Department of State Fees Increase

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application fees for certain visa categories will change on September 12, 2014. K-1 fiancee visas will increase to $265. 

All visa applicants must pay the fee amounts in effect on the day they pay, with the exception of Immigrant Visa application processing fees paid domestically to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will be effective as of the date of billing.

If you need assistance bringing your foreign fiancee or foreign spouse to the USA, please do call our office.

Immigration Relief Measures to Filipinos Affected by Supertyphoon Yolanda

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

USCIS is reaching out to victims of Supertyphoon Haiyan. Filipino nationals in the United States should contact the USCIS or an immigration attorney to learn about a series of existing relief measures that may be available to them. Kudos to the USCIS for proactively identifying and expediting pending petitions for Filipino alien relatives of US citizens.

The following benefits may be available to Filipinos affected by this natural disaster:

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
  • Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
  • Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.

Currently, the USCIS has not designated the Philippines as a TPS country. Should it do so, additional immigration benefits will be available. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on this important and developing matter.

If you are in need of bringing a spouse, child, or other family member to the USA but are not sure how, please contact my office.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Attorney Huang has 18 recommendations on LinkedIn, an “Excellent” Avvo rating and received the Avvo “Clients’ Choice Award for 2013”. He personally handles his cases without outsourcing. He has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com

 

Supertyphoon in Philippines: U.S. Embassy in Manila Closure Information

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The American Citizen Services (ACS) Section at U.S. Embassy Manila is closed for all routine American Citizen Services from Wednesday, November 13, through Friday, November 15, in order to assist with Typhoon Yolanda recovery efforts.

ACS will resume normal services on Monday, November 18,2013. In case of an emergency involving a U.S. citizen, please call the Embassy operator at +63-2-301-2000 for assistance.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster. Please contribute to the Salvation Army or Red Cross.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Attorney Huang has 18 recommendations on LinkedIn, an “Excellent” Avvo rating and received the Avvo “Clients’ Choice Award for 2013”. He personally handles his cases without outsourcing. He has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com

Visa Denials at the US Embassy Manila: What to Do if You Receive a Blue Letter

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

If you received the blue letter from the consular officer after your interview, this means your application was refused under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Basically this states that during your interview, you were unable to adequately demonstrate to the consular officer that you qualify for the nonimmigrant visa category you applied for. It could also mean that you did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent by sufficiently demonstrating that you have strong ties to your home country that will compel you to depart the United States at the end of your temporary visit. What constitutes persuasive ties? Ties are various aspects of your life that bind you to your country of residence, like your profession, financial situation, employment, social and family relationships, and properties.

The responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas rests with consular officers. They have the final say on visa cases. If the consular officer determines that you are not qualified for a nonimmigrant visa under Section 214 (b), the decision cannot be appealed. If you believe that you do qualify for the nonimmigrant visa, you may apply again at any time. However, changed circumstances should be significant enough to warrant another attempt to apply for a visa.

When you reapply, you should be prepared to provide information that was not presented during your original application or be able to present evidence of significant changes in your circumstances since your last application. If your situation has not changed since your previous application, most likely the decision will be the same.

To reapply, you must follow the same procedures you followed for your initial interview– complete a new DS-160 form, pay application fees and attend an appointment for an interview. You will be interviewed by a different consular officer. Hopefully the next time around, the outcome will be successful.

If you have questions about this or any other issues related to marriage-based or employment-based immigration, please contact my office.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Attorney Huang has 18 recommendations on LinkedIn, an “Excellent” Avvo rating and received the Avvo “Clients’ Choice Award for 2013”. He personally handles his cases without outsourcing. He has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups,

Fiances and Spouses from the Philippines: How to Deal with Name Changes

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

From Maiden Name to Married Name

Female holders of valid visas on passports reflecting their maiden name may present to the U.S. immigration officer at the Port of Entry a legal document, such as marriage certificate printed on the Philippine National Statistics Office security paper, attesting to the change of the surname every time she travels to the United States.

