argument on this issue and to decide these cases together.”

This author has yet to be convinced of Congress’s original intent, but this issue is interesting and it will be fascinating to see how this issue plays out in the Immigration Courts. A favorable decision could lead to major benefits for children of the Thai fiancees of American Citizens.

For general information about US Immigration from Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.

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6th February 2010

Recently, the United States Tenth Circuit Court held that, under certain circumstances, those holding K-2 visas who wish to adjust status do not “age out.” The tenth circuit’s opinion is found in Colmenares Carpio v. Holder, No. 08-9536 (10th Cir. Jan 12, 2010). To quote directly from the immigration slip opinion blog regarding the underlying facts of the case:

The petitioner entered the United States in K-2 status 6 months before turning 21. His mother married the US citizen within the required 90 days, and the petitioner and his mother applied for adjustment of status before he turned 21. USCIS took two and a half years to decide his application for adjustment of status. USCIS denied the application based on Petitioner’s age on the date of adjudication of the application. An Immigration Judge found that Petitioner was not eligible to adjust status because he was over the age of 21, and the BIA affirmed with a one paragraph unpublished decision.

To further quote the aforementioned blog, within the language of the opinion, the Tenth Circuit Court commenced with an analysis “of [the] statutory construction and found that there is no age limitation on adjustment of status of K-2 visa holders.” That being said, the court’s analysis in this case, “declined to address other scenarios such as when the marriage or the filing of the application occur after turning 21.”

This decision deals with a somewhat narrow set of facts as the K1 visa holder managed to arrive in the US, marry within 90 days, apply for adjustment of status and obtain approval prior to the K2 visa holder’s 21st birthday. The K2 visa holder applied for adjustment of status prior to his 21st birthday, but the case was not adjudicated until afterward.  This court in the above cited opinion has held that based upon these facts, the K2 visa holder did not “age out” and could therefore still adjust status.

For those who are unaware of how the K1 visa process works: the K-1 visa holder enters the United States and has 90 days to get married and apply for adjustment of status. The K1 (or K2) holder is allowed to remain in the USA pending a decision on the adjustment application (in fact is departure is necessary an advance parole travel document should be obtained prior to departure in order to preserve status).

A K2 visa is derivative of a K1 and is intended for the children of K1 visa holders. The statute is somewhat ambiguous regarding K2 visa holder’s rights when it comes to adjustment of status, but the opinion above has clarified some of the issues surrounding K2 visas, but further clarification is needed as in a different factual scenario it is possible that a K-2 visa holder could be barred from adjusting their status.

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21st November 2009

We discuss the K1 visa on this blog frequently. A K2 visa is a derivative child visa designed for the child of a beneficiary of a K1 fiance visa. Under the government interpretation of US Immigration law. Children in the United States of America on a K2 visa who fail to adjust their status before the age of 21 “age out,” and must leave the country, apply for a new visa, and then return to the USA on an Immigrant visa. Unfortunately, this system can result in a delay of months or years for the would-be K2 visa beneficiary as Immigrant visa applications for the 21 year old step children of US Citizens can take as long as 3-5 years to be adjudicated. At the time of this writing, the case known as In Re Qiyu Zhang is pending in the US court system and could change this rule.

Advocates for United States Immigration reform await the outcome of this case with great anticipation as a favorable opinion would provide many new benefits to the children of American Immigrants. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a brief in support of ending the “age out” interpretation of the K visa statute. To quote the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association directly:

“[T]he only reasonable interpretation of the K visa provisions is that Congress intended that a K-2 visa beneficiary be able to adjust status within the U.S. even after turning 21. Any other interpretation produces absurd results. Congress explicitly provided that the child of a fiancé(e) K-1 visa holder was eligible for a K-2 visa and admission to the U.S. up until he or she turned 21. Under DHS’ interpretation, K-2 beneficiaries …who are admitted to the U.S. shortly before their 21st birthday, and who thus have insufficient time to complete the adjustment process, must immediately depart the U.S. upon turning 21. Congress certainly did not intend for some K-2 visa beneficiaries to be restricted to a visit to the U.S. – in some cases, for only a matter of days – the result that flows inevitably from DHS’s interpretation of the statute. Instead, as demonstrated below, the statute can and must be interpreted to allow all K-2 visa holders, no matter their age after admission, a viable path to adjust to lawful permanent residence status.”

This writer concurs with the opinion in the aforementioned brief as K2 beneficiaries should be allowed to adjust staus even after they have turned 21. Even though the K2 could technically be considered a dual intent travel document, the primary reason for its use is for children to travel to the US and adjust status. In this case, denying Immigration benefits due to age is too arbitrary and failure to adjust status because one reaches the age of 21 violates the spirit of the K visa statute.

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14th September 2009

In a previous blog posting we discussed the K2 child visa which is a derivative visa of the K1 fiance visa. The K2 visa is intended for the unmarried minor children of K1 visa applicants. Both visas have an initial validity of 90 days, but if the K1 visa holder adjusts status, then the K2 visa holder can “piggyback” their application for adjustment onto that of their parent and obtain permanent residence as both a derivative and a step-child.

K3 visas operate in a similar manner as the K1 visa. K3 visas are non-immigrant visas that allow for dual intent. This means that the entrant can have non-immigrant as well immigrant intent at the time of entry in the United States of America. For those with children, the K4 visa is one way of bringing a K3 visa holder’s unmarried minor children to the United States. Like the K2 visa, the K4 visa mirrors the benefits of its parent category. Therefore, if a K3 visa is issued with a validity of 2 years (which has become the common practice), then the K4 will likely be issued with the same validity period. The K4 visa is also a multiple entry visa just like the K3.

