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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: When will US Embassies and Consulates re-open? Stay tuned to find out more.


Overview

First things first, as many of you know on March 20, 2020 the Department of State announced the temporary suspension of routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide in response to the global pandemic. Since then, U.S. Embassies and Consulates have cancelled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, and only provided emergency and mission critical visa services. The DOS did not provide an estimated timeframe of when routine visa services would resume stating “we are unable to provide a specific date at this time.”

In addition, beginning January 31, 2020, the President began issuing several presidential proclamations suspending the entry into the United States of certain foreign nationals to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. The entry of foreign nationals who were physically present in the People’s Republic of China, Iran, Brazil, Ireland, or the Schengen countries within the 14 days preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended until further notice. The Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

That means that these individuals will not be issued a U.S. visa or allowed to enter the United States for as long as the presidential proclamations remain in place, even when U.S. Embassies and Consulates resume visa services for the public.

For a complete list of these presidential proclamations restricting travel please click here.

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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a very puzzling topic. Our readers have asked: Are K-1 Visas exempt from the recent Presidential Proclamation? From our reading of the Presidential Proclamation we had discussed in previous videos that K-1 visas are non-immigrant visas, and therefore exempt from the ban on immigration, however lately certain U.S. Embassies have been treating K-1 visas as immigrant visas, which would make them subject to the recent ban on immigration.

We discuss this development further in this video.

Keep on watching for more information.


Overview


As you all know by now on June 22nd the President signed a new presidential proclamation called, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak,” which extends the previous April 22nd Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of certain types of immigrants to the United States. The June 22nd order also placed a visa ban on H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant workers applying for a visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad as of June 24th.

The April 22nd proclamation specifically suspended, “the entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants.” Under immigration law, K-1 fiancé visas are non-immigrant visas, and therefore not subject to this ban. K-1 fiancé visas are considered non-immigrant visas because the foreign fiancé is seeking temporary entry to the United States for the limited purpose of marrying the U.S. Citizen spouse. It is not until the foreign national marries the U.S. Citizen spouse that he or she is allowed to immigrate by filing Form I-485 to adjust status to permanent resident.

Unfortunately, a great deal of confusion has been occurring at Embassies worldwide regarding whether K-1 fiancé visas are exempt or not exempt from the presidential proclamation. Recently, some Embassies have erroneously categorized K-1 fiancé visas as immigrant visas, refusing to schedule interviews and issue visas for this category because of the ban on immigration. Others including the Embassy in Manila have correctly provided information that K-1 fiancé visas are exempt from the presidential proclamation.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains the differences between the K-1 fiancé visa and a marriage visa.

What is the K-1 Fiancé Visa?

The K-1 visa is available to foreign nationals who are engaged to U.S. Citizens only. K-1 visas are also reserved for foreign fiancées, who do not have any other means of coming to the United States. A K-1 visa holder must marry the U.S. Citizen fiancé/fiancée within ninety days of entry to the United States or else the alien must leave the country.

If the foreign fiancé does not intend to marry the U.S. Citizen within ninety days of arriving to the United States, then the K-1 fiancé visa is not a good option.

The K-1 fiancé visa is a good option for couples who want to spend time together in the United States before getting married.

The fiancé visa process is typically much faster than the marriage visa process.

Marriage Visa

Spouses Overseas: U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents may file Form I-130 on behalf of a foreign spouse residing abroad, so that the foreign spouse can apply for a marriage visa through the U.S. Consulate in their home country. Spouses of Legal Permanent Residents must wait for a visa to become available to them, before proceeding with the marriage visa application process.

Spouses within the U.S.: If the foreign spouse of a U.S. Citizen is residing inside of the United States on a valid visa type, then the foreign spouse can file Form I-130 and Form I-485 to adjust their status permanent residence at the same time.

The marriage visa application process is generally longer than the fiancé visa process, while adjustment of status for spouses residing within the United States is shorter than the fiancé visa process (typically 4-7 months processing time).

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In this video, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your first time consultation.

For more information please visit our website.

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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick explains the process of immigrating a foreign fiance to the United States. For more information just keep on watching.

What are the requirements to apply for a K-1 fiance visa?

You must be able to prove three important requirements to be successful in applying for the K-1 fiance visa. Please keep these requirements in mind when gathering evidence for your case and discuss these requirements with an attorney:

#1: The U.S. Citizen and fiance must prove they have met in person within the last 2 years.

#2: The U.S. Citizen and fiance must prove they are legally free to marry. If either party has been divorced, they must provide final divorce decrees from their respective countries.

#3: The US Citizen must certify that they are legally able to and intend to marry the alien fiancé (green card applicant) within 90 days of his or her arrival to the United States. The alien fiancé must also certify that they are legally able to and intend to marry the petitioner within 90 days of his or her arrival to the United States.

To begin the process of immigrating your foreign fiancé to the United States please contact our office to schedule a first time consultation.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses immigration options for same-sex couples. The Law Office of Jacob J. Sapochnick has been a long time advocate for same-sex and LGBT immigration rights. Our office has worked diligently to assist same-sex couples and the LGBT community in their immigration endeavors since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Windsor v. United States, which allows legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits including immigration relief.

Same sex couples legally married in any state allowing same sex marriage may seek immigration benefits for the foreign national. If the foreign national entered the country legally (with a proper visa or proper inspection) and the foreign national is residing with the US citizen spouse in the United States, the foreign national may apply for adjustment of status. If the foreign national does not reside in the United States with the US Citizen spouse, the foreign national may immigrate to the United States through a process known as “consular” processing.

