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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Monday, October 14, 2013

OCTOBER 2013 CONSULAR PROCESSING UPDATE: DS-160 FORM IS NOW MANDATORY WORLDWIDE.


The U.S. Department of State announced that, effective immediately, the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application will replace the DS-156 Electronic Visa Application form (EVAF), the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa Application), and the paper-based DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (parts I and II) for processing K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications.

The DS-160 replaces the DS-156 Electronic Visa Application Form (EVAF), the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa Application), and the paper-based DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa (IV) and Alien Registration (parts I and II) for processing K-1 and K-2 applications. K-1 and K-2 visas may only be processed at IV-processing posts. K-3 and K-4 visas may be processed at any NIV-issuing post using the normal NIV processing procedure.

We are given to understand that Consular Officers may accept K visa applications using the DS-160 immediately. Posts must require the DS-160 for all K visa applications received more than one week from the date on the recent announcement on the Cable to the Consular Offices abroad. As the DOS transitions to mandatory use of the DS-160 for K visas, we are given to understand that the following exceptions will apply to the "mandatory use"rule:

  •  The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs will not require DS-160s for beneficiaries of cases that have already been scheduled for an interview or have been interviewed and are pending additional documentation or "administrative processing"; and

  •  The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs will not require the new Form for cases received at the Consular Post prior to receipt of the guidance that was recently cabled to the Post. If A DS-156, DS-156K, or DS-230 have already been submitted, or received, then the Consulate has instructed that those Forms should be accepted.

If the Consular Post has not yet provided information to Applicants then it is most likely that the Consular Officer will require the DS-160 to be submitted. Please do note that the U.S. Department of State should not, as a general rule, require the submission of a DS-160 if a valid, signed, unexpired DS-156, DS-156K, or DS-230 is already on file with the Office and requiring the DS-160 would result in a 221(g) refusal for an otherwise issuable case.

This guidance is helpful insofar as many individuals who are the subject of 221(g) administrative holds complain that such holds are a"pretext". If you or your friends or your family experience 221(g administrative holds as a result of an allegation by a Consular Officer that the Forms were improper, please feel free to contact any of the immigration lawyers at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. You can feel free to e-mail to us at info@visaserve.com or you can phone us at 201-670-0006 (x107).

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National in scope, the business immigration law firm of NPZ Law Group represents clients from throughout the United States and around world. Regionally, our attorneys remain committed to serving the immigration needs of businesses in the Tri-state area and the Hudson Valley, including residents of Ridgewood, Newark, and Jersey City, Burlington County, Bergen County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, Salem County, Union County, northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, central New Jersey, NJ; New York City, Rockland County, Orange County, Westchester County, Kings County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, New York, NY; Chicago, Illinois, IL; and Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Our nationwide practice focused on quality legal representation and personal service.



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