Posts Tagged ‘k1’


5 Tips for Bringing Your Foreign Fiancee to the USA

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Everyday, countless US citizens connect and meet potential foreign fiancées on the internet. Once the decision has been made to marry, the question arises, “How do I bring my beloved to the USA?” The following tips below will help you gather and potentially expedite the process of getting your fiancé to the USA.

  1. Meet in Person: K-1 regulations require that the foreign fiancée and the US citizen actually meet in person. While the regulations do not require more than one meeting, multiple meetings are always better to show that the relationship is bona fide and not intended only to get an immigration benefit.
  2. Get Your Finances in Order: Part of the K-1 process involves the US citizen showing that he or she can serve as a financial sponsor. That is, that the foreign fiancée will not become a public charge. If the US citizen is currently unemployed or has not been filing federal tax returns, these issues should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid complications at the interview.
  3. Obtain the Necessary Documents: There are numerous documents that both the foreign fiancée and the US citizen must obtain. These include copies of birth certificates, divorce decrees, custody letters, employment verification letter, bank statements, plane ticket stubs, etc. The amount of documentation that needs to be gathered can be overwhelming. Add to this anecdotal evidence of some consular officers have demanded to see and it can be quite confusing. In view of this, it is important to work with a seasoned immigration attorney who can provide guidance on what documents need to be gathered, in what format, and at what times during the process. Not all documents need to be gathered at the beginning, nor should they. Some documents have an expiration date and obtaining them too early could turn out to be a waste of time and resources.
  4. Continue Communicating: During the interview, the officer will spend time reviewing the relationship and determining how the couple communicates. Do they speak a common language? If not, how effective can they communicate? Couples who rely on online Google translator will have a harder time getting through the interview than those who can communicate in the foreign fiancee’s native language.
  5. Get to Know Each Other: While this sounds obvious, its importance cannot be emphasized enough. Unfortunately, some foreign fiancées are only interested in obtaining a green card. While some US citizens are only interested in having free domestic help. Neither is a good basis for a relationship and not a valid reason for applying for a K-1 fiancee visa. Take time to get to know one another, Really understand where the other person is at. Developing a relationship is always a challenging endeavor. Cross-cultural communication makes this even more challenging. The majority of individuals have legitimate motives. Taking things slowly can help ensure that both individuals can adequately understand one another’s true intentions.

If you are interested in bringing your foreign fiancé(e) over to the USA, please contact me for a free consultation.

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

Dept. of State to Move more Forms Online

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

From the NVC:

Come September, the Department of State will transition to an online immigrant visa application. Immigrant visa applicants will apply online using Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration). Applicants will choose their agent online using Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent).

These forms replace the paper DS-230 and DS-3032. The National Visa Center (NVC) may instruct some applicants who previously submitted Form DS-230 to submit Form DS-260.

The implementation of Forms DS-260 and DS-261 is the next step in the Department of State’s creation of a secure and efficient online immigrant visa application experience.

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

USCIS Correcting Green Cards with Incorrect Expiration Dates

Monday, August 26th, 2013

USCIS has notified a group of green card recipients that their green cards have wrong expiration dates. Unfortunately, the recipients will need to return the card and obtain new ones with corrected dates.

USCIS provides the following information for the affected individuals:

1. Returning your Permanent Resident Card to USCIS to receive a replacement card does not affect your conditional permanent resident status;

2. While you are waiting to receive or pick up your new Permanent Resident Card, the temporary I-551 stamp in your passport provides proof of your conditional permanent resident status in the United States;

3. You will not be charged a fee to receive a new correct card; and

4. You do not need to file a Form I-90, Application

Hopefully USCIS can correct these quickly and with as little inconvenience as possible. Given the USCIS’s track record, that may be easier said than done. If you need assistance, please contact me.

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

USCIS Streamlining Attorney Inquiries

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Hooray for the USCIS. The agency announced today that they are continuing to improve their customer service. On August 16, attorneys will have their calls routed by a NCSC rep to the appropriate CIS office for resolution. Under this new process, the customer service reps will assess the nature of the call and either accept a service request or transfer the call for more in-depth review.

The CIS anticipates that this new process flow will improve wait times and provide more individualized service.

