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US Visa Interview - K3 Visa Applications No Longer Ensure Interview Forum
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Tuesday, 16 March 2010 03:06

The K3 visa process is somewhat cumbersome and new administrative initiatives have been announced which will likely result in bi-national couples having less control over the venue in which the foreign spouse will be interviewed.

In previous articles this author has written about the current status of the K3 visa process. At this time, K3 visa processing has become more unpredictable because the National Visa Center (NVC) will no longer process I-129f petitions for K3 visas if the underlying I-130 petition arrives before, or with, the I-129f. It is a credit to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) efficiency that they are processing I-129f applications as well as I-130 applications in a quick and efficient manner. This being said, for those couples seeking fast marriage visa benefits this efficiency could end up creating unforeseen problems.

The United States National Visa Center has stated that their personnel will "administratively close" aforementioned I-129f petitions. This could lead to a difficult situation for those couples who specifically married in a certain jurisdiction in order to process the foreign spouse's visa application at that jurisdiction's US Embassy or Consulate-General. Pursuant to the language of the statute creating the K3 Visa, the K3 visa application must be adjudicated by the Diplomatic of Consular Post in the foreign jurisdiction where the marriage took place. This provided some couples with an opportunity to "Forum Shop" for the overseas Embassy or Consulate where they wished the process their visa application. For example, if a couple wished to process a visa application in Thailand, they could ensure that the K3 visa application would be processed in Thailand simply by getting married in Thailand.

Currently, because K3 visa processing remains uncertain, there is a distinct possibility that "shopping" for a visa interview venue will become a thing of the past. That being said, Immigrant visa applications for travel documents such as the CR1 visa and the IR1 visa could be sent to the foreign spouse's country of Nationality as Embassies and Consulates only process third country nationals as a courtesy and if inconvenient will send the application to the Post in the country of the Beneficiary's nationality.

One can hope that these recent changes will not result in too many difficulties, but it remains to be seen if this will, in fact, be the case. Therefore, as long as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) continues to process I-130 petitions quickly, it remains probable that the United States National Visa Center will continue to administratively close K3 cases and thereby forestall the previously mentioned practice of forum shopping. For those alien fiancees and spouses located in countries such as Burma (Myanmar) or the Kingdom of Cambodia this policy shift could cause unforeseen delays as both of these countries' governments can make it very difficult for a native born woman to marry a US Citizen man.

Benjamin Hart is a licensed attorney from the United States of America. He currently acts as Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd a certified Amity Treaty Company. For more information contact: 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To learn more about Consular Processing from Thailand please see: US Embassy Thailand.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 23:46