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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawWhat Are Your Fees for a US Marriage (K3, CR1, IR1) Visa from Cambodia?

What Are Your Fees for a US Marriage (K3, CR1, IR1) Visa from Cambodia?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the fees associated with a US Marriage Visa. So we are discussing the K-3 visa, the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 Visa. Those are Marriage Visas for Cambodian nationals married to a United States citizen. 

I get a fair number of enquiries where I just get an enquiry regarding US Immigration that says "What is your fee for processing a K-3 Visa?" or they say "What is your fee for processing a CR-1 Visa or an IR-1 Visa?", for that matter. My response is "I need to know more. I need more information". Usually we set up a time to talk either over the phone or I correspond further via email or we find some other medium of corresponding so that I can ascertain your background as the petitioner, the background of the potential beneficiary of the Visa; the foreign national concerned. I need to understand the circumstances of your marriage. I need to understand how you met. I need to understand some back story regarding you and I need to understand possibly the criminal history associated with your beneficiary and your beneficiary's Immigration history. Have they ever been to the United States? Have they overstayed a Visa in the past for example? I need this information because I need to know what I am looking at in order to provide a quotation. Let me be clear, services that are out there that are providing a fee before they have even talked to you, they are saying "this is what we charge to do these visas". These visas are not routine. Well I should say some of them are routine. They are very similar in the way that they operate, in the way that they process through.

Yes, in the past there was a much more uniform aspect of the overall process. Many of these cases were different but the overall process was roughly the same or similar. In the Trump Administration we are simply not in that world anymore. The Administrative apparatus, the Administrative processing apparatus, associated with US Immigration has changed pretty fundamentally. We are seeing Requests for Evidence made that we never saw before. We are seeing cases getting held up bureaucratically when we have never seen them held up that way before and this all requires in and of itself, certain extra consideration. Moreover, we are also seeing a situation where criminal activity on the part of the petitioner is of increasing concern to the Immigration apparatus. The criminal history of the proposed beneficiary has always been something that factors in. It is just simply that every case is going to be different. You need to look I think with suspicion on any outfit that is willing to provide a fee quotation usually on their websites or something that just say X number of dollars or X number of Baht X number or whatever currency, to process this case without ever even talking to you. Really?

The other thing to keep in mind is, pursuant to Federal Law 8 CFR 292.1, only an American Attorney is entitled to charge fees in association with the processing of a given Immigration case. So what are you dealing with?  In my opinion, an Attorney needs to know your situation before they are going to quote you a fee. Different Attorneys quote fees differently.  Different attorneys charge differently for different services.  They may break up their fees, they may do hourly rates, they may have flat rates for cases once they have ascertained the facts of them but they need to ascertain the facts of the case. They need to understand what they are dealing with. Any operation and unfortunately in Southeast Asia there is a plethora of fake lawyers and so-called Visa Services, which I have never figured out what exact service they are supposedly providing. Some of them say "oh we help you fill out the forms". Well you can fill out the forms. I mean that is not why people are hiring me, to fill out the forms. They are hiring us to represent them, to assist them because this is a difficult process.

On top of that, the Public Charge Rule has recently changed under the Trump Administration and we are now seeing a lot of analysis going into figuring out if somebody meets the financial criteria for sponsoring a Visa applicant to come to the United States. All of these things have to be taken into consideration. This is all information that a reputable Attorney is going to need to ascertain in order to provide a quotation. So anything you see on the internet that says "it is an X amount of money to process this case", be careful with that. That is not a good idea. Somebody that is willing to quote you before they have even talked to you, that needs to be viewed with extreme caution to the point of suspicion in my opinion and I think it is a good idea if you are looking at that, at least obtain a second opinion so that you understand at least what reputable Attorneys are charging and how they are dealing with the case because I think the comparison between that and some fake lawyer is going to be pretty profound. 

So the thing to take away from this video is fees are going to vary depending on the case and a good Attorney needs to ascertain the facts of a case before they can proceed in providing a fee quotation.