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US Visa Petition Validity and Re-Authorization

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to briefly discuss a question that came up rather recently from one of my clients with respect to U.S. immigration. It's a matter of pertaining to visa petition validity. What are we talking about here? Basically in cases, let's go talk U.S. marriage visa cases. Essentially in the process, you get a receipt notice from U.S. immigration authorities with Department Homeland Security. And then there's a secondary notice upon approval of the petition. There's a notice of an approved petition. In that approval notice which is sometimes called NOA-2 or notice of action two, if you read online you'll see things like NOA 1 or Notice of Action one which is basically the receipt notice.

NOA-2, when you get the approval notice from U.S. immigration, that approval notice basically stipulates a time frame of validity of the underlying petition and this approved petition validity, this time period, its expiration date can be rather vexing to individuals who are going through this process. And oftentimes, I get rather disconcerted phone calls from individuals who are undertaking the immigration process because they want to know “Oh my gosh, the visa petition validity is running up and we don't have an interview date yet or we don't have something done.” Have no fear, the overall situation with respect to petition authority or with respect to petition approval and the expiration of said petition is often rather easily dealt with and it's rather easily dealt with because consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas have what I rather colloquially refer to as pocket authority to re-validate the underlying visa petition.

So let's say for example, due to you know unforeseen factors and due to circumstances beyond one's control, the visa interview is going to occur a few days after the underlying visa petition approval has expired. The consular officer and it's been my experience that they do this as really a matter of routine although it may not be the best idea to sort of take. That as a given, and I'll explain in a moment but as a matter of rather of routine in cases such as this where you know you're coming in with a petition, that's expired by a few days or maybe even a few weeks, the consular officer will go ahead and just re-validate the petition utilizing their authority and continue processing the case notwithstanding the issues pertaining to the underlying petition.

So it's not really a matter of utterly grave concern with respect to the process. That being said, again it's not necessarily a good idea to go ahead and take that pocket authority of re-validation for granted because say for example, months or years passed between the underlying petition approval and a desire to undertake consular processing, in a case such as years going by without demonstrating some kind of significantly serious issue that justifies the delay, there's pretty good chance that the consular officer is going to say, “Well I'm not going to re-validate that petition. It's been quite period of time.” Basically on the understanding that is probably a good idea. If a significant amount of time is elapsed, there could have been material changes to the life or lifestyle of the underlying petition or beneficiary. And perhaps a re-petitioning is warranted just to make sure all due diligence has been conducted with respect to the bona fides of the underlying relationship.

Again, we're talking marriages visas here. Same can be said for fiance visas. Again this petition validity, it is an issue. It's not a grave issue but it can be an issue and it's something to keep in mind with respect to visa processing because it keeps individuals eyes on the ball with respect to, you know, keeping up the process essentially sort of making certain that everybody's moving things forward. It's sort of a good negative thing that you have to sort of keep in mind when you're processing this stuff through. It's something that causes people to essentially keep the process moving again because failure to go ahead and do this stuff in a timely manner and deal with the process in a timely manner, if it stretches out in months and years, there's a possibility that the consular officer won't re-validate the underlying petition for various reasons and repetition will be necessary which essentially causes the whole process to start over again. Again, not a grave concern but at the same time a concern and something that one should be aware of when dealing especially with the consular processing aspects of visa processing but not something to get overly concerned about if it's just a matter of a few days.