The K3 visa category was created at a time when it was taking nearly three years to process regular I-130 visa applications for foreign spouses. It was created with the idea of providing an expedited non-immigrant visa alternative so that bi-national families could be reunited quickly. As the processing time for the I-130 has decreased, so too has the need for the K3.

For those who travel to the United States on a K3 or K4 visa, eventually the issue of adjustment of status will arise. As the K3 and K4 are non-immigrant visas, the holders must apply for a “green card” before being allowed to remain in the USA. K4 beneficiaries can “piggyback” their application for adjustment on their K3 parent’s application.

As stated previously, for most people the K3 visa, and therefore its K4 counterpart, is generally not the most optimum visa because it takes longer to process when compared to the K1 and it does not confer Permanent Residence as the CR1 or IR1 visa does. However, the K3 has its strategic benefits because it can allow the couple the opportunity to have more control over their case’s adjudication, because the statute specifies that the interview forum is based upon the location of the underlying marriage.

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13th September 2009

An extremely common topic on this blogs involves the US K1 visa. The K1 visa is designed for fiances of American Citizens. This visa allows the foreign fiancee to travel to the United States of America for the express purpose of getting married and adjusting status to lawful  permanent resident. It is a “dual intent” visa meaning that it is non-immigrant, and therefore temporary, but converting to an Immigrant visa is statutorily allowed and in a way somewhat encouraged as K1 visa holders who leave the United States cannot reenter on the same K1 without first obtaining permission to do so, this permission is known as advance parole.

With this in mind, there is another visa related to the K1 fiance visa. This visa is referred to as the K2 visa. A K2 visa is designed for the children of the holder of a K1 visa. It is a “derivative visa,” in that the benefits conferred in the K2 visa are entirely dependent upon the K1 visa holder’s status. For example, if a Thai fiancee has a child and they are each applying for a K1 visa and K2 visa respectively, then if the K1 visa application is denied the K2 application will be summarily denied as well.

The K2 visa is also derivative in that it “piggy backs” on the K1 visa during the adjustment of status process. This means that if the K1 visa holder and the K2 visa holder enter the United States together, then they ought to adjust their status at the same time as the process is likely to be more streamlined.

Those holding a United States K2 visa must abide by the same conditions as one holding a K1 visa. The K2 visa is non-immigrant, but the dual intent doctrine applies (this allows for the visa holder to intend to adjust status upon entry). Further, the K2 is also a single entry visa, so the K2 holder would also need to obtain advance parole before leaving the United States. The derivative nature of the K2 creates a difficult situation if the K1 holder leaves the United States without obtaining advance parole. In this situation, the K2 holder would fall out of status the moment the K1 holder leaves and falls out of status. That being said, unlawful presence generally does not accrue against minor children so the child in the US unlawfully would likely not be barred from later reentering based upon a legal grounds of inadmissibility due to an overstay.

It should also be noted that the K2 beneficiary will need to accompany their parent to the K1 visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. In all likelihood, the Consular officer will not wish to speak with the child, but they will want to physically see them.

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2nd April 2009

US Visa for a Thai Fiance or Spouse’s Child

An often asked question regarding US Immigration from Thailand is: how do I bring my Thai fiancee or wife’s Thai child with us to the USA. The answer to this question depends upon what type of visa is being sought. Each Family Visa category has a derivative visa counterpart. Therefore, the K1 Fiancee Visa has the K2 child Visa, the K3 has the K4 Child Visa, the Cr-1 has the Cr-2 for a Thai child, and the IR-1  has the IR-2 Child Visa. All derivative visa applications must be filed with the appropriate office of USCIS.

Conditions and Validity of a US Visa for a Thai Child

These derivative visas have the same conditions and validity as the underlying visa upon which they are based. Therefore in the case of the K-2 and K-4 Visa the visas are non-immigrant visas and therefore require adjustment of status before the beneficiary will obtain lawful permanent residence in the USA. It should be noted that failure to file for adjustment of status for the derivative visa could lead to the Thai child falling out of status in the USA. This could occur if the US Citizen spouse and the Thai mother of the Thai child file for adjustment of status, but, for whatever reason, fail to file on behalf of the child. The moment that the mother’s application for adjustment is approved the Thai child’s application is dead because the underlying visa has been canceled as a result of the status adjustment.

The CR-2 and IR-2 visas do not have this problem because they are immigrant visas and therefore adjustment of status is not a necessity once the visa holders arrive in the USA. However, with regards to the CR-2 Visa, since the underlying CR-1 Visa confers conditional permanent residence a filing for a lift of conditions is required for the CR-2.

Thai Children at the Visa Interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Child Immigrant’s presence will generally be required at the Visa interview at the US Embassy in Thailand. Although their presence is requested they may or may not be interviewed. To file for a derivative visa a concurrent visa filing must be submitted at the time of submitting the underlying visa petition.

In some cases, the Thai mother wishes to wait to bring the child to the USA until after the wedding or until after the move to the USA. In a case such as this, after the marriage or the arrival of the Thai wife in the US, the American  Citizen spouse may file a visa petition for the Thai child as a step-child or the Thai mother may file a visa petition on behalf of the child as a minor child of a lawful permanent resident (if the situation fits these facts). Generally, it is advisable to file the child visa petition concurrently with the underlying petition if speed is an issue.

For more information Please See: US Visa Thailand

Note: Nothing in this post should be used in lieu of competent advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

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