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United States K1 visas could change

Sayed Farook, a US citizen and Tashfeen Malik were killed last week in a gun battle with police after they carried out a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Malik, who was from Pakistan, had entered the US on a K-1 visa, which is also known as the fiance visa, accompanied by Farook. This has now sparked a debate on how to increase visa security.

The United States government issued approximately 262,162 K-1 visas from 2005 to 2013 with the top ten countries for sending fiances to the US being: the Philippines (17.34%), China (6.45%), Vietnam (5.56%), Mexico (4.99%), Colombia (3.77%), Russia (3.14%), Dominican Republic (3.12%), United Kingdom (3.12%), Thailand (2.72%), and Canada (2.67%). Those top ten countries are responsible for 52.77% of all K-1 visas issued from 2005 to 2013. On Monday, 7 December 2015, the Secretary of National security Jeh Johnson said that they would be revising the program but would not be specific about the changes.

The K1 visa is the smallest visa program provided by the United States and only account for 0.3% of all of the 9.9 million visas issued in 2014.

Part of the investigations for the K1 visa are aimed at preventing marriage fraud and the couple must show that they have physically seen each other during the previous two years unless to have done so would have violated strict and established conditions or would have caused extreme complications.

Those wanting the visa have to go through an evaluation process including biometric fingerprinting, checking against United States terrorist lists, an interview, vetting their relatives and a travel and work history check.

National Security and the State Department are now revising the program to see how it can be tightened up.

They are also checking another program that currently allows citizens from 38 countries to travel visa free to the United States.

Source: Cato.org

Dec 9, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM
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