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NOTICE TO ALL IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS

The Immigrant Visa Unit will be minimally staffed on Friday, May 27, 2011 for offsite training.  Following observance of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 30, 2011, it will resume normal operations on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE 2012 DIVERSITY VISA PROGRAM

The results of the selection process for the 2012 Diversity Visa (DV-2012) program have been voided.  Results previously available via the Entry Status Check (ESC) function on the Department of State website, dvlottery.state.gov, were posted in error and are now invalid.  The results were not valid because, owing to a computer error, they did not represent a fair, random selection of entrants, as required by U.S. law.   

This means that we have rescinded all notices informing entrants that they had been selected for further processing in DV-2012; if you received such a notice via ESC on dvlottery.state.gov, it is no longer valid.

A new random selection process will be conducted based on the original entries for the DV-2012 program.  If you submitted a qualified entry from October 5, 2010, to November 3, 2010, you do not need to reapply.  Your entry will be included in the new random selection.  Your confirmation number, which is required to determine the status of your entry, remains the same.  We are not accepting new entries for the DV-2012 program.  

We expect the results of the new random selection process to be available by July 15, 2011, via the ESC function on dvlottery.state.gov.

We regret any inconvenience this might have caused. 

For further information and future updates on the 2012 DV program, please see:

http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html.

Expeditious Adjudication of Form I-601

Applicants for Waivers of Inadmissibility, Form I-601, may request that the USCIS office expedite adjudication of the I-601 waiver application when there are extraordinary circumstances that are time-sensitive, compelling, and necessitate the applicant’s presence in the United States sooner than would be possible if the application were processed under normal processing times. The strong desire to immigrate to the United States as soon as possible is not by itself “extraordinary.”

A request to expedite adjudication must be made in writing and delivered to the USCIS Field Office Director.  The applicant must provide evidence of the extraordinary and compelling circumstance.  If the request to expedite the adjudication of an I-601 waiver is approved, the USCIS office will notify the applicant within 15 days of receipt of the request.  If no response is received with 15 days, the applicant must presume the request for the expeditious adjudication has been denied. Please be aware that approval to expedite adjudication of an I-601 waiver application does not guarantee approval of the I-601 waiver application, but only that consideration and adjudication of the I-601 waiver application will be expeditiously handled.

 

 

New E-Mail Address 

In order to serve our visa applicants more efficiently, we have created this new e-mail address: IVMNLAppointments@state.gov, for early appointment requests and visa scheduling issues.  Please note, however, that early appointment requests will be approved on a case to case basis (i.e., aging out cases, or in cases involving personal or medical emergencies), and only if visa interview slots are available.

For other immigrant and K visa concerns, please send an e-mail to IVManilaReplies@state.gov.

Change in USCIS Waiver Receipt

Starting Friday, March 18, 2011, waiver applications (I-601, Application for Waiver on Grounds of Excludability, and I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal) and waiver fee payments must be directly submitted to the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) office in Manila (Window 25),  Mondays through Fridays, between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.  Information and forms about waiver applications may also be obtained at the DHS/USCIS Window 25.   For further inquiries regarding waiver applications, please contact USCIS Manila by telephone at (632) 301-2000 extension 2224, by fax at (632) 301-2208 (Attention: Field Office Director), or by email at  mphinquiry.cis@dhs.gov.

Closure of USCIS Field Office in Ho Chi Minh City

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is closing its field office in Ho Chi Minh City on March 31, 2011. For more information, please click here.  

Diversity Visa Lottery Program Scams

Philippine-born applicants are excluded from the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program. Only natives of countries who are determined by the U.S. Attorney General to be “low admission” countries may compete for immigration under this program.

If you have received an e-mail notification about winning the DV Lottery Program, please ignore it.  DV-2012 applicants will not receive a notification letter from the U.S. government but must check their status online. To learn more about the DV Lottery Program scams, you may visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1749.html. For additional information regarding the DV Lottery Program, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.htmlFor the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the DV, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_5073.html.

