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This Week in Immigration News: K-1 Visa Interviews Prioritized, DOS Expands Interview Waiver Eligibility for Certain Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants, USCIS Cancels Planned Furloughs

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We would like to wish our readers a very great start of the week. In this blog post, we will be covering recent and exciting developments in immigration law.


K-1 Visa Applicants

We have great news for K-1 fiancé visa applicants. Today, August 31, 2020, the Department of State issued an important announcement for K visa applicants. Effective August 28, 2020, the Department of State has given Consular sections the authority to grant K visa cases “high priority.” This directive applies to Consulates and Embassies worldwide and gives Consular posts the discretion to prioritize the scheduling of K visa interviews, as country conditions allow during the Coronavirus pandemic.

DOS has encouraged applicants to check the website of their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for updates on what services that post is currently able to offer.

Revalidating the I-129F Petition

DOS has also stated that while the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is valid for a period of four months, consular officials have the authority to revalidate the I-129F petition in four-month increments.

In addition, the announcement states that for most cases impacted by the suspension of routine visa services or COVID-19 travel restrictions, it will not be necessary to file a new I-129F petition.


Interview Waiver Eligibility for Certain Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants

The Department of State announced on August 25, 2020, that Consular officials at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad can temporarily waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification.

Previously, interview waiver eligibility was limited to applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 12 months. The new announcement temporarily extends the expiration period to 24 months.

Those who wish to apply for an interview waiver should review the website of their nearest U.S. embassy or Consulate for detailed information on what services are currently available, as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.

Applicants may also wish to email the Embassy or Consulate directly making reference to the DOS announcement.


USCIS Cancels Planned Furloughs – What that means for you

We are pleased to report to our readers that USCIS has cancelled its planned furlough of 70% of its workforce, however applicants should expect continued delays including an increase in backlogs and wait times across the board. The furlough cancellations will not improve the long wait times applicants are currently experiencing, and there is no guarantee that USCIS will be able to avoid future furloughs.

At the moment USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year but continues to need government funding to sustain the agency through fiscal year 2021.

As it stands, applicants will continue to experience increased wait times for pending case inquiries with the USCIS Contact Center (service requests), long case processing times, and increased adjudication of adjustment of status and naturalization applications. Naturalization oath ceremonies however will continue to be scheduled on a regular basis.

For more information about these furlough cancellations please click here.


Helpful Links

We hope this information was helpful and share helpful links where you can find more information about these new developments.


Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text or call 619-569-1768.


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