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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawThe K-3 Marriage Visa Process in 2020

The K-3 Marriage Visa Process in 2020

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-3 Marriage Visa and in this video we are discussing it specifically in the context of the recent turnover of our calendar; so we are now in 2020. 

I often times get enquiries or questions from folks who are asking about the overall process and they oftentimes ask me "Does anything really change year-to-year?"  Well the New Year itself is not some bright line wherein things just magically change with respect to the process overnight; it has a more gradual flow to it. That being stated, 2019 was something of a change. Overall I felt like it was very different with respect to prior years dealing with the US Immigration system and I think that 2020 will probably continue that theme. 

So the first thing to think about with respect to K-3 Visa processing and an issue that I think was an issue in 2019, it will also be an issue in 2020 is the issue of Administrative Closure of K-3 Visa cases. K-3 matters, it should be noted the K-3 is a supplemental visa category. It was created under the Life Act under President Clinton at a time when standard Immigrant Spouse Visas were processing at quite a slow pace. Basically they created the K-3 as an expedited Marriage Visa for those foreign spouses of American citizens. That usage or the necessity of the K-3, kind of fell by the wayside when USCIS under the Department of Homeland Security, became more efficient in the years following the creation of the K-3. Around 2010-2011 we started seeing the National Visa Center administratively closing K-3 cases on the basis that they weren't necessary because the underlying immigrant case had already processed through. 

So the thing to take away from this video is in 2020 I think Administrative Closure remains an issue with respect to the K-3. Meanwhile, as with the K-1, presuming one goes ahead and processes a K-3 or seeks one, as with a K-1 or the Immigrant Spouse Visas, we have definitely seen an increase in the issuances of Requests for Evidence compared to years past. Basically cases that we have seen and filed that we felt were rather exhaustive with respect to documentation, they have still gone ahead and issued Requests for Evidence. Now you could argue that they are simply "dotting the i's, crossing the t's" but this should also be noted in the context of a memo which came out in recent years which basically allowed discretion on the part of the adjudicating officer to deny cases much more easily compared to times past. As a result of that finding, the RFE perhaps is brought into a more drastic light if you will. RFEs could in theory lead to case denial so for that reason, it is probably a good idea to have legal help or at least guidance, a legal consultation if you will, in order to better understand how the process works and to put oneself on the best footing as they can with respect to processing and filing K-3 Visas.

Another thing to note is the fact that I think as with 2019, especially in the context of the increased issuance of Requests for Evidence, do-it-yourself cases, I think it is going to be increasingly difficult for folks to do these cases sort of DIY do-it-yourself K-3. That is not to say that it comes from any inability on the part of folks to process the case, it is just an increasingly, I hesitate to say it but I think it's an accurate word, the process just seems to becoming increasingly Byzantine and as a result I think it is going to be increasingly difficult for folks to do these kind of cases themselves. That is to say it is not impossible but those who are looking at seeking a K-3, it is probably not a terrible idea to at least get some legal guidance in seeking that type of Visa benefit as failure to do so could lead to delays and possibly even denials.