Integrity Legal

10th Oct 2009

On this blog, we commonly make reference to Notice of Action 1 or NOA 1. In an effort to provide the most high quality repository of United States Immigration definitions for those seeking a US Visa from Thailand providing a brief overview of this official Immigration notice is required.

In many United States Immigration matters, particularly family Immigration cases from Thailand, the visa application must first receive approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). This agency is one of many that reports to the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

When a couple opts to apply for a United States visa, they often apply for one of the following categories: CR1 visa, IR1 visa, K3 visa, or K1 visa. The CR1, IR1, and K3 are all United States Marriage visas while the K1 visa is a fiancee visa. All of these visas require USCIS pre-approval before a visa interview can be set. Conversely the B1 visa, B2 visa, F1 visa, and J1 visa are all non-immigrant visa categories (that do not permit dual intent) and therefore do not require USCIS pre-approval. It should be noted that the non-immigrant visa categories are much more difficult to acquire for loved ones of United States citizens due to a provision in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act called 214b. This provision creates a legal presumption that must be overcome by the foreign applicant before the visa will be issued.

When a United States Citizen files for a K1, K3, CR1, or IR1 visa they first file an application at a USCIS Service Center. There are two USCIS Service Centers that accept applications for the aforementioned visa categories and the petitioner’s residence will determine where the application should be filed. The petitioner will send in the application and upon receipt, the USCIS Service Center will generate a receipt referred to as Notice of Action 1 (or NOA1). This receipt will note the names of the Petitioner and Beneficiary as well as the date of receipt and the date the notice was generated. The receipt will also show a case number.

For those who retain the services of a US visa lawyer, a copy of Notice of Action 1 will be sent to the attorney provided the attorney submitted a G28 form with the application. Before retaining an attorney it is wise to make certain that a G28 form will be submitted because it is important to facilitating efficient visa processing. Fake lawyers and so-called visa agencies cannot represent clients before USCIS so it may be wise to inquire as to the credentials of any proposed representative. Unfortunately, in the Kingdom of Thailand, there are many unauthorized services masquerading as licensed US Immigration attorneys.

The Notice of Action 1 should not be confused with the initial letter sent from the US Embassy Thailand. This letter is commonly referred to a Packet 3 and is sent at a later phase of the US Immigration process.

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