Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Non-Immigrant Visa’

17th November 2010

For those who regularly read this blog it is likely well known that the administration regularly posts information regarding the holiday schedules of US Missions abroad in an effort to forestall fruitless trips to an American Mission abroad due to lack of knowledge regarding official American recognition of bot US and foreign holidays. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Iraq:

U.S. Mission Baghdad will observe the following holidays in calendar year 2010.





December 31, 2009 Thursday New Year’s Day US
January 17 Sunday Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday US**
February 14 Sunday Presidents’ Day US**
February 28 Monday Prophet’s Birthday Iraq*
May 1 Saturday Labor Day Iraq
May 30 Sunday Memorial Day US**
July 4 Sunday Independence Day US
July 14 Wednesday Republic Day Iraq
September 5 Sunday Labor Day US**
Sep 10-12 Fri-Sun Eid Al-Fitr Iraq*
October 10 Sunday Columbus Day US**
November 17-19 Wed-Fri Eid Al Adha Iraq*
November 11 Monday Veterans’ Day US
November 25 Thursday Thanksgiving US
December 8 Wednesday Islamic New Year Iraq*
December 26 Sunday Christmas US

* This Iraqi holiday is determined by the lunar cycle. Exact dates must be confirmed by local authorities and are subject to change.

** In keeping with the spirit of the Monday Holiday Bill, the intention of which is to provide three-day holiday weekends, U.S. holidays covered by the Monday Holiday Bill will be observed on Sundays.

The Embassy will consider moving the observation date of local holidays (religious and secular) falling on weekends in the event that the Iraqi Government issues guidance mandating that the private and public sectors change the observance date.

The situation in Iraq is likely more turbulent at the time of this writing when compared to other jurisdictions in which a US Mission is present. That said, there are still those who may need services which can only be provided by an American Citizen Services (ACS) post abroad. Services that are often sought include, but are not limited to: notary services, Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, US passport renewal, and addition of visa pages. Those interested in requesting such services from the American Citizen Services section of the United States Embassy in Iraq are well advised to check the official website of the Post in order to ascertain whether or not an appointment can be made online. Setting an online appointment can greatly facilitate the processing of requests with ACS as Consular Officers can prepare in advance to provide necessary services.

Those interested in issues pertaining to visas are well advised to check with either the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit or the Immigrant Visa Unit in order to ascertain the proper procedure for requesting a visa to the USA. It should be noted that for purposes of processing the K1 visa is considered to be an immigrant visa.

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29th September 2010

A frequently asked question from those Americans with a special someone in Indonesia is: “Can I get my Indonesian girlfriend (or boyfriend) a US Tourist Visa?” In many cases, the answer to this question is: No. However, a better understanding of the relevant laws and regulations  can be highly illuminating for those with an Indonesian significant other.

Many Americans are unfamiliar with section 214 (b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. This legislation creates a legal presumption that an American Consular Officer must take into consideration when adjudicating non-immigrant visa applications. The section requires the Consular Officer to presume that the applicant for a non-immigrant visa is actually an undisclosed intending immigrant unless the applicant can produce strong evidence to the contrary. This creates a so-called “strong ties” vs. “weak ties” analysis whereby the applicant must show “strong ties” to their native country, or another country outside of the United States of America and “weak ties” to the USA. Therefore, the Indonesian girlfriend (or boyfriend) of an American Citizen (or Lawful Permanent Resident) must show that they have strong ties to Indonesia and weak ties to the USA. In general, the mere existence of an American significant other is enough to mitigate against many “strong ties” outside of the USA and thereby lead to a denial of an American B2 tourist visa application.

The reason for this state of affairs is first due to the fact that the the presumption contained in section 214b is quite stringent when applied to the facts of many individual cases. Many who are rejected under this provision feel that the denial is some sort of personal rejection. Nothing could be further from the reality of the situation as a US Consulate or US Embassy will routinely issue these denials for no reason other than the application of relevant law. Meanwhile, there are some who speculate that part of the reason for the relative increase in these denials over the course of the past 10 years is due in part to the tragedy of 9/11 which lead to increased scrutiny of all immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications. Furthermore, there have been those who inappropriately use the US tourist visa to circumvent the comparatively longer processing time associated with a US fiance visa (K1 visa) or a US Marriage Visa (K3 Visa, CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa).

Those who have a foreign girlfriend (or boyfriend) and can show genuine ties to countries abroad may still be able to get a US Tourist Visa. That said, this post is merely meant to explain the relatively higher denial rate that seems to exist in B2 visa applications for the significant others of Americans. Those with a bona fide relationship and genuine intentions may be able to obtain an American fiance visa or marriage visa, but it should be noted that no one should ever enter into a relationship strictly to obtain visa benefits. A family based visa application should be based upon a bona fide relationship.

For related information please see: US Visa Cambodian Girlfriend or K1 Visa Indonesia.

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