Should one wish to have a valid visa transferred in a new name and in a new passport, one must reapply for a visa.

Terminated or Annulled Marriage

Generally, female holders of valid visas on passports reflecting their married name may use the visa to travel if they have the marriage annulment decree printed on the Philippine National Statistics Office security paper, for Philippine marriages, or certified copy of divorce certificates. The decree, however, must specify that they are allowed to revert to their maiden name.

Should one wish to have a valid visa transferred in a new name and in a new passport, one must also reapply for a visa.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Highly recommended on LinkedIn, Attorney Huang has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

K1 Fiance Visa from the Philippines: Expired Passport

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Do you have a visa issued by the US embassy in Manila that’s in a passport that has expired or will expire soon? Don’t fret. Your visa is valid through the expiration date printed on the visa, even if your passport has expired.

You don’t need a new visa, but you will need a new passport to travel to the United States.

When you arrive in the United States, you will apply for admission with a Customs & Border Patrol officer. At that time, you need to present a passport that is valid for 6 months longer after you plan to leave the United States. If your visa is in an expired passport, present both passports when entering the United States.

How to apply for a fiancé visa? People can easily get confused, frustrated and lost in the process when trying to do it themselves. Many people find it easier to hire an an experienced immigration lawyer to prepare and guide the couple through the process. I’ve been practicing fiancée visa law since 1997, I can help.

Call me for a free consultation.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Highly recommended on LinkedIn, Attorney Huang has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

How to Apply for a K1 Fiance Visa for a Fiancee from the Philippines

Monday, November 5th, 2012

There are numerous steps involved in applying for a fiancé from the Philippines.

  1. Meet within two years of submitting the K-1 petition to the USCIS.
  2. Get to know each other through visitations, emails, phone conversations, cards, etc.
  3. Tie up your lose ends: file your federal tax returns, get a job, finalize your divorce.
  4. Gather the documentation: this would include items such as proof of your citizenship, proof of eligibility to marry, proof of capability to serve as a financial sponsor.
  5. Prepare the relevant visa forms: download the fiancé visa form at the USCIS website.
  6. Package everything and submit it to the USCIS. Make sure everything needed to prove eligibility is included in a neat organize manner.
  7. Wait for notice of receipt from the USCIS.
  8. Wait some more.  The USCIS is currently taking 5 months.
  9. Get approved (hopefully) and then wait for the National Visa Center to receive the application and forward it to the US Embassy in Manila.
  10. Your fiancée gets contacted by the US Embassy and given instructions on how to get a medical exam and when to appear for the interview.
  11. Attend the interview and perform well.
  12. Have the K-1 visa stamp placed in the passport.
  13. Enter the USA and be reunited with your fiancé.

How to apply for a fiancé visa? The above are the numerous steps in the entire fiancé visa process. People can easily get confused, frustrated and lost in the process. Many people find it easier to hire an an experienced immigration lawyer to prepare and guide the couple through the process. With my practicing fiancée visa law since 1997, I can help. Call me for a free consultation.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Highly recommended on LinkedIn, Attorney Huang has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

What is the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar for Filipino Fiancees?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Filipino law says that anyone emigrating has to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. K-2 12 years and younger don’t have to attend.

The U.S. Government doesn’t impose this requirement. To inform visa recipients, the offices does make this information available to all fiancées and immigrant visa applicants. The US Embassy attaches to the visa packet an information sheet so that these foreign nationals are aware about the seminar.

Below for is a quote from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas:

The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar is for emigrants petitioned by their parents, siblings, and immediate relatives. Travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences, settlement concerns, employment and social security concerns, and rights and obligations of Filipino migrants are some of the topics on the PDOS Seminar.

Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign national are given guidance and counseling program. They are given advice on the realities of intermarriage and migration, rights and obligations overseas, available support networks for women in distress, cultural and social realities overseas, and other information which may help them make informed decisions about cross-cultural unions and settlement overseas.

