This posting is meant to act as a sort of primer for those researching the K1 visa process for a Taiwanese loved one.
The K-1 visa process seems to unerringly begin with USCIS: the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. This agency is under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Homeland Security and is tasked with adjudicating visa petitions for those seeking US visa benefits. For those seeking a fiance visa for a foreign loved one USCIS is responsible for adjudicating the I-129f petition as well as the supporting documentation associated therewith. Many are under the mistaken impression that the USCIS petition is simply a formality. In point of fact, this is a serious adjudication in which an officer scrutinizes the merits of the evidence in an attempt to make an informed decision as to whether the Petitioner and Beneficiary overcome the legal requirements for visa issuance pursuant to the provisions of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.
Making the assumption that the K-1 visa petition receives approval it will then be processed out of USCIS’s custody and remitted to the Department of State, specifically the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC acts as a kind of logistical clearinghouse for K-1 visa applications, although this office plays a much more active role in many immigrant family visa cases. After NVC is finished processing, the case will be forwarded to the appropriate United States Mission abroad. In the case of Taiwan, this is the American Institute in Taiwan.
Once the case file arrives at the American Institute in Taiwan an application for a K1 visa will need to be remitted to the Immigrant Visa Unit. Contemporaneously with a visa interview a Consular Officer will adjudicate the K1 visa application and either approve or deny the application. A widely held misconception exists which holds that all visa denials are final. In fact, a 221(g) is a visa denial, but pending further evidence. Thus, if further evidence is submitted in furtherance of a pending visa application, then the visa application could ultimately be approved. However, if a Consular Officer finds that a visa applicant is legally inadmissible to the United States, then that finding may be remedied only by virtue of an I-601 or I-212 waiver of inadmissibility. In a relatively small number of cases, a waiver may not be available as a remedy to the prospective beneficiary, but this depends upon the facts surrounding the finding of inadmissibility. Should a waiver application receive approval then the beneficiary will be issued his or her K1 visa subsequent to the issuance of the waiver.
Those pondering the idea of retaining the services of an Immigration lawyer should keep in mind that it is generally wise to seek the credentials of anyone claiming licensure as an attorney from the USA.
Benjamin Hart is an attorney from the USA, the Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and a Director of White & Hart Ltd.. To contact please call 1-877-231-7533 or +66 (0)2-266-3698. Email: [email protected] See them online at: K1 visa process or for information about attorney assistance with Consular Processing please see: American Institute Taiwan .