Kudos to the CIS for consistently seeking to improve their operations.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Attorney Huang has 18 recommendations on LinkedIn and an “Excellent” Avvo rating. 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

K-1 Processing Times April 2013

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Unfortunately, K-1 processing times have slowed to a crawl. The past few months we’ve seen the processing times listed on the USCIS remain “stuck” without any movement.

As can be expected, this is causing a lot of stress on couples. “Is our petition OK? Was there something deficient? Did we forget to include anything?” “This is so hard on our relationship! We want to be together ASAP!” “Have they lost my case?” These are some of the questions I’ve been getting from frantic clients and even non-clients who are wondering what’s going on with the USCIS.

Trying to contact the USCIS has yielded mixed results. Calling the USCIS National Hotline requires one to endure hold times of up to 30 minutes listening to the same mind-numbing music. Hey, I enjoy classical music and have nothing against flutes. But having to listen to the same song over and over featuring an overzealous flutist for 30 minutes is certain to drive anyone insane. Unfortunately, even after enduring this, there is no guarantee we can get the answers we seek.

For one client, just when I was running out of avenues to inquire about the status of the case, I got notice that it was approved. What a relief to know that it wasn’t lost. Of course, the client now has to address the next step of the K-1 process, dealing with the National Visa Center and the Consulate General in Guangzhou… but at least we’ve cleared the first hurdle.

My work day is certainly never boring.

Bottom line: given that processing times have slowed, it’s essential that the petition be properly and completely prepared. Doing so will minimize the possibility of a RFE which will cause further delays. If you need my professional assistance, please contact me.

Theodore Huang, Esq. has been practicing business immigration, EB-5 investor, and family immigration law since 1997. Attorney Huang has 19 recommendations on LinkedIn and an “Excellent” Avvo rating. 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

CBP Rolls Out Electronic I-94s

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

The CBP is continuing to improve their technologies and today announced that they are making the I-94 process electronic.

Form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens who are admitted to the U.S., who are adjusting status while in the U.S. or extending their stay, among other things. A CBP officer generally attaches the I-94 to the non-immigrant passport at the air and sea ports of entry. The visitor must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date stamped on the I-94.

K-1 fiancee visa applicants receive I-94 cards upon their entry into the US. As these updates are implemented, it’s important to understand how these changes might impact K-1 processing, entrance into the USA and subsequent green card applications.

Contact me for more information

More on Marriage Fraud: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

A past applications-adjudicator for the former INS has been indicted by a Bay Area grand jury on nine criminal counts stemming from his alleged role in a marriage fraud scheme.

Andrew Chojecki, 61, a naturalized U.S. citizen who most recently resided in Poland, is charged in an indictment handed down Dec. 6 with conspiracy to commit marriage and visa fraud, marriage fraud, and alien harboring. The charges are the result of a two-year probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and its partner agencies on the San Francisco Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Fraud Detection and National Security Unit.

Six additional defendants are accused of conspiring with Chojecki to commit the fraud. They are; Beata Szkop, M algorzata Zuk, Aaron Goldsmith, Pawel Karolak, Vito Scherma and Hector Vargas. The latter four defendants are also charged with alien harboring.

According to the indictment, unsealed M onday, Chojecki allegedly facilitated fraudulent marriages in exchange for cash payments from at least April 2010 through November of this year. The indictment claims Chojecki introduced aliens and U.S. citizens to each other for the purpose of entering into sham marriages to evade U.S. immigration laws. The indictment further alleges

Chojecki provided the aliens with fraudulent immigration forms he prepared, sample questions he anticipated they might be asked by immigration officials, and guidance on steps aliens should take to make the marriages appear legitimate. In exchange for these services, Chojecki allegedly required the aliens to pay an initial lump sum at the time of the wedding, which he split with the U.S. citizen spouses, with additional sums payable to the spouses when the aliens received their green cards.

Chojecki was arrested in Los Angeles Nov. 23 when he arrived on a flight from Poland. The following week a magistrate judge in Los Angeles ordered Chojecki released on a $170,000 unsecured bond, with the condition of electronic monitoring. Szkop, Karolak, Vargas and Zuk were arrested Monday and made their initial appearance in federal court. Defendants Goldsmith and Scherma remain at large.

Each count of conspiracy to commit marriage and visa fraud, and marriage fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of alien harboring is 10 years in prison. The government is also seeking forfeiture of assets arising out of the conspiracy and alien harboring counts.

