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Articles Posted in National Visa Center

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers your frequently asked questions relating to K-1 visas, the National Visa Center, and consular visa processing during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information.


Your Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How can I contact the National Visa Center?

A: Once your Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative has been approved, your case will be transferred to the National Visa Center for further processing. Once pre-processing has been completed, your case will be forwarded to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy near you. At the NVC stage, you will be asked to provide additional supporting documentation including the affidavit of support, Form DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, and other important documents.

To ensure all of your supporting documentation has been received it is very important to maintain contact with the National Visa Center.

You may contact the NVC by email at NVCinquiry@state.gov or by telephone at 603-334-0700.


Q: Will immigration consider my priority date or approval date for interview?

A: For family-sponsored immigrants, the priority date is the date that the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, or in certain instances the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, is properly filed with USCIS.

Depending on the type of relationship you have to the U.S. petitioner, you may need to reference your priority date to determine when an immigrant visa (or green card) will become available to you.

Immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are unlimited, so they are always available. Immediate relatives include:

  • The spouses of U.S. citizens;
  • The children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens;
  • The parents of U.S. citizens at least 21 years old; and
  • Widows or widowers of U.S. citizens if the U.S. citizen filed a petition before they died, or if the widow(er) files a petition within two years of the citizen’s death.

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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick updates you regarding the status of K-1 visa interview scheduling at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide, as well as the status of a new lawsuit that seeks to push K-1 visa cases through the pipeline.

Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information.

Overview

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad have refused to schedule K-1 visa applicants for interviews and have instead opted to prioritize interview scheduling for certain spouses of U.S. Citizens. As a result, thousands of couples have remained separated for months on end with virtually no end in sight. This has been a very puzzling phenomenon given that foreign fiancés should be given priority for visa issuance based on their qualifying relationship to a U.S. Citizen. In some cases, K-1 visa applicants have had their interviews cancelled with no follow-up from the Consulate or Embassy regarding future rescheduling, while in others K-1 visa applications have not moved past the NVC stage for interview scheduling.

In our own experience very few K-1 visa applicants have received visa interviews and the cases that have been prioritized are because of serious medical emergencies or other urgent needs. We have been successful in receiving interviews only where the applicant has received approval for expedited processing.

In an unexpected turn of events on August 30, 2020, the Department of State released a cable stating that effective August 28th K-1 visa cases would receive “high priority.” The cable directed K-1 visa applications to check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for updates on the services offered by the post.

Unfortunately, this cable did not provide applicants with any relief because it was largely ignored by U.S. Consulates and Embassies. Many applicants contacted their posts directly and were given generic messages stating that the post was not able to provide services for K-1 visa applicants until further notice. These new revelations ultimately forced K-1 applicants to seek relief from the courts.

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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, we discuss an important topic relating to family-based immigration: how can I immigrate my parent to the United States?

How do you immigrate a parent to the United States?

You must be a United States citizen (over 21 years of age) to immigrate your parent to the United States. The process of immigrating your parent to the United States depends on where your parent is residing at the time of filing.

Adjustment of Status

The most common scenario is where your parent has entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa for a non-immigrant purpose (such as visiting the United States) and several months later a decision is made to adjust the parent’s status to permanent residence. In this scenario, the appropriate process to immigrate the parent to the United States is through a process known as adjustment of status to permanent residence.

During this process, the United States citizen child will file a petition with USCIS called Form I-130 to immigrate their parent to the United States as well as Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. The United States citizen child must sign Form I-864 Affidavit of Support to prove they have the financial ability to provide for their parent until the parent becomes a US citizen. If the United States citizen child cannot prove financial ability, a joint sponsor will be needed who can prove their financial ability. At the same time, the parent will file Form I-485 with USCIS to change their status to that of permanent residence. In addition, the parent may choose to apply for employment authorization and a travel permit by filing Forms I-765 and I-131, in order to work and travel internationally while the green card application is in process.

Once these petitions are filed with USCIS, the parent can wait in the United States until the green card process is completed. The process is considered complete once the parent is approved following the green card interview.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers your most frequently asked questions regarding the visa bulletin.

Overview:

Family preference and employment immigrant categories are subject to numerical limitations and are divided by preference systems and priority dates on the Visa Bulletin. Applicants who fall under family preference or employment categories must wait in line until a visa becomes available to them in order to proceed with their immigrant visa applications. Once the immigrant’s priority date becomes current according to the Visa Bulletin, the applicant can proceed with their immigrant visa application.