Visa Information and Appointment Service Call Hours and New Phone Number

The Visa Information and Appointment Service is now accessible from Monday to Friday only, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., except on Philippine and U.S. holidays. 

In addition to (632) 982-5555 and (214) 571-1600 (for calls from the United States), immigrant and K visa applicants may also request a visa appointment via this new call center number:  (632) 902-8930.   

Notice to Immigrant and K Visa Applicants

We are aware of the difficulties our Immigrant and K visa applicants have experienced with requesting visa interview appointments.  Please be assured that we are trying our best to resolve the current situation and appreciate your patience during our transition process.  Thank you.

Changes to the Immigrant Visa Services

Effective December 1, 2010, various changes to immigrant visa services are as follows:

  • Immigrant visa applicants whose cases have not been processed through the National Visa Center (NVC) (i.e., immigrant visa petitions approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services Manila) may request a visa appointment by visiting the U.S. Embassy in Manila’s Visa Information and Appointment Service online at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ or by calling (632) 982-5555.  The Visa Information and Appointment Service is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Manila time), except on U.S. and Philippine holidays.  Callers in the U.S. should call (214) 571-1600, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Callers are able to speak with an English-, Tagalog-, Ilocano- or Cebuano-speaking operator.
  • Visa Information and Appointment Service representatives can provide information on visa appointment-related inquiries only. Inquiries on a specific case may be directed to the Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit by e-mail at IVManilaReplies@state.gov or by fax at (632) 301-2591. Petitioners and applicants may also call the IV Inquiry line at (632) 301-2000, extension 5184 or 5185 during normal business hours.  
  • Immigrant visa applicants who have been scheduled by the NVC for a visa appointment at the Embassy are required to visit the online appointment website to register their delivery address.
  • K visa applicants who have been notified by the Embassy to prepare for their interview, must pay the visa application fee of $350 before they can request a visa appointment via the online appointment website or the Visa Call Center.  There are three ways to pay the K visa application fee:

a)    Cash payment at any Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch

b)    Online payment bill option provided by BPI to their clients

c)    Online payment through Bancnet.

  • 2GO commercial courier is the authorized courier service provider for the visa units.   The issued visa will be delivered to the applicant's designated address at no additional cost. Applicants also have the option to pick up the visa at the nearest 2GO branch.
  • Applicants who were refused 221 (g) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), must submit the required documentation, along with the refusal sheet, at any 2GO branch.  

For further information regarding K and Immigrant Visa Appointment Services, please click here.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Changes Effective November 23, 2010

On November 23, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) new fee schedule will take effect. For more details, please visit this website: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis and select "Before I File - Check Filing Fees".   

New Consular Fees in Effect July 13, 2010  

The Department of State published its new Schedule of Fees for Consular Services in the Federal Register on June 28, 2010. The changes to the schedule, which include fees for the passport, immigrant visa and other consular services, will be implemented on July 13, 2010.

The new fees are as follows:

Immigrant Visa Fees

Current Fee

New Fee

Immediate relative and family preference cases

$355

$330

Employment-based cases

$355

$720

Other immigrant visa applications:

  • Diversity Visa applicants
  • I-360 self-petitions
  • Special Immigrant Visa applicants

 

$355

$355

$355

 

$305

$305

$305

Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge

$45

$74

Certain Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applications

No fee

No Fee

Diversity Visa Lottery Fee

$375

$440

Domestic Review Affidavit of Support

$70

$88

Special Visa Services: Determine Returning Resident Status

$400

$380

The new fees are due in full for any services provided on or after July 13, 2010. Applicants who receive bills from the NVC that are dated after July 13 must pay the new processing fees. Fees paid at the Embassy or to NVC prior to the publication of the final rule are considered paid in full at the current rate, and these applicants will not be required to pay additional fees to cover the difference between the current and new fees. Applicants already billed by NVC prior to July 13, 2010 will only pay the fees billed, regardless of whether they pay before or after the new fees are implemented. If applicants paid their visa application processing fees before March 2005, they will be required to pay the security surcharge.

For further information, please visit this link: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html