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.

December 2012 Processing Times for K1 I-129f Fiance Visa Petitions

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Just received the typical processing times for K1 fiancee visa petitions submitted to the USCIS. So far this year, general processing times have been 5 months. This latest report shows that there is no improvement—processing remains at 5 months.

Interestingly enough, I just received an approval for a K1 petition that took only one month to be processed at the USCIS. A fluke? Perhaps. However, I’d like to think it’s the result of utilizing my experience, showing how the client clearly meets all substantive requirements and also making sure the petition is packaged just how the USCIS likes to receive and review it.

Should you be interested in applying for your foreign fiancée from China, the Philippines, Russia, Vietnam, or any other country in the world, please contact me.

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.

USCIS Busts Marriage Fraud Scam Artists

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Federal juries found three individuals guilty of marriage fraud and one individual pleaded guilty to marriage fraud after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, the FBI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

On Monday, a federal jury found Abubakir Khidirov, 26, of New Orleans, guilty of marriage fraud. A separate federal jury found Rustamon Bahriddinov, 26, of Charleston, S.C., and Rachel Ruiz, 36, of Orlando, guilty of marriage fraud Nov. 21. Rosemary Torres Rosario, 26, of Kissimmee, Fla., pleaded guilty to marriage fraud Monday.

These individuals were indicted as part of Operation Knot So Fast 2012. The operation targeted individuals who orchestrated fraudulent marriages to manipulate the U.S. immigration system.

According to evidence presented at trial, Ender Rodriguez, a leader in the fraudulent marriage scheme, arranged the marriage of Khidirov, who was unlawfully present in the United States, to Rosario, a U.S. citizen. The marriage was arranged so that Khidirov could fraudulently become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. During the course of the conspiracy, Rodriguez introduced Rosario to Khidirov. Khidirov then paid Rodriguez $3,500 to arrange the marriage. In addition, Rosario received $5,000 to participate in the scheme. Rodriguez used the fraudulently obtained marriage certificate to prepare and file fraudulent petitions with USCIS on behalf of Khidirov. Both Khidirov and Rosario attended a marriage interview and lied under oath that they entered into a legitimate marriage, when, in fact, they had not.

Ender Rodriguez also arranged the marriage of Bahriddinov, who was unlawfully present in the United States, to Rachel Ruiz, a U.S. citizen. During the course of the conspiracy, Bethania Deschamps, another individual involved in the scheme, recruited Ruiz to marry an alien and introduced her to Ender Rodriguez. Deschamps, who worked with Rodriguez, received a recruiting fee once the alien and the citizen were fraudulently married. As part of the conspiracy, Bahriddinov paid $3,500 to Rodriguez for arranging the marriage and $5,000 to Ruiz for participating in the marriage. Ruiz then used the fraudulently obtained marriage certificate to

prepare and file fraudulent petitions with USCIS on behalf of Bahriddinov. Both attended a marriage interview and lied under oath that they entered into a legitimate marriage.

Bahriddinov and Ruiz are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 28. Khidirov and Rosario’s sentencing hearings are scheduled for March 14. Each individual faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

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.

Fiances Visiting the USA on the Visa Waiver Program

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

One of the K1 fiance visa requirements is that the foreign fiancé must have met the US citizen physically at least once during the two years prior to submitting the K1 fiancee visa petition.

Most US citizens find it easier to travel abroad to their fiancee’s home country. For many foreign fiancées, it’s difficult to obtain a tourist visa to visit the USA. Consular officers presume that foreign fiancées will come to the USA and stay indefinitely, whether they eventually marry their US citizen fiancées or not. This is particularly the case for fiancés from China, India, and the Philippines.

For other foreign fiancées, being a citizen of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program established in 1986 by the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows them to visit the USA without having to apply for a tourist visa.

To be eligible for this, participants have to be citizens of Visa Waiver designated countries and

• Not be a threat to the welfare, health, safety, or security of the United States, as determined by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S. port of entry;

• Have complied with conditions of any previous admissions under the program;

• Have a round-trip transportation ticket issued by a carrier that has signed an agreement with the U.S. Government to participate in the program if entering the United States by air or sea;

• Arrive in the United States aboard such a carrier;

• Waive their right to review or appeal an immigration officer’s determination as to admissibility at the port of entry, and also waived the right to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any action for removal; and

• Have proof of financial solvency and a home abroad to which they intend to return if entering the United States by land.

