By Susan Schreiber
When you read the words "marriage fraud,” you probably think of a marriage entered into for purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit. Such marriages, among other things, trigger INA § 204(c) consequences, i.e. a bar against petition approval where the beneficiary has previously sought status based on a fraudulent marriage or "has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws."
The DOS has amended the Foreign Affairs Manual to clarify that children under the age of 15 cannot act “willfully” and therefore cannot be found inadmissible for committing fraud or misrepresentation pursuant to INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i). 9 FAM 40.63 N5.3 Minors. For aliens between the ages of 15 to 16, the consular officer will need to determine if the child was acting at the direction of an adult or whether the child was acting on their own. Aliens aged 17 and over are presumed to act willfully unless they can establish a lack of knowledge or capacity.
The DOS has recently announced that it will start a pilot program involving persons applying for an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulates in Cd. Juarez, Mexico (CDJ) and Montreal, Canada. The National Visa Center will be conducting its standard review of the forms and documents submitted by the applicant, including a review of the affidavit of support, civil documents, and police certificates. If a case file is incomplete or lacks proper documentation, the NVC will send a checklist to the petitioner or designated agent indicating what changes are needed.
The Department of State (DOS) recently confirmed that it will accept payment of the immigrant visa fee as satisfying the one-year filing requirement under the Child Status Protection Act. In order for a child in the preference category to retain the “under 21” age status, and thus remain in the F-2A or derivative category, he or she must has “sought to acquire the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence within one year of such availability.” INA § 203(h)(1)(A). The USCIS and DOS have consistently held that this could only be satisfied by filing one of three forms: a
CLINIC congratulates the following affiliates and staff upon receiving BIA recognition and accreditation, respectively:
- The SER Corporation of Kansas, in Wichita, Kansas received BIA agency recognition with Director Richard Lopez receiving BIA partial accreditation on March 27, 2015.
- New member Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana received agency recognition and partial accreditation for staff Sister Joan I. Scheller on March 27, 2015.