Excerpt from the CFO Information Sheet

If you are interested in bringing over your Filipino fiancée or fiancé, please call our office to discuss your situation in a free consultation. Attorney Huang has substantial experience assisting fiancées from the Philippines and would be pleased to provide assistance.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Highly recommended on LinkedIn, Attorney Huang has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

K1 Fiancee Interview: Printed Deposit Slips Required To Pay K Visa Application Fees in Manila

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Printed Deposit Slips are now required to pay for K-1 fiance visa application fees. Starting 9/3/12, K-1 fiancee visa applicants at the US Embassy in Manila are required to present a US visa application deposit slip to pay the K1 fiancee visa fee.

K-1 fiancee visa applicants are instructed to print the applicable US visa application deposit slip before going to the bank and bring it to the financial institution to pay the fee.

Applicants should take note that there is an expiration date on the deposit slip. Should a deposit slip expire, bank representatives will not accept payment based on those expired slips.

Once paid, the bank will issue a receipt. The receipt must be carefully secured as they will not be replaced. Applicants without a receipt number will be unable to schedule an appointment at the US Embassy, Manila.

For assistance with your Filipina fiancée visa application, call our law office 626-771-1078 24/7 and read my 17 recommendations on LinkedIn.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. He has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  He has 17 recommendations on LinkedIn. For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

U.S.Embassy Manila Philippines August 2012 Holiday Closures

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The embassy will observe Eid il-Fitr from August 20 and Ninoy Aquino Day on August 21. American citizens with non-visa-related appointments will be contacted by the American Citizens Services section when it reopens. Visa applicants can reschedule appointments by visiting Embassy Manila’s Visa Information and Appointment Service online at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph or by calling (632) 982-5555 or (632) 902-8930.

The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Manila time), except on U.S. and Philippine holidays. You must have the case number, passport number, and passport expiry date for each applicant (principal applicant and derivative family members) ready when requesting a visa appointment.

Callers in the U.S. should call (214) 571-1600, from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. He has written numerous articles on visa matters affecting foreign new hires, start-ups, and intracompany transfers. His articles have appeared on www.EB5Planet.com, www.VisaSoup.com, www.MyVisa.com, and www.GoFianceeVisa.com  He has more than 15 recommendations on LinkedIn. For more information and a free consultation, please contact him immediately.

K1 Fiance Visa Philippines: Administrative Processing. How long will it take?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after your interview with a Consular Officer. You will be advised of this possibility during your interview. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of your visa interview, but the length of processing time will vary based on the circumstances of each case.

Before inquiring about your visa status, you should wait at least 60 days from the date of your interview or the submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later. The call center will contact you (at the phone number or e-mail address the Consular Officer verified with you during your interview) as soon as your visa processing is complete.

Applying for a fiancé or spousal visa is a stressful process. Having your application got through administrative processing is disappointing and can lead to further delays if not a denial. Contact our law office for information on how we can help. We offer a wide range of services from very low fees where the applicant does the preparation and we review,  to our office providing full service and preparing and guiding the applicant through the entire process. Call us at 626-771-1078 for more information.

K1 Fiance Visa Philippines: I’ve been refused under 221(g). What does this mean?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Refusal under Section 221(g) means that essential information is missing from an application or that an application has been placed on administrative hold. The consular officer who interviews you will tell you at the end of your interview if action on your case is being suspended under 221(g) pending further information. The officer will either tell you that the case has to undergo administrative processing, or will ask you to submit additional information.

If further information is required, the officer will tell you how to submit that information. As part of this process, you will be given a written letter and will have 12 months from the date of your application to submit the requested documents without having to pay a new visa application fee. After one year, an application refused under Section 221(g) is terminated per Section 203(e).

If the U.S. Embassy/Consulate requested additional information or documentation from you, you must submit those documents at a 2Go document collection office.

