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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawWhy a Backlog for K-3, CR -1, and IR-1 Visas from Thailand?

Why a Backlog for K-3, CR -1, and IR-1 Visas from Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the backlog in the Marriage Visa category of Visas so we are talking about the K-3, the CR-1 in the IR-1 Visa here. For those who are unaware, we have done another video contemporaneously with this one where we discuss this in the context of the K-1 Fiancé Visa. If you are interested in the Fiancé Visa, go check out that video. So the reason I made this video is I was reading a recent sort of press release from the USCIS, that is and it is under the heading: Proposed Fee Rule Frequently Asked Questions. 

Q: How did current backlogs accumulate in the first place? 

A: "As described in our recent progress report, receipts decreased dramatically in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and revenue temporarily dropped by 40%. A hiring freeze and workforce attrition reduced the Agency's capacity to complete cases, even as incoming caseloads rebounded to pre-Covid levels."

Well that is kind of like saying 'we have a backlog because we have got a backlog' in a sense, but I do get what they are saying. COVID shut them down, their revenue dropped by 40%, they stopped hiring people and then the cases came flooding back in. I mean it is almost a microcosm my issues with COVID generally which is, they shut down for reasons they have never been able to explain to me adequately, I didn't think it was very necessary. Then their shut down policies ended up being adversely affected by sort of the system coming back online sort of organically and sort of an unstoppable force hit an immovable object in the middle of the Bureaucracy that we call the Department of Homeland Security and we have the situation we have now. 

In the context of K-1 that would be the end of the story and it fundamentally is the end of the story in the context of a Fiancé Visa. In the context of the IR-1 and CR-1 visas, but not the K-3, that being said as a practical matter we are not seeing a lot of K-3 processing due to a doctrine or sort of an internal rule within the National Visa Center called the policy of Administrative Closure; I have done a number of videos on that. Long story short we don't see a lot of K-3s. But in terms of a Marriage Visa, CR-1 or IR-1, yeah there is a backlog and some of it is from Department of Homeland Security. I would say a much bigger factor in the backlog is the National Visa Center being quite honestly a quagmire. It is just difficult to deal with on the best of days and not something that particularly makes any sense. Honestly I kind of view it as akin to like something from the Soviet Union being brought back to life and digitized in 2023. It really, the back and forth on it is not good; interacting with the National Visa Center, not good. The whole thing doesn't make any sense to me because in my mind Consular Officers at Embassies and Consulates abroad should be fulfilling these functions. Honestly on top of it, it is also massively redundant because Department of Homeland Security has already organized a file that basically has virtually everything in it that NVC ends up asking for, they end up asking for it all over again even though Department of Homeland Security is going to send their file to the State Department so they are going to see most of the documentation that is being requested, again redundant to pretty much an absurd degree. I am just not a big NVC fan, if you can't tell but long story short, yeah there has been a backlog, we are still dealing with it, for whatever reason it came about we are still dealing with it. On top of that you have still got to deal with the NVC quagmire so yeah, Immigrant Spouse Visas especially are going to move, at least in the foreseeable future, slower due to the backlog. I am hoping by the end of this year, we will see this cleared up and we will not be having these same problems. That said, dare to dream; I was hoping this by the end of 2020, 2021 and 2022 so maybe I am overly optimistic. I hope I am not and I hope we really see movement in the US Immigration space sooner rather than later.