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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawIs a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) K-3 Visa a Good Idea?

Is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) K-3 Visa a Good Idea?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggest we will be discussing Do-it-yourself K-3 visas. This is a topic I have always been rather neutral on. In the past 10 years I have been practicing Immigration Law it has never particularly bothered me one way or the other that people do K-3 marriage visa applications on their own. That is everyone's prerogative. Pro Se filings are in a way a matter right of the petitioner; they do have a right to petition their government. 

But that being said, some recent events have caused me to make this with video not particularly for any other reason than to provide some insight to those who are thinking of undertaking a do-it-yourself K3 application because things have changed rather fundamentally with respect to USCIS policy on how they adjudicate petitions and how they issue denials. 

Recently there was a policy memo issued this summer that came into effect September 11, 2018 which effectively rescinded what was called the "no possibility" doctrine that existed prior to September 11, 2018. Under this doctrine, the adjudicating officer of a K-3 visa application or petition had to go ahead and issue a Request for Evidence unless they was a "no possibility" that the filers could obtain the visa and in virtually every case, in many cases,  “no possibility” was a high threshold to hit so in almost every case you would at least see a Request for Evidence or more rarely a Notice of Intention to Deny issued with respect K-3 petitions.

This has radically changed. A USCIS memorandum has gone out that effectively rescinds the "no possibility" doctrine which means that adjudicators can issue a denial if, on the face of the petition in front of them if they are not presented with enough evidence of eligibility. If eligibility cannot be proved up on the face of the petition, then said petition can be denied out of hand. No RFE is now necessary; that "no possibility" doctrine has been stripped away. For do-it-yourselfers, this can be an issue because folks that have never undertaken this process before, are unaware of all the formalities inherent in filing for these benefits and they don't really think about certain things that USCIS may want to look at.

I am not necessarily saying that do-it-yourself is a thing of the past but definitely heightened scrutiny should be undertaken for those who are looking to get a K-3 Visa and it is probably not a bad idea to at least consult a legal professional regarding how the K-3 process works especially in light of the changes inherent in the USCIS policy memorandum which came into effect September 11, 2018.