What is a priority date?

priority date is generally the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., discusses an example of an I-601 Waiver. For more information about waivers of inadmissibility please click here.

Overview:

An I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility allows a non-citizen alien to immigrate to the United States, adjust their status to permanent residence, or seek admission to the United States in a nonimmigrant status, if certain grounds of inadmissibility, circumstances, or conduct prevent them from being otherwise admissible. The I-601 application applies to certain aliens who believe they are ineligible for admission to the United States based on certain grounds of inadmissibility.

I-601 Success Story 

Maria, a Mexican citizen, was brought to the United States unlawfully at only 3 years of age. She lived here in the United States all of her life. She attended high school and college in the United States. She and her US Citizen husband came to our office and told us that they wanted to legalize her status in the United States. We analyzed her case and told the couple that in order to legalize her status, they would need to file the I-601 waiver. We also discussed the risks associated with the I-601 waiver. When filing the I-601 waiver, the applicant (Maria) is required to leave the country. When an undocumented immigrant leaves the country, they run the risk of being barred from re-entering the United States. Maria and her husband decided to file the application despite these risks. Maria was able to file a waiver based on her marriage to a US Citizen, and the fact that she had no immigration violations other than the accrual of unlawful presence. Our office filed the I-130 petition. Once approved the petition was sent to the National Visa Center and Maria was assigned an interview in Ciudad Juarez. She attended the interview and as expected she was denied, because she entered the US unlawfully. After this, our office submitted the waiver one week later. The waiver submitted for this case was based on the extreme hardship Maria’s U.S. Citizen husband would suffer if she were removed from the United States or denied entry. This type of waiver involves collection of documents proving that the US Citizen husband has a legitimate claim of extreme hardship. In this case, we collected medical, academic, occupational, and financial documents to prove that if Maria were removed from the United States, he would suffer an extreme hardship since his life would be uprooted, and he would not be able to find similar employment abroad. The waiver also involves collection of documents proving that the undocumented immigrant is an exemplary individual such as academic transcripts, awards, honors, etc. It also consisted of medical and psychological evaluations proving that the US Citizen suffered from anxiety and depression. Affidavits and letters from family and friends were also included in support of the extreme hardship. Within one week of submitting the waiver package to the US Consulate in Juarez, the immigration officer reviewed the case and granted the waiver. When she returned to the embassy she was given her immigrant visa in her passport and was able to re-enter the United States. This is an example of a successful I-601 waiver case that was achieved with careful preparation and planning so that our client could achieve favorable results.

For more questions about the I-601 waiver please contact our office. 

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: My husband is a green card holder and I am an F-1 student. Can I stop school, stay, and work in the United States? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about filing an I-130 as a green card holder, please click here.

Overview: 

If I marry a permanent resident in the US, without any other visa, can I now stay, live, and work in the United States?

Unfortunately, you cannot live and stay in the United States, without any other visa, even if your husband is a legal permanent resident (LPR), who is planning to file Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf. The fact that your LPR spouse is going to file the I-130 petition on your behalf, is NOT going to allow you to stay in the United States on that basis alone. This is because, for permanent residents, spousal visas are subject to a numerical limitation.  Once the I-130 petition is filed, the immigrant spouse must wait until their priority date becomes current according to the visa bulletin. Once the petitioner becomes a US Citizen, a spouse visa then becomes immediately available. While their priority date becomes current, the immigrant spouse should remain in the United States in a different visa category, which in this situation would be in student visa status.

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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Want to know what’s new on the November Visa Bulletin? In this segment attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the new changes including the dual chart system, family-based preference categories, and EB visa updates for China, India, Mexico, Philippines.

For more information on the Visa Bulletin click here.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram. For legal advice please contact us.
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Entered the country illegally and now married to a US Citizen? Watch the video below for more information on the possibility of applying for a green card.

– There is a big difference in having entered the United States illegally and entering the country legally but remaining in the United States past your authorized stay as indicated on your visa

– The process outlined in this video outlines information to be followed if you entered the US without inspection after April 2001; before this date section 245 of the law can be used to adjust status in US

– In 2013 a new waiver was introduced allowing aliens to seek a pardon if the only offence is an overstay

If you are ready to get started 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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Want to hear how the new changes to the October visa bulletin can affect you? Keeping watching.

– Starting with the October 2015 visa bulletin there will be a new separate cut-off date chart for filing of adjustment of status applications

– The dual chart serves several purposes

– New cutoff dates will be an advantage to those who have been working for the same employer for years

For further 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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