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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawCR-1 & IR-1 Visas from Thailand: Injunction Against New "Public Charge" Rules

CR-1 & IR-1 Visas from Thailand: Injunction Against New "Public Charge" Rules

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing CR-1 and IR-1 visas; that is Immigrant spouse visas for immigrant spouses from Thailand that are looking to go the United States presumably with an American husband or wife. At the same time, we could be talking about spouses of lawful permanent residents in the United States etc.

Recently, there was news that we were going to be dealing with a new threshold for financial support.  Basically, the so-called “public charge” rule was going to be changed rather dramatically under this Administration and it was going to basically heighten the threshold for proving up an ability to support a spouse in the United States; specifically showing that that person was not likely to become a public charge. 

More recently, there has been an injunction against that rule change. That injunction, actually I believe four injunctions currently in place, in Federal Courts in the United States. One specifically that I was just reading basically has enjoined the rule from being imposed and it has also stated that even if the injunction is overturned, it cannot be overturned retroactively. If overturned, it would only make whatever happens come into force thereafter. How exactly that is going to play out remains to be seen but good sort of mental note to keep on hand is that presumably it is not going to be imposed retroactively. It leaves us in kind of a gray area, a limbo if you will as to where exactly this leaves us. I think it is a good idea for those who are processing cases to keep in the back of their mind that it is very likely that this could eventually be imposed. We could ultimately see this go up to a higher Court, having the lower court's injunctions overturned, maybe go all the way to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court may overturn it; they may also not overturn it. It remains to be seen exactly what is going to happen but keep in the back of one's mind that is very possible that ultimately these new rules could come roaring back.

That being stated, there is also something of a good question with respect to how this exactly applies to Consular Officers abroad. I think the general rules are still in place but again they have the Doctrine of Consular Absolutism or Consular Non-reviewability which allows them to make factual findings in a much more discretionary manner compared to officers in the United States who are dealing with Immigration process over there.

At the end of the day, I think as long as the injunction holds I think everybody is probably still at least conceptually locked into the prior framework. But that being said it doesn't keep people from sort of thinking about the new framework and the spirit of that etc. So how exactly this is going to play in this interim period, it is going to be interesting to see. That stated, not having the injunction probably would be worse for some families than having it, so on the whole I think that the injunction is a benefit for those who are looking to bring their spouse or other loved ones in to the United States.