K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Guide

Introduction

Congress created the K-1 fiancé(e) visa in 1970 out of recognition that the existing visa options for couples were insufficient. One option was for the U.S. citizen to go abroad to marry, after which the foreign spouse could apply for an immigrant visa on the basis of the marriage. Another option was for the foreign fiancé(e) to obtain a B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visa to come to the U.S. to marry, but an important limitation is that B2 visas are only available if the foreign fiancé(e) does not intend to immigrate to the U.S.[1] In creating the K-1 visa option, Congress sought to create a method for a foreign fiancé(e) to enter the U.S for purposes of marriage and immigration.[2]

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See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization

Most applicants for naturalization must first reside in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for a continuous period of 5 years. However, that requirement can be waived if you are eligible for expeditious naturalization based on your U.S. citizen spouse’s employment abroad for one of the following types of employers: Continue reading “See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization”

Latest News: Chaos in Implementing the USCIS/DOS Public Charge Rules and Presidential Proclamation Requiring Health Insurance

President Trump and an adviser, Stephen Miller, have cooked new public charge rules, subsequently issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS), as well as a Presidential Proclamation requiring immigrant visa applicants to buy health insurance.

Implementation has been chaotic, and these rules have been challenged in court. This article explains the status of each initiative.

USCIS Public Charge Rule

The USCIS public charge rule was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 14, 2019. USCIS then published corrections on Oct. 2, 2019. For a summary, see the USCIS Fact Sheet and our firm’s client alert.

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U.S. Judge Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Digital Devices Unconstitutional

Reuters reports that yesterday, a federal judge ruled that U.S. border agents need “reasonable suspicion” but not a warrant to search travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry. The ruling sets a higher standard than the one CBP agents must apply to conduct routine searches of electronic devices under current policies. CBP had no immediate comment on the ruling.

The number of electronic device searches at the border has ballooned during the Trump administration, rising from about 8,500 in FY2015 to more than 30,000 in FY2018.

Read also our firm’s advice about Preparing for Possible Search of Your Luggage and Devices at the Border.

New USCIS “Travel Document” to Replace Reentry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents

USCIS has announced that a new “travel document” will replace reentry permits and refugee travel documents. The USCIS’ purpose is to have a document more secure against tampering, counterfeiting, and fraud. The new document went into production on Oct. 24, 2019.

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Highlights of the Dep’t of Homeland Security Public Charge Rule

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The rule was set to take effect on October 15, 2019, but is currently tied up in litigation. The rule will not apply to immigration applications filed before it takes effect.

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China: Foreign Nationals Must Register Their Residence with Local Police within 24 Hours

Foreign nationals in China must register their temporary residence with the public security bureau (PSB). Further, registration is a prerequisite to filing with the PSB Exit-Entry Division an application for a new visa, stay certificate, or residence permit. Here’s a FAQ:

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“Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants

For the uninitiated, “administrative processing” is State Department-speak for a temporary visa refusal pending further investigation of a visa application. (9 FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant typically learns of the temporary refusal when, at the conclusion of the interview, the consular officer issues a written notice stating that under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act no visa can be issued until additional administrative processing has been completed.

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Interruption to U.S. Consulate in Shanghai Visa Services

The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai advised on Fri. Aug. 30 that:

Due to network issues, the consular section of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai is experiencing interruption to a range of consular services. We are working … to … restore … services…. We will not be scheduling new interview appointments until this issue is resolved.

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Choosing the Best Visa Strategy for a Fiancée or Spouse: K-1, K-3, or CR1/IR1 Immigrant Visa?

A U.S. citizen planning to file a visa petition for a foreign fiancée or spouse who is outside the U.S. may have various strategies to choose from. The most common options are the K-1 fiancée visa, the K-3 visa, and the CR1/IR1 immigrant visa. This article analyzes the factors to be considered in choosing among such strategies. (The article does not discuss less commonly used strategies for foreign fiancées and spouses, such as applying for an H-1B or L-1 work visa).

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Top 11 Ways to Prove a Valid Marriage for Immigration

Do you have an immigration case which will require you to prove the validity of your marital relationship to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or to a U.S. Consulate? For example, are you seeking to (a) immigrate based on a spouse’s Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, (b) get a K-1 visa based on a fiance’s Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, or (c) file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence? This article describes 11 things you can do to better document your relationship. Continue reading “Top 11 Ways to Prove a Valid Marriage for Immigration”

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

NPCDid you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes ineligible for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key issue for immigration lawyers representing Chinese clients.

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