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The CR-1 Visa Process in 2020

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the CR-1 Visa. For those who are unaware, that is the Conditional Resident Visa; that is those who are married to an American citizen but they have been married less than two years at the time of the foreign national's entrance to the United States. For those who are unaware the CR-1 Visa sometimes there is an underlying case with respect to a K-3 Visa. We have another video on this channel specific to the K-3 Visa in 2020. This video is specific to the issue of a CR-1 Visa

So the thing to take away from this video is this I like to do a video like this. This may become a perennial thing. We look back at 2019, we look forward to 2020. Some folks send me inquiries and there seems to be kind of a misconception that the turnover of the year will have some sort of overall impact like there will be a sea change with respect to case processing affiliated with an Immigrant Spouse Visa. That is not really how it works. The flow tends to be more gradual. We see these changes happen incrementally more over time and less immediate with respect of for example the New Year turning over. That being stated, I think it is good to look back and then look forward at what we can expect move moving into the future.

So the thing to take away from this video is in 2019 we saw a lot of changes with respect to how Immigrant Spouse Visas were processed. We saw things like digital uploading become a major component of dealing with the Immigrant Spouse visa process whereas you go back even a couple years ago this wasn't the case. You were dealing often times mostly with hard copies. We also saw things like the closure of the USCIS office here in Bangkok. There is no longer an ability to file locally for Immigrant Spouse Visas for those who are married to an American citizen who is resident here in the Kingdom. That once was available. 2019 saw the end of that. I don't think that's going to change in 2020 so I think we can presume that it will not be possible to file for a CR-1 Visa here locally in the same manner that it was possible to do so prior to October 2019. Also the other thing to think about moving forward into 2020 is what in my opinion seems to be an increasing number of Requests for Evidence issued in connection with Immigrant Spouse Visas; in this case the CR-1 Visa. 

So the thing to take away from this is RFEs are Requests for Evidence. We have seen them issued in cases that we felt the evidence was exhaustive on and still they wanted to see something more. Arguably it could be considered somewhat picayune; I don't think it is necessarily fair to call it that but definitely they are “dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's” before approving petitions for immigrant for Spousal Immigrant Visa benefits.

So I think moving in a 2020 that theme is going to continue and I think we're going to see an increase in RFEs down the line. For that reason I think do-it-yourself Immigrant Spouse Visas; so seeking a CR-1 Visa DIY for lack of better term, is probably going to be more difficult compared to years passed. For that reason, it may not be a bad idea to seek some legal guidance and it may not even be a terrible idea to seek assistance in the overall process That being stated, it is certainly not impossible to process a CR-1 Visa case in 2020 on one‘s own,  but I think with all of the changes with respect to how the process works, it can be rather frustrating and it is becoming more complicated especially compared to times past.