If it was through an IMB on March 06, or after, Immigration may request information about the IMB and proof whether they completed the compliance requirements. The Consular Interview Process: Starting on March 06, , the Consular Officer is duty-bound to ask at the Interview if the couple met through an IMB, and if so, the identity of the IMB, and if the IMB provided the gentleman's background information or documents to the foreign woman and obtained her signed consent.
There are provisions in this law which apply to ALL petitioners and couples, regardless of how they met. Section a 1. A Petitioner cannot be approved for a third 3rd K Visa petition unless Petitioner first secures a DHS-approved waiver, or if one petition was approved within the past 24 months, the petitioner must waits two years from date of filing of last approved petition or must secure a DHS-approved waiver. Section a 2. The placing of information about Petitiner's mltiple visa petitions in the new K Visa database and the required notices sent out to the lady beneficiary from that database.
Section a 4. These say that the Consular Officer at Embassy Interview or Immigration Officer at Green Card Interview must review and answer questions about Petitioner's domestic violence and other criminal record with the lady beneficiary in her primary language. This must be distributed and explained to the lady beneficiary regardless of how the couple met, either through an IMB or outside of an IMB. Given that Petitioners will be asked for more information and documents with their IF Petition, DHS and State Department will likely intensify security and background checks on Petitioners and have more and better information-sharing.
As for timing of these government background checks, though there may be exceptions, they are not normally conducted as a general rule until the Petition is filed with USCIS, regardless if the couple met through an IMB or not. A copy of the IF Petition with the gentleman's answers and any supporting documents and the results of the government backround checks with domestic violence help information are shared with the lady beneficiary no later than at the Consular Interview.
Thus, the lady beneficiary will be privy to more information and documents concerning her Petitioner than ever before, regardless of how the couple met. The language of the law is carefully "gender-neutral". What is the purpose of this law asking for my criminal history and past domestic violence records? Does this mean that if I have a criminal history or past domestic violence record, my visa petition or my fiancee or spouse's request for visa will be automatically denied?
How do I "get around" this problem, if I can?
The purpose of the law asking for the U. First, the law is meant to provide some abuse protection to foreign immigrant women. By allowing the foreign national woman to review and consider the criminal history and past domestic violence records of her gentleman in her language, the law purports to help her decide if she wishes to start or continue her relationship, or secure and use her visa to visit her suitor in the U.
The second purpose in requiring criminal and domestic violence records of the gentleman petitioner is to assist the Consular Officer in excercising his or her discretion in issuing the visa. Needless to say, a criminal history or domestic violence by itself would not normally result in an automatic denial of a visa.
But it is indeed a factor which can be taken into account by the Consular Officer in his discretionary decision-making, with much depending on how recent and severe the history actually is.
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Naturally, criminal history and domestic violence records involving violent sexual offenses, or criminal fraud or mispresentation, which are very recent and resulted in felony conviction and serious incarceration are far more grave than for example, a simple arrest 20 years ago for DUI. In some cases, we have seen the Consular Officer require a gentleman petitioner with a serious criminal or domestic violence record to secure a "co-signer" as a condition of allowing the issuance of a visa. Currently, the regulations and guidelines only allow for a "financial co-signer".
But the Consulate has interpreted the guidelines as only guidelines, and can call for a co-signer even when the petitioner's income and assets appear to satisfy the poverty threshold, if otherwise warranted. We do not suggest to people that there is a good way to "get around" all this; it is far better to tell the truth and comply with the rules.
If in the unfortunate event that there is a petition or visa denial, then all the legal remedies which might be available should be reviewed, such as appeals, motions to re-consider, motions to re-open, waivers and new visa petitions. People who wish to review their own criminal and domestic violence history should contact the county courts they have dealt with in the past which may have issued orders or recorded hearings. Many state police and state attorney general offices allow you to order your state-wide criminal history information.
Check with them or just visit their websites on the Internet or through a search engine.
There are also private services on the Internet and otherwise who may be able to secure your criminal history information, for a fee. Other websites worth investigating: The National Sex Offender public registry and your state public registry. Revised July I heard that there is a numerical limit to the number of K Visa petitions someone can file? What is that all about? I also heard about time limiation to K Visa petition filings, namely a two 2 year waiting period. I also heard about a special "waiver" or exception that is possible for people who have filed two or more K Visa petitions before or for someone who had a K Visa petition approved in the past 24 months?
How does all that work? Citizen petitioner can file under this new law specifically the K-1 Fiancee Visa. See the wording of Section a 2.
