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IMBRA explained by Gary Bala

2006-02-10  IMBRA explained by Gary Bala
From Gary Bala:


Some highlights of the new law:

1. NEW PETITION FORMS: New I-129F Fiancee and Spousal Visa petitions will require that the petitioner provide information on his criminal convictions for specified crimes, including violent offenses, domestic abuse and sexual assualt.

2. LIMIT ON NUMBER OF PETITIONS: Some petitioners will need to wait before they can successfully file for a fiancee visa. For example, if you filed two (2) or more fiancee visa petitions in the past, and at least one of them was approved, you must wait two (2) years from the filing date of the last approved petition before you can be successfully approved for another fiancee visa petition. (Exception: Under some circumstances, a petitioner may be able to obtain a "waiver".)

3. MULTIPLE VISA PETITION DATABASE: Any person approved for a second visa petition or filing a third visa petition will be notified by Immigration that their case has been put into a special visa petition database which will track multiple petition filers and help identify those who might be abusing the system.

4. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PAMPHLET BROCHURE: Homeland Security will develop and make available on USCIS, State Department and Embassy websites a domestic violence pamphlet brochure in 14 languages and revised every 2 years which discusses the visa process, adjustment of status, conditional residency, marriage and visa fraud, domestic violence abuse rights, where and how to get help and other warnings and notifications.

5. CONSULAR INTERVIEW: The Consular Officer at interview will provide the visa applicant with a copy of the fiancee or spousal petition, and information and documents in her native language on any past marital and divorce history, past criminal history and past domestic violence history of the petitioner. The Consular Officer will also answer any questions about the domestic violence pamphlet brochure. The Consular Officer will also ask the visa applicant if the relationship was facilitated by an International Marriage Broker and , if so, confirm that the broker provided the applicant with information or documents about the petitioner's background.

6. REGULATION OF INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKERS (IMBs): IMBs are required to check the National Sex Offender public registry and state public registry for each specific U.S. client, and to gather mandatory background information and documents on that particular U.S. client's past criminal history, including prostitution offenses, past domestic violence history, past marital and divorce history, past visa petition history, ages of any children under age 18, and all states and countries where the U.S. client lived since age 18. IMBs must then provide that information to the foreign client lady in her native language and secure a signed, written consent from her before releasing her personal contact information to that specific U.S. client. The law imposes stiff civil and criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and up to 5 years in federal prison for each broker violation.


Most of the new law's provisions go into effect in sixty (60) days after date of enactment, which is March 06, 2006. The bottom line for gentlemen and foreign ladies with an international romance and courtship is, if possible, to finalize their engagement and file their visa petitions as soon as possible.


Many gentlemen value their rights of privacy. Many gentlemen feel that this new law might unduly impinge on their rights of free speech and free association as U.S. citizens. Perhaps, the law may also intrude on equal protection rights of U.S. citizens who are required to provide extensive background data for foreign romances but not for domestic dating. If you wish to register and voice your concerns and complaints about this law, please contact your federal Senator's or local Congressman's office.


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