Applying for a fiancé or spousal visa is a stressful process. A 221(g) determination is disappointing and can lead to further delays if not a denial. Contact our law office for information on how we can help. We offer a wide range of services from very low fees where the applicant does the preparation and we review, to our office providing full service and guiding the applicant through the entire process. Call us at 626-771-1078 for more information.

K1 Fiance Visa Philippines: Valid Expedited Appointment Requests

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Manila will consider expediting scheduling a immigrant visa appointment for the following reasons:

Medical Emergency:  A petitioner or beneficiary is facing an urgent medical emergency that requires immediate travel.

Military Emergency: A U.S. service member petitioner becomes aware of a new deployment or transfer with very little notice. This should be an exception to the regular relocation process for most service members.

Cases Close to Aging Out: An applicant is within 60 days of turning 21 years old.

Expiring Medical Exams: An applicant’s medical exam results will expire in 30 days or less.

K-2 Derivatives: K-2 derivative applicants must apply within one year of their Principal Applicant’s visa issuance. If fewer than 30 days remain until that anniversary date, then an applicant may request an expedited appointment.

Applying for a fiancé or spousal visa is a stressful process. Ensuring that all the K-1 or spousal visa regulatory requirements are met can be challenging. It’s easy to make a mistake. Contact our law office for information on how we can help. We offer a wide range of services from very low fees where the applicant does the preparation and we review, to our office providing full service and guiding the applicant through the entire process. Call us at 626-771-1078 for more information.

K1 Fiance Visa Philippines: How to get a K1 Fiancee Visa Stamp after a successful Interview

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

If your visa interview goes well, the officer will inform you that you have been approved. She will then provide you with information on whether your passport will be delivered to you or whether you will pick it up. 2Go will either deliver your passport to the location you specified when you scheduled your appointment, or hold your passport at a 2Go office for you to retrieve. There are no extra fees associated with either aspect of this service. The cost for 2Go to deliver or hold your passport is included in the visa application fee.

If you chose to collect your passport/visa at the courier office you will need to visit a 2Go office during normal business hours. To find the 2Go office nearest to you, click here.

To collect your passport you must present your original (not a photocopy) government-issued photo ID. It’s recommended that  you also bring a printed copy of your appointment letter. Acceptable IDs are the following:

  • Driver’s License
  • Civil Service ID
  • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
  • Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
  • Social Security System (SSS)
  • Postal ID
  • Company ID

Applying for a fiancé or spousal visa is a stressful process. Ensuring that all the K-1 or spousal visa regulatory requirements are met can be challenging. It’s easy to make a mistake. Contact our law office for information on how we can help. We offer a wide range of services from very low fees where the applicant does the preparation and we review,  to our office providing full service and guiding the applicant through the entire process. Call us at 626-771-1078 for more information.

What documents should my Filipina fiancée bring to her K-1 interview?

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Applicants should bring the following on the day of their interview when they go to the U.S. Embassy Manila

•        Proof of payment of visa application fee (each applicant needs to pay a fee).

•        Valid passport

•        Medical examination results.

•        Visa application forms

•        Three (3) visa photos.

•        Birth certificate issued on security paper by the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO).

•        Philippine police (NBI) clearance (for applicants aged 16 years and older).

•        Proof of ability to be financially supported with supporting documentation.

•        Evidence of ongoing relationship with the petitioner

•        Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) issued on security paper by the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO).

•        Police certificate(s)

•        Court and prison records, if applicable.

•        Proof of termination of a prior marriage, if applicable

The K1 fiancee visa interview is the most stressful part of the K-1 fiance visa process. Unfortunately, not all Filipina fiancées will be successful at the interview. Maximize your chances for success by working with a professional with significant experience with fiancée and spousal visas.

If you are interested in bringing your fiancée or spouse over to the USA on the K1 fiance or spousal  visa and utilizing my immigration legal experience since 1997, please contact me at 626-771-1078.

        
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