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However, the law words these limits in a complicated fashion. For example, we disagreed with those commentators who called it a "lifetime limit" of three 3 K Visas fiancee or spousal , because the exact words of this law do NOT say "you are limited to three lifetime K visas". In other words, if petitioner filed 2 or more K Visa petitions, AND the last one was approved in the past 24 months: In short, if one ever filed in the past two or more K Visa petitions, then they must file for a waiver.
OR, if one has a K Visa petition approved for them in the past 24 months, then they must wait 24 months from the filing date of the first petition before filing for the next one, or otherwise secure the waiver.
As for what a waiver actually is, the new law does not define precisely what the "waiver" is or the requirements for such a waiver. However, the Immigration Service regulations implementing the new law, which are expected soon, will undoubtedly address these issues. We do know that a waiver must be submitted in writing, together with the reasons for the claim of waiver and supporting documentation. Any waiver is planly a matter of "fairness and equity", and thus it would appear that a showing of some compelling equitable circumstances is necessary to make a claim to a potential successful waiver.
If the waiver is anything like existing I waivers which apply to visa denial cases and are based on a legal concept called "extreme hardship" of a U. Section a 2 B does state that such a waiver shall NOT be granted if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses. For one Congressman's view on the waiver topic, see Statement of Rep. D-MI on the House floor on December 17, , just moments before the law was passed by "voice vote". Our Office will handle selected waiver cases. Waiver Cases Combined with all of the above, the new law mandates the creation of a K Visa Petition Tracking Database, which will track and monitor all K Visa petition filings and likely discourage multiple filings and multiple filers.
Our office is thus advising people that they probably will no longer enjoy the prospect of unlimited "bites at the apple" for K Visas. You can read the actual words of the law here: Does this law affect U. At the adjustment interview, the Immigration Officer is required to provide the results of any government background check on the gentleman to the lady, supply to the lady any of the gentleman's criminal convictions and domestic violence orders in her primary language, and give her a copy of the government domestic violence pamphlet and explain it to her in her language.
The Immigration Officer is also required to ask the lady if the couple met through an International Marriage Broker, and if so, obtain the IMB's identity and confirm that the IMB provided to the lady all the background information and documents required under this law. What if a U. In our view, one needs to be cautious about "magic loopholes" touted by rumors and the Internet "chat boards".
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Specifically, for example, the Visa Petition limit section, Sec. K Visas , and not I Petition. Thus, it might be true that no written waiver would need to be requested by a petitioner with multiple-visa petition approval history. On the other hand, we think that there really is no "magic loophole" or "free pass" found in IMBRA to many aspects of an I Petition filing only i. One example is the multiple-visa petition database. Every fiancee or spousal petition which would seem to include I Spousal petitions would be put into the database, and thus could trigger the future need for a waiver in case the petitioner later filed a IF Fiancee Visa petition.
The notification requirements would be another example. Under circumstances where the petitioner has a history of multiple visa petition filings, to include past I spousal petitions, Homeland Security would be required, in case petitioner filed a future fiancee visa petition, to notify the Beneficiary in writing of petitioner's past multiple filings.
Another example is the background security check. These checks are just as intense and careful for an I Petition i. Any checkered or troubled past of the petitioner, in the way of criminal records, or domestic violence, or past visa and immigration history would likely come to light anyway, and be told to the Beneficiary at interview for her self-protection. In other words, she would be told anyway of all of his past filings and past criminal and domestic violence history, even though he is doing the I Petition only, and thus he should plan to tell her just as he would have to if the waiver requirement applied anyway under the IF Petition.
Thus, if the married couple first met through an international marriage broker, that information would be disclosed and reviewed, together with IMB compliance issues, just as if the petition in issue were an IF K Visa petition. A marriage certificate is viewed as prima facie evidence of a sincere marriage relationship, but Consular Officer discretion allows questioning beyond and behind the marriage certificate to determine the legitimacy of on-going marriage and lack of fraud, which was true even before IMBRA.
In other words, the prima facie evidence of marriage certificate is a "plus" in the case for visa issuance, but by no means a "guarantee". In fact, ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement has recently intensified investigation and arrest of marriage and immigration fraud cases. See Operation Newlywed Game: Section b 2 specifically states that the domestic violence brochure shall be given to spouses as well as fiancees at all family-based interviews at the Consulate or for adjustment of status in the U.
Thus, the I petition filing only does not blunt the domestic violence brochure. Conyers on the House floor in December , was to prevent U. Consider the following example, albiet stark and extreme. Regular dating sites don't take your money and pare you with someone, you do it all yourself even if you pay for membership or not. I'm not too familiar with International Cupid, but a quick Google search indicates it shouldn't fall under the restrictions. You may get an RFE and need to provide evidence NOA1 electronic notification received.