Is US Embassy Manila (USEM) Closing ? – Manila Video Currently making the rounds are rumors that the US Embassy located in Manila is closing in July 2019. This rumor
is absolutely false. The US Embassy has no intention of closing or moving or curtailing any of its services.

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When embarking on the path to deal with US immigration
to bring your fiancé or spouse to the USA there is a
lot of information on the Internet. Sadly there is a
lot of mis-information too. There are rumors, out of
date material, and sometimes deliberate lies and pranks.

And that really is why, why it’s good idea to work with
an experienced guide who knows the facts and can
certainly separate rumor from reality.

I am Fred Wahl the VisaCoach and I help you
get through a confusing and frustrating Immigration
process so you can have a happy life together in the USA
with your foreign partner.

In this video I’ll talk to about the background on what’s
REALLY going on. And by the end of this video you will
know who is effected and who is not.

About two months ago I announced in one of my videos that
the USCIS international offices scattered around the world,
were going to close. USCIS has been
reducing its overseas presence for many years, currently
or at least when the notice was made they still had
about 20 offices with about 70 American personnel plus
local staff. Their work was to support the US Embassy where
they were located in helping process applications that came
from Americans and their dependents who were living in
area that the US embassy served.

This kind of service was called Direct Consular Filing.
What DCF means is that Americans and their dependents, who
are living in the overseas country that the consulate served,
if they were applying for immigration benefits, could for
applications such as spouse and dependent visas, submit
their applications directly, in person to a local USCIS
office or the consulate, and this avoided expensive mailing
and speeded processing times.

For example, for an American ex-pat living in the Philippines.
If he or she had been granted an alien card by the Philippines
government, and then had had lived in the Philippines for at lease
six months, then he or she could file directly to the USCIS office
in Manila, for his or her spouse or child. The American could
make an appoointment, come in, show proof of the Alien card and
over 6 months of residence, and then drop off the application.

In only a few short months, the USCIS staff would complete
their review of the application, then pass it over to the
consular staff at the Embassy. The Embassy staff would conduct
the final interview.

This was a real boon to those applicants, because most applications
are submitted in the USA, and take about a year and a half to
be processed, before arriving in Manila for the interview. Instead
the application filed using DCF, would take only a few months
to get to the interview.

Twenty years ago when I applied to bring Joyce
to the USA on a spouse visa, all US embassies and consulates
offered direct consular filing. I was living as an expat in Hong
Kong with Joyce, and I was able to file directly to the Hong Kong
embassy on Garden Road, and we got our spouse visa in about 5 months.

As time went by, one by one, the various consulates and embassies
stopped offering DCF. Finally only 23 locations still offered it.
These were locations that ALSO has a USCIS office. Now these
USCIS offices are closing. And with their closing, Direct Consular
Filing, DCF will no longer be available.

But for most, the closing of the USCIS offices makes absolutely NO
DIFFERENCE. Only a very few applications were eligible for DCF, the
VAST majority all followed the standard route.

And by the way, while this process was available for spouses
and dependents, it was never available for Fiance visa applications.
Always Fiance visa applications had to be submitted in the USA,
regardless of whether the American sponsor lived inside or outside the USA.


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