Saturday, January 9, 2010



If you are an American citizen you have two ways to bring your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States to live. They are:
  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1) - An immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 is required.
  • Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) - It is important to note that application for the nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) who married a U.S. citizen must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.  After the visa process has been completed, and the visa is issued, the spouse can travel to theUnited States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case.
  • Two petitions are required:
  • Petition for Alien Relative, Form 1-130; and
  • Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F
Fiancé(e) - If you are an American citizen, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United Statesto marry and live here.
  • Nonimmigrant visa for fiancé(e) (K-1) - To travel to the United States for marriage. An I-129F fiancé(e) petition is required.

What Is a “Fiancé(e)”?
A fiancé(e) is a person who is engaged or contracted to be married. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the state in the United States  where the marriage will take place.
In general, the two people must have met in person within the past two years. The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants some exceptions to this requirement. For example, it may be contrary in some traditions for a man and woman to meet before marriage.
Sometimes the USCIS considers a person a "fiancé(e)" even though a marriage contract has been concluded. In such cases, the American citizen petitioner and his/her spouse have not met, and they have not consummated the marriage.

How Does a Fiancé(e) Visa Work?
If you are an American citizen and you want your foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the United States to marry you and live in the U.S., you must file Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) in the United States.
Filing the Petition
You must file the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e),  Form I-129F, with the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the area where you live. See the Department of Homeland Security's USCIS Field Offices for information on where you can file the petition. Note: You cannot file this petition at an embassy, consulate or U.S.  immigration office abroad.
After the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to National Visa Center  for processing, prior to sending it to the embassy or consulate where your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e).
What Should I Know about International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)?
Detailed information about the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) of 2005 petition requirements are shown in the new  Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) instructions.
Extending the Petition
The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. Consular officers can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires before the processing of the visa application is completed.
A Fiancé(e) Is Also an Immigrant Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry an American citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.
Applying for a Visa
The consular section at the embassy or consulate where you, the fiancé(e) of an American citizen, will apply for a visa, will tell you about any additional specific requirements that you need to fulfill to complete your visa application, such as where you need to go for the required medical examination. During the interview process, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be taken. The following is required:
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States.
  • Birth certificate
  • Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse for both the applicant and the petitioner
  • Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
  • Medical examination (vaccinations are optional, see below)
  • Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support may be requested.)
  • Two Nonimmigrant Visa Applications, Form DS-156 (A Form DS-156, prepared in duplicate.)
  • One Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application, Form DS-156K
  • Two nonimmigrant visa photos (each two inches 50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background)
  • Evidence of a fiancé relationship
  • Payment of fees, as explained below.
The consular officer may ask for additional information according to the circumstances of the case. Documents in foreign languages should be translated.
Take clear, legible photocopies of civil documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, to the interview. Original documents can then be returned to you.
Fees - How Much Does It Cost?
Fees are charged for the following services:
  • Filing an Alien Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee
  • Medical examination (costs vary from post to post)
  • Fingerprinting fees, if required
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and expenses for travel to the embassy or consulate for an interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
  • Filing  Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
For current fees for Department of State, government services select Fees.
Vaccination Requirements:
All applicants for immigrant visas are required to have the following vaccinations, if appropriate, for age, medical condition, or medical history:
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Tetanus and diptheria toxoids
  • Pertussis
  • Influenza type B
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella
  • Pneumococcal
As a fiancé(e), you are not required to fulfill this requirement at the time of your medical examination for a fiancé(e) visa. However, you may want to do so. These vaccinations are required when you adjust status following your marriage.

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Aliens with extraordinary ability are those with "extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation." You must be one of "that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor," to be granted this classification. For example, if you receive a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, you will qualify for an EB-1 classification. Other awards may also qualify if you can document that the award is in the same class as a Nobel Prize. Since few workers receive this type of award, alternative evidence of EB-1 classification based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below, is permitted. The worker may submit "other comparable evidence" if the following criteria do not apply:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  4. Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
  5. Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Evidence that the alien's work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  9. Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.

Outstanding professors and researchers are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field. In addition, an outstanding professor or researcher must have at least three years experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and enter the U.S. in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. If the employer is a private company rather that a university or educational institution, the department, division, or institute of the private employer must employ at least three persons full time in research activities and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in the academic field must include documentation of at least two of the following:
  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  2. Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements;
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field;
  4. Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.

Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S. may qualify. A multinational manager or executive is eligible for priority worker status if he or she has been employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year by a firm or corporation and seeks to enter the U.S to continue service to that firm or organization. The employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.
The petitioner must be a U.S. employer, doing business for at least one year, that is an affiliate, a subsidiary, or the same employer as the firm, corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreign national abroad. Definitions of terms relevant to this EB-1 category are found in 8 CFR § 204.5.
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The UK Government today announced the go-live date for Tiers 2 and 5 of the new Australian-style points based system (PBS).
These tiers, which cover skilled and temporary workers, will come into effect on 27 November – sweeping aside around 30 previous schemes, including the old work permit system. This is part of the biggest shake-up to the UK immigration system for 45 years. It will reinforce the UK’s position as a destination of choice for foreign workers, while tightening control against those who seek to abuse the system.
The changes will also end the Working Holiday Maker scheme which allowed 17 to 30 year olds from commonwealth countries to live and work in the UK as part of a cultural exchange. Anyone wanting to go the UK to work must from the 27th November qualify for a visa under Tier 1 or 2 of the PBS (provision is also specifically made for work in creative, sporting,
voluntary and religious sectors under tier 5 of the PBS).
To qualify under Tier 2, skilled foreign nationals will have to earn a certain number of points before being allowed to work in Britain. These points are awarded only if a person can prove they will be doing skilled work, speak a good standard of English, and have a recognised qualification. Points will also be awarded for prospective earnings. Employers in Britain will need a licence from the UK Border Agency to offer jobs to skilled workers.

The new system is fairer for applicants – allowing them to calculate how many points they will be awarded, and therefore if they are likely to be issued a visa, before making their application. Tier 2 is also simpler because it replaces a two stage application process with a single application.
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:
“The UK is a fantastic place to work and we want the UK to stay open and attractive to skilled workers. At the same time we are determined to deliver a system of border security which is among the most secure in the world.
“The new Australian-style points system will allow us to attract those people who have the skills we need. It is also flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of the labour market and the country as a whole.”
The Home Office will also introduce a new Business Visitor Visa for visa nationals on the 27th November to cater for business activities falling outside the points system. It will allow travel to the UK for people undertaking specific business activity – including attending meetings or conferences, arranging deals, undertaking fact finding missions, and conducting
site visits. Non visa nationals will not need prior entry clearance (visa) to come to the UK to
undertake this work.