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K-1 Visas from Thailand: Biometrics Rule Rescinded

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing K-1 Visas from Thailand. This isn't specifically to Thailand but I am discussing it in this context because this is most of the cases we are dealing with right now. 

The Biometrics rule, a rule that was being promulgated by the prior Administration is now being withdrawn or rescinded. A recent announcement from Department of Homeland Security, titled: DHS Withdraws Proposed Biometrics Rule. Quoting directly: "The Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have expanded Department Authorities and requirements for collecting biometrics by removing age restrictions requiring submission of biometrics for every applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary or other individual filing for or associated with any Immigration or naturalization benefit or requests unless DHS waives or exempts the biometrics requirements codifying the authority to use DNA test results and authorizing the use of additional types of biometric modalities."  

So basically what they are doing here is the prior Administration in my opinion, placed really onerous requirements on folks, as they even note: “associated with any immigration or nationalization benefits". So yeah, biometrics and we are talking about retinal scanning; fingerprints; facial recognition scanning; it may be required for certain immigrants in the United States to do this depending on what types of benefits they are seeking.  For example we see it a lot with respect to Re-entry Permits; an I-131 Request for a Re-entry Permit, they want to do biometrics mostly because they want to record those biometrics so they know who is coming and going from the country. But this thing was going to be really, like I said onerous is really the only word. For example petitioners were going to start having to give biometric data. So Americans for example in the context of a K-1 would have had to do finger prints and maybe even eye scans to get their fiancé into the United States and then presumably, the same thing associated with Adjustment of Status. What we were saying was this was going to be associated with the I-864 form which is the Affidavit of Support and it looked like they were going to require it for like joint sponsors. Oftentimes we will see folks, especially some of our younger couples, where you will see they don't really have the ability to sponsor the applicant but mom or dad may step in and act as a joint sponsor especially during perhaps the Adjustment phase of the process. This was especially the case in the rules that were being brought online by the old Administration where they had this much higher financial obligation requirement. To have then required folks to do like retinal scans associated with dealing with an I-864 with an Affidavit of Support, I mean that just to me seemed pretty over the top and apparently it seemed over the top to this Administration because they are rescinding the rules. 

So it looks like at least for now we have a reprieve from this and hopefully this will continue to be the policy moving forward. But yes, I do understand their security concerns and things out there regarding folks going in to the United States, but this was really over the top. Like I said, petitioners especially American citizens, I suspect it would have been challenged in the courts but it would have taken a while to go through all of that and it would have had, it in my opinion, a rather negative impact on those who are simply trying to unite with their families in the United States.