If you have questions about satisfying the two year meeting requirement or about applying for your foreign fiancé or spouse, please contact me.

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.

Should I Hire K1 Lawyer Ted Huang? My 18th Recommendation

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Just received my 18th  recommendation today. It’s available and verifiable on LinkedIn.

“Theodore (or Ted as I came to know him) is not only an expert on immigration law, he is friendly and easy to work with. I hired him to help me with my fiancee’s K1 visa application and he delivered. His instructions were clear and his usage of online forms made everything easy. I’d highly recommend him for anyone seeking legal advice regarding immigration. Judging from his organizational skills in handling my case, I’m sure he would be more than capable of handling a variety of jobs from other aspects of law.”

I’m very happy to know that this K1 fiancee visa client was pleased and satisfied with the quality of my work.

I work hard on my clients’ cases and try to respond as quickly as I can. This can be challenging with the high number of questions my clients’ ask. I don’t’ mind the questions, though, because I know that this is a process that is highly stressful, and the couple misses each other greatly.

The immigration process is one where simple errors can create lengthy delays. It’s not just a matter of filling out forms and following a checklist. Substantive and procedural requirements must be satisfied, or the application will be rejected.

Because of the high number of technicalities that need to be followed, I work on my clients’ cases personally and do not pass the work off to a paralegal. It’s not the most profitable way for me to run my office because of the demands placed on my time, but this is what I believe my clients deserve.

If you have immigration questions, please contact me.

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.

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.

How Do I Check the Status of My K1 Fiance Visa Application?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

USCIS has expanded the services offered by its e-Request system. This Web-based tool allows customers to inquire about applications and petitions submitted to USCIS. On November 19, USCIS implemented the following enhancements to e-Request:

  • Create a service request for all forms to either inquire about the status of your application or petition if it is outside of the normal processing time OR notify USCIS about an administrative error in a notice or document it sent you.
  • For Forms I-90 and N-400 only, inquire about an Application Support Center appointment notice or other notice you were expecting to receive.
  • Accessibility to individuals with disabilities.

If you would like to apply for a fiancé petition or for an application for your spouse, please contact 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.

My K-1 Application was Denied at US Embassy in Manila and Returned to USCIS, What Next?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Getting a K-1 petition approved at the USCIS stage isn’t the end of the story. While the approval of the application bodes well for the couple, the foreign fiancé must still meet with a consular officer and prove that the relationship is legitimate during the fiancé visa interview.

This is often the most critical and difficult step of the K-1 fiance visa process.

There are a few reasons why K-1 fiancees may get denied at the interview stage. Insufficient documentation of the bona fide nature of the relationship is the most common reason for denial. The US citizen’s inability to serve as a financial sponsor is another. Past immigration violations on the part of the K-1 fiance is yet another basis upon which a foreign fiancée may be denied.

Should the K-1 beneficiary get denied, the petition will be returned to the USCIS for additional review. The question is how long will it take for the USCIS review consular returns. This question was posed during a recent meeting between the AILA liaison and USCIS. USCIS responded that the target processing goal is six months. This is certainly an improvement compared to previous processing times which last up to a year. Nontheless, for couples who experience the difficult outcome of a denial, six months is still a lengthy amount of time to find out whether the K1 fiancee petition route remains viable.

If you find yourself in this situation of a K1 interview denial, please contact 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.

USCIS ELIS System to be Unavailable

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The USCIS recently rolled out its ELIS system. The ELIS system is new Electronic Immigration System which allows applicants to complete and submit USCIS forms online. Currently, the system is only available for certain forms as the USCIS is testing out its acceptance and ability effective process immigration benefits applications.

Touted as the next step in streamlining immigration processing, the new system is receiving mixed reviews by applicants and attorneys. The system is still in need of work, and processes which should be fairly straightforward and user-friendly, unfortunately, are not.

USCIS will perform routine maintenance to conduct updates for ELIS sytem on Nov. 17, from 5 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and on Nov. 18, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST).

Users should be careful when using the system on these days to avoid losing data. Better yet, avoid these days altogether.

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.

        
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