A number of Irish immigrants were among those detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement this week. Confidentiality prevents us from releasing further information at this time. We can confirm our Chaplain Fr. John McCarthy and Attorney Chris Lavery are providing assistance to those in need of same.
We can confirm that it has come to our attention that a number of Irish immigrants have been altering their passports using fake visa stamps to obtain drivers licenses. We recognize the need for changes to regulations allowing immigrants not yet in lawful status to apply for a drivers licenses, get tested and insured properly, said Chris Lavery, who fielded a number of calls on the subject on Wednesday morning. But we have always advised people not to alter or tamper with government documents in an attempt to convince registry officials they are lawful present in the US.
April 15 is the IRS imposed tax filing deadline for most. People are reminded that having taxes in order is of benefit in immigration and US citizenship filings. In fact, having tax returns filed is part of the immigration reform framework agreement agreed by the US Senate group presently working on reform proposals in DC.
Calls from overseas
This week one of my callers was an Irish man living in France. He had hoped to apply for an H1b visa but since it has been suggested by USCIS that they are all gone for the coming year, he has now decided to enter the US on a fiancé visa. His US citizen fiancé will have to petition for him. Declan had thought about entering the US as a tourist and then marrying his girlfriend but we warned him that this could be construed as visa fraud by USCIS and could result in denial of his visa petition.
This is a topic I have not covered in a long time so this week we’re providing some general information on the process. The fiancé visa is also referred to as the K-1 visa.
K-1 Fiancé Visas
If your fiancé is residing overseas, and you intend marrying in the US, you have to submit a petition for a K visa or fiancé visa to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will need to obtain a Form I-129F from US CIS. Forms are free at www.uscis.gov
Form I-129 comes with two pages of instructions. Form I-129 should come with two G-325 forms attached to it. You and your fiancé will need to complete a G-325 each. You may also need to submit an I-134 with the fiancé visa petition. This is an affidavit to state that you will be able to support your fiancé following his entry to the US. Do not mistake this I-134 with the Form I-864 that is part of the package of paperwork you will need to submit to CIS following your marriage in the US.
The fiancé visa is applied for at the CIS Regional Service Center (in the Northeast, at the Vermont Service Center). It takes one to two months to process. After approval, it can take 3 to 6 months to obtain a fiancé visa, which is issued at the US Embassy in your fiancé’s home country. The US citizen will receive a copy of the approval of the fiancé visa, and the US Embassy overseas will subsequently receive a copy of the approval notice. It can sometimes take a few weeks for the approval notice to get to the US Embassy overseas, and your fiancé may contact them by phone or walk in to the embassy. Because US CIS timeframes vary, there is no way to confirm how long this process can take. Problems with fingerprints, background security checks, and medical examination scheduling problems may delay the K petition for several months.
The consular officer will notify the beneficiary when the approved petition is received and provide to the beneficiary the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a "K" visa. A fiancé visa applicant is an intending immigrant and, therefore, must meet documentary requirements similar to the requirements of an immigrant visa applicant. The following documents are normally required:
-- Valid passport
-- Birth certificate
-- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
-- Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
-- Medical examination
-- Evidence of support
-- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
At the IPC, staff may provide you with general direction on how to proceed with a fiancé and 1-485 adjustment of status petition. In this scenario there is no need to submit an I-130 as the I-129 is the visa petition. It is a document intensive process. See the CIS website if you need forms: www.uscis.gov
Next Legal Clinic
Our next legal clinic will be on May 7th at 6:30 pm in The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester. Meantime call or email me with any questions.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.