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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawThe Function of the US Embassy in the US Visa Process

The Function of the US Embassy in the US Visa Process

Transcript of the above video:

Today we're going to be talking U.S. family visas specifically things like the K-1 fiancee visa, the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa for the spouse of US citizen and I guess you can lump the K-3 marriage visa in this category as well notwithstanding the fact that the K-3 is kind of an obsolete travel document these days. What are we talking about here? Well in other videos we discuss the function of USCIS. We've discussed the function of National Visa Center, what's the function of USCBP. In this video, we're discussing the function of a U.S. embassy or the Department of State specifically but really in the Indian skies at the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

So the case has been processed through U.S. immigration in the United States specifically United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, it's moved on through the National Visa Center and depending on the category of visa it may have spent a great deal of time with NBC or it may have just been with NBC for a couple of weeks. Now the case has come to the U.S. embassy. Well the US embassy in a way legally speaking, this is all one adjudication but in a way, it seems to the outsider to be somewhat redundant but the first part of the process is essentially adjudicating the petitioner. So like say a K-1 visa case, they're trying to determine are you a US citizen, are you legally free to marry, is your foreign counterpart in freedom marry and make the adjudication that's determination on those issues. Is it a genuine relationship is also a major component in that adjudication.

NBC in those circumstances basically acts as a clearinghouse sort of a postman to make sure that the case gets to the right embassy abroad and finally at the embassy, that is where the applicant is more deeply looked at. And throughout all of this, that's really what once you take away from this video is that the at the embassy phase the applicant is being scrutinized so it's the applicant's police record, it's the applicant's medical history, it's the applicant's history of travel to the US if any or travel to other countries abroad if any. It's the applicant's and on top of that, the U.S. State Department is also tasked with making factual findings of legal inadmissibility to the United States and in such a finding is made, it may be required to go ahead and obtain an I-601 waiver of set an inadmissibility if the ground of inadmissibility is even waivable at all. There are certain legal grounds of inadmissibility that cannot be waived.

So basically and on top of this, to get away from sort of legalese, the embassy is also tasked specifically with interviewing the applicant for the visa and there are things like the fraud prevention unit which may be utilized if a case is flagged as a possibly hide fraud case. And then on top of that due to recent executive orders from President Trump, certain extreme vetting protocols are also undertaken by Department state officials at the U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate abroad in going ahead and determining if the individual in question needs to be placed in again more heightened scrutiny with respect to the post before the visa application the adjudication is concluded.

It should be noted that if family visa cases, things like a 221-G which is a request for further documentation which is issued by embassy officials as we discussed 221-Gs in detail in another video on this channel but it should be noted that a 221-G could be issued by a consular officer. Denial could be issued by a consular officer although in family cases, they're going to need to state a reason for the denial and then finally the U.S. embassy consular officers at the U.S. embassy may go ahead and approve a visa application and upon approval, they'll go ahead and issue the visa and send the visa to the applicant. And after interview, generally the visa takes 7 to 10 days if it's approved. That again, these are processing protocols happening here in Thailand.

So what's similar in other jurisdictions around Southeast Asia but could be very dissimilar in other regions? So each embassy as has been explained in other videos on this channel, each embassy is going to do things very differently from the others in a way the jurisdictions are going to have their own unique way of doing things which is sort of comes part and parcel with dealing with an entirely different nation state for each embassy in each consulate. So sort of to sum up, the embassy is usually the last for family visa cases they're sort of the last stop on the train to getting one's visa to the United States and in most cases, the U.S. Embassy is going to place a pretty high degree of certainty on the visa applicant as their function really is to go ahead and make this final adjudication with respect to a visa application and look at this foreign national and ascertain whether or not they should be granted a visa to the U.S.A.