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US Visa Thailand: Petition Approval and ReAuthorization

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 pertaining to petition validity.

What are we talking about here? Basically in cases, let's go ahead talk about U.S. marriage visa cases, essentially in the process you get a receipt notice from U.S. immigration authorities with Department of Homeland Security and then there's a secondary notice upon approval of the petition. There's a notice of approved petition. In that approval notice which is sometimes called NOA 2 or Notice of Action 2.

If you read online, you'll see things like NOA-1 or Notice of Action 1 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, this expiration date can be rather be vaccine to individuals who are going through this process and oftentimes, they 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 out 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 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, colloquially referred to as "pocket authority" to re-validate the underlying visa petition. So for example due to 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 to do this as really a matter of routine although it may not be the best idea to take that as a given in a moment but as a routine, in cases such as this you know you're coming in with a petition that's expired by a few days or maybe even by a few weeks, the consular officer will just go ahead and 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 great concern with respect to the process. That being said, again it is not necessarily a good idea to go ahead and take that pocket authority and re-validation for granted because 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 a 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 a period of time."

Basically on the understanding that it's probably a good idea if a significant amount of time has elapsed, there could've been material changes in the life or lifestyles of the underlying petitioner-beneficiary and perhaps a re-petitioning is warranted just to be sure all due diligence has been conducted with respect to the bonafides of the underlying relationship. Again, we're talking about marriage visas here.

Same can be said with fiancee visas. Again this petition validity, it is an issue it's not a grave issue. But it can be an issue. It's something to keep in mind with respect to visa processing because it keeps individuals' eyes on the ball with respect to keeping up the process, essentially making certain everybody's moving things forward. It's sort of a good negative thing that you have to keep in mind when your processing comes through. It's something that causes people to essentially keep the process moving.

Again, because failure to do this stuff in a timely manner, dealing with the process in a timely manner, if it stretches out to months and years, there's a possibility that the consular officer won't re-validate the underlying petition for various reasons and re-petitioning will be necessary which essentially causes the whole process to start over. Again, not a grave concern but at the same time a concern. It's something that I want you to be aware 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.