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FEB 2007: Consulates No Longer Authorized to Adjudicate I-130s
JAN 2007: Personal Interview Now Required For Visa Applicants
DEC 2006: Proposed Visa Screen Blanket Denial is Unfair
NOV 2006: Hardship waiver of the two year J-1 Residency
APR 2006: Compromise Bill Emerges Despite Senate Bickering
MAR 2006: Immigration Reform: Looking beyond border patrols for answers
MAR 2003: Immigrant Visa Processing of Foreign Nurses
JAN 2003: Asylum and the Child Status Protection Act
DEC 2002: Recalculating Age for purposes of relief
NOV 2002: New relief for "Age-Out" cases
FEB 2002: Update: Child Citizenship Act of 2001
JAN 2002: Tips: Preparing your "B" visitor extension requests
DEC 2001: The U.S. economic downturn: How the non-immigrant can weather the storm
NOV 2001: Possible immigration consequences of the events of Sep. 11, 2001
APR 2000: Business immigration
MAR 2000: Employment-based adjustment applicants
FEB 2000: INS clarifies status of H1B woker while on leave
JAN 2000: Immediate opening for nurses
DEC 1999: Practical tips in dealing with the US consulate in Manila
NOV 1999: INS Processing delays and how to live with them
OCT 1999: How to maximize your changes of obtaining a B2 tourist visa
SEP 1999: In the aftermath of  245(i) who benefits?
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Consulates No Longer Authorized to Adjudicate I-130s

By Reuben S. Seguritan

US consular offices abroad no longer accept or process I-30 petitions for family-based immigration status, according to a recent memo from the Department of State. They may, however, provide guidance to the petitioner and the relatives being sponsored. Previously, relatives could be petitioned by a US citizen residing abroad.

Under this new rule, which takes effect immediately, the USCIS now has the exclusive responsibility for accepting and processing these relative petitions.

The I-130 petition must be filed with the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the US residence of the petitioner. If an I-130 petition had already been accepted, the consular office is required to forward the petition and supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS office on a “not clearly approvable” basis.

Some delay should be expected in the processing of I-130 cases as a consequence of this regulation.

Unlike the USCIS, consular offices do not have access to criminal history records of petitioners, which will determine eligibility to file an immigrant relative petition.

A thorough background check of the petitioner is mandated under the recently enacted Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The law gives the Secretary of Homeland Security sole and unreviewable discretion to bar the filing of a petition if the petitioner had been convicted of any of the specified offenses against a minor.


These offenses include: (a) kidnapping (unless committed by a parent or guardian); (b) an offense involving false imprisonment (unless committed by a parent or guardian); (c) solicitation to engage in sexual conduct; (d) use in a sexual performance; (e) solicitation to practice prostitution; (f) video voyeurism as described in the US Code; (g) possession, production or distribution of child pornography; (h) criminal sexual conduct involving a minor or the use of the Internet to attempt or facilitate such conduct; and (i) any conduct that by its nature is a sex offense against a minor.

Although many would balk at the ensuing delay brought about by the above regulation, the Department of State recognizes that immigrant petitions may be used as a devise for predatory conduct on minors, especially if these minors come from relatively poor countries. This regulation yields to the tried and tested advice concerning the welfare of children—better safe than sorry.


Editor’s Note: REUBEN S. SEGURITAN has been practicing law for over 30 years. He was former immigration editor and is author of a book on immigrant experiences. He frequently speaks on immigrant issues and for his advocacy efforts he was the recipient of two presidential awards by President Ramos and an award by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. He previously taught business law and international politics. For further information, you may call him at 212 695 5281 or log on to his website at


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