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K-1 Visa Thailand: IMBRA and Multiple Filings

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're discussing specifically the K-1 and we're going to get into some specifics about IMBRA, the so-called International Marriage Broker Regulation Act and things that have to do with multiple filers of K-1.

The K-1 is something of an interesting document in so far as it's a dual intent visa so it processes like an immigrant visa and in some cases, processes significantly faster than spousal visas. It's also, for purposes of overall processing, treated as an immigrant visa notwithstanding the fact the K-1 is only issued for a 90-day period validity for that person in the United States. Within that 90-day period, that individual needs to marry that America citizen fiancée and go ahead and adjust status to permanent residence. We've talked about all these matters and other videos on this channel.

Specifically today, we're going to talk about some of the implications with respect to the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act.  There are certain disclosures that were added as a result of this act that pertain to marriage brokers. And IMBRA kind of harkens back to the time that's really kind of past, that sort of predates social media and things like this. Back to a time where there were situations where individuals from the United States who travel abroad utilizes the services of a so-called marriage broker who would then put them in contact with interested and eligible counterparts to go ahead and sort of make a decision or ascertain whether or not there was a match there to go ahead and get married.

It seems like Congress determined that there might have been some issues with respect to things like abuse and possibly trafficking was probably thought of when they were essentially debating this legislation and going ahead promulgating it. And it was determined that in circumstances where a marriage broker was specifically utilized in creating the match. That needs to be disclosed with respect to a K-1 application. Basically, the state wants to make sure that there's no elements, it seems to be the state wants to make sure that there's no elements sort of force. Everybody has to be entering into this situation with their eyes open, there's no elements of coercion or anything like this involved.

Another thing that sort of runs parallel like IMBRA is the issue of multiple filings. I can actually remember long ago, 15 to 20 years from the time of this filming 20-20 piece or something, 60 minutes or something. There were these people who would go abroad and constantly be filing for K-1 visas to the United States. I'm sure as with many things that happened in the sensationalized press, they took like two to three cases and then just sort of held them up "Wow, is this the standard?" and it really wasn't the standard.

But you know, something needed to be done with respect to the notion of infinitely filing for infinite K-1s for infinite number of fiancées. It's still possible to apply for any number of K-1s but there are now disclosure requirements and there is now partial scrutiny on multiple filers. Waivers still need to be obtained with respect to certain kind of multiple filers and to get into the specifics of how they will work for some things like that, that's a discussion for a different day.

What should be gained from this video is if one utilizes a marriage broker or if one has filed for multiple K-1s in the past, even just K-1 in the past depending on the circumstances, it's definitely a good idea to contact a legal professional to deal with immigration frequently in order to deal with the issue of filing waiver or an IMBRA waiver with respect to the underlying petition as failure to do so can delay or result in overall denial of a petition depending on the circumstances.

Again, just sort of going back to what anecdote I was saying, there was in the past the notion that the K-1 category seemed a little lax and so they came in and said "Look, we're going to go ahead and heavily scrutinize multiple filers for K-1s" and then at the same time, there is a waiver requirement now with respect to multiple filers of K-1s. All of that was implemented in an effort to tighten up the overall category, for lack of better term.

The upshot of all of this and in my opinion, again, is if any of these issues are present in any given case, it's not a bad idea to go ahead contact a legal professional and ascertain whether or not one, what the situation is in this specific case and if this is a surmountable obstacle with respect to the overall process.