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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawIs a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) K-1 Visa a Good Idea?

Is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) K-1 Visa a Good Idea?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing the K-1 visa, specifically the sort of DIY, or do-it-yourself K-1 visa.

What are we talking about when we are talking about this? Well this is a topic that I have been always been rather neutral on over the decade I have been doing this and people kind of ask me, “does it bother you that people do it on their own?” Not particularly.

People hire me and hire our firm to assist in US Immigration matters for all sorts of reasons. Some people find the process a bit overwhelming. Some folks just don’t have the time to undertake it all. Everybody’s reasoning for retaining an attorney is different. But that being said, there are plenty of people who undertake the process in a sort of DIY fashion, in a do-it yourself way and I have never really had an opinion one way or another. That is their right. It is possible to do a pro se filing for a K-1. But that being said, as noted in some previous videos on this channel, recent policy changes at the USCIS are resulting in what I think is going to be something of a Sea change in how visas are adjudicated specifically with respect to denial of visa applications or visa petitions.

What I mean to say is there has been a change in the policy by which USCIS will issue what is called RFEs or Request for Evidence. Whereas at one time, USCIS was practically required to issue an RFE in almost every case, it is now no longer required that an adjudicating officer issue an RFE, or Request for Evidence, if the eligibility is not clear in the initial filing. What I think this is going to result in is in a number of denials being issued out of hand and I think you are going to see this happen to a lot of do-it-yourselfers here in the future. So the reason I am making this video is not so much to discourage folks from doing it themselves, it is so that people understand what they are getting into especially in light of this new policy change.

So understand, moving forward as of September 11, 2018 and the rescission of what I call the “no possibility” doctrine and I strongly recommend, there is a few  videos going back on this channel, 2 or 3 actually at the time of this filming, where I specifically discuss the RFE policy changes. Basically for purposes of this video, what needs to be understood, at one time, it used to be USCIS officers could only issue a straight denial, like an out of hand denial, if there was no possibility that the couple in question was eligible for the benefit at hand, in this case the K-1.  That has been rescinded, so if on its face it has not been proven that the couple in question is eligible for K-1 benefits, then it is possible that the adjudicating officer just go ahead and deny the petition. Do I think that they are going to do that wantonly?  I doubt it. I think that they are probably going to continue issuing RFEs but I do think that it is very likely they are going to issue them in fewer circumstances. So for this reason, do-it-yourselfers should be very aware that the policies have changed and it might be a good idea to more heavily scrutinize ones filing or contact a legal professional to at least get some advice as to how best to proceed with a K-1 before undertaking a process that may waste ones time, money and resources as a result of filing a deficient petition for K-1 fiancée benefits.