If the US Citizen spouse and foreign national are not yet married, but intend to marry, the foreign national may apply for a K-1 fiance visa so long as both parties are legally free to marry, and have met in person within the last 2 years before filing the fiance visa.

For more information regarding green cards for same sex couples please visit our website.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses the STOKES interview otherwise known as the infamous “fraud interview” for the green card application. During the STOKES interview the US Citizen petitioner is separated from the foreign spouse for questioning. The STOKES interview is typically scheduled when couples do not provide enough evidence of bona fide marriage and cohabitation, or when the testimony provided by the couple during the first interview contains discrepancies and/or is inconsistent. Couples may also be scheduled for a STOKES interview if USCIS is concerned about something that came up during the foreign spouse’s background screening process. In this segment we talk you through the STOKES interview process, and tell you how you can avoid such an interview. For more information regarding the green card application please visit our website.

Overview

Before a green card may be issued to any foreign national, the applicant must attend what is known as the green card interview. In the case of applying for adjustment of status on the basis of marriage to a US Citizen or LPR spouse, the couple must attend the green card interview together. At the time of the interview, the immigration officer will ask the couple to present evidence of good faith marriage and cohabitation. The burden of proof lies on the applicant to prove that they entered their marriage in good faith and not for the purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit or evading the laws of the United States. Failure to provide substantial evidence of good faith marriage, and proof that you have been residing with your spouse throughout your marriage, may result in a STOKES interview. USCIS immigration officers are trained to spot any inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that may arise during the green card interview. To avoid the STOKES interview it is important to organize your evidence and prepare with an attorney before hand.

Typically a STOKES interview notice is issued after the couple has attended the first interview. The couple is interviewed for a second time to address inconsistencies and/or discrepancies that arose during the first interview session. STOKES interviews are stressful, extensive, and have been known to last up to 8 hours depending on the complexity of the case. It is best to avoid the situation entirely and attend your green card interview with an experienced attorney, who can prepare you and perform a “mock” interview with you and your spouse to identify any potential issues.

Our office has extensive experience preparing for and attending STOKES interviews. It is important to provide as much evidence of “good faith” marriage and cohabitation as possible to avoid such interviews.

For a consultation please contact us.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq., discusses the K-1 visa and the requirements to apply. For more information about the K-1 visa please click here. For a first consultation please contact our office.

Overview:

  1. In order to apply for the K-1 non-immigrant visa, the petitioner must be a United States Citizen. Legal Permanent Resident “Green Card” holders of the United States are not allowed to obtain a K-1 Visa for their foreign fiancee.
  2. Both the petitioner (U.S. citizen) and the beneficiary (foreign fiancee) must be free to marry. This means that if either has been previously married he or she must be either divorced or widowed, or else the marriage must be legally annulled. A valid divorce that took place in a foreign country qualifies as legitimate for U.S. immigration purposes. You must be prepared to provide documented evidence of any divorces that have taken place (final divorce decrees from the authorized legal entity).
  3. The petitioner and foreign fiancee must have the intent to marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancee’s arrival in the U.S.
  4. The petitioner and foreign fiancee must have met in person within two years prior to filing the fiancee visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There is a hardship waiver available for this requirement, but it is extremely difficult to obtain. The fact that the petitioner is too busy with his work, children, sick parent, etc. will not be adequate to obtain the waiver. To qualify for a waiver, most often there is a medical condition that prevents the US citizen from international travel.
  5. The U.S. citizen petitioner must meet a minimum income requirement as outlined on Form I-864P, describing the poverty level set by Congress every year. If the U.S. Citizen petitioner DOES NOT meet the income requirement, they must obtain a joint sponsor. For more information about the poverty guidelines and affidavit of support please visit our website.

For more information about this program, please contact our office. 

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., explains why we do what we do at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. For more information about our office and the services we provide please click here.

Overview: 

Since 2004, we have efficiently and conveniently served our clients located across the United States and around the world through the use of cutting-edge technology and other innovations, always maintaining the personal connection you have come to expect from us.

You can express your interest, or schedule an appointment by emailing us at info@h1b.biz. We are excited to expand our ability to help many more of you, as you seek to achieve your American dream of living and working in this great country, a nation of immigrants.

Looking back, it is hard to narrow the reasons for our firm’s success. So much goes into that, but the main three ingredients have to be the lawyers, staff and clients. I am amazed at the enduring relationships we have with our clients.

Our office has been blessed with a staff that is motivated, efficient and very capable. I also think it important that they are compassionate for our clients’ issues – this is more than a job for us all – it is a calling.

To learn more about our dedicated staff members please click here.

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What is a K-1 fiance visa and what are the requirements to apply? Watch attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discuss the K-1 fiance visa below for more information.

– Only a US citizen, not a green card holder, can file a fiancé visa for their significant other

– The US citizen must marry their foreign national fiance within 90 days of their arrival to the United States on a K-1 visa. If the US citizen does not marry the foreign national, they must depart the United States or risk deportation

– In order to apply for a K-1 visa, both the US Citizen and the foreign national must be free to marry throughout the whole process

– The US Citizen and foreign national must have met in person physically. Physical meeting is crucial, however, there are exemptions

-To apply for a fiance visa, you must provide documented evidence of your relationship to prove that it is a bona fide relationship.

For more information on the K-1 visa please click here. For legal questions please call our office.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information please visit our website.

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