K-1 Visa - International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005
The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 is part of the Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, which President Bush signed into law in January 2006, and becomes effective on March 6, 2006. The Act places new regulations on international marriage brokers.
International Marriage Broker Requirements
As part of the Act, an international marriage broker is prohibited from providing information on any individuals under the age of 18. The broker is also required to take the following steps:
- Search the National Sex Offender Public Registry for information on the U.S. resident and disclose that information to the applicant;
- Collect a signed certification by the U.S. resident which includes current or past protection or restraining orders; criminal arrests and convictions; arrests and convictions for domestic or sexual offenses; convictions of substance and/or alcohol abuse; arrests and convictions for prostitution, solicitation of a prostitute or derived income from the earnings of a prostitute; marital history; and whether the U.S. resident has previously sponsored an alien to whom the resident was engaged or married. The certification must also include the ages of any of the U.S. residents children who are under 18, and all states and countries in which the U.S. resident has resided since the age of 18;
- Distribute a pamphlet to the applicant that is now being developed by the government to inform the foreign applicant about his or her rights and resources in the U.S.; and
- Obtain the applicants written consent, in the applicants primary language, to release the applicants personal contact information to the U.S. resident. The broker is also prohibited from releasing this information to any person other than the U.S. resident (petitioner).
For purposes of the Act, the international marriage broker is a for-profit matchmaking entity whose main business is to charge fees to provide dating services between U.S. residents and foreign residents.
K Visa Interview Changes
During an interview with a K nonimmigrant visa applicant a consular officer must provide, in the primary language of the applicant, information on protection orders or criminal convictions collected on the petitioner. The consular officer must also provide and explain the pamphlet regarding the rights and resources of the nonimmigrant. The consular officer must ask the applicant whether an international marriage broker facilitated the relationship between the applicant and the U.S. petitioner. If so, the officer must get the identity of the international marriage broker from the applicant, and confirm that the international marriage broker provided the information it was legally bound to provide to the foreign applicant.
Limitation on K Visas
A consular officer may not approve a fiancé(e) visa without first verifying that:
- Before filing the current pending petition, the U.S. resident had not filed for a K visa for two or more foreign applicants; and
- If the U.S. resident had filed a fiancé(e) petition and it had been approved, more than two year had passed since the filing of the approved petition.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may waive these limitations if there is justification for such a waiver, but this waiver will not be granted if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person or persons unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The Department of Homeland Security will maintain a database of those U.S. residents who have filed for two or more fiancé(e) visas. If a petitioner has had two or more fiancé(e) petition approved, or if another petition is filed less than 10 years after the date the first visa petition was filed, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security will notify both the petitioner and the beneficiary of such petition about the number of previously approved fiancé(e) petitions.
Click here for actual text of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005.