USCIS to Close its Office in Vietnam on March 31

Thứ Tư, 23 Tháng Ba 201100:00(Xem: 61968)
USCIS to Close its Office in Vietnam on March 31
On 25 March, the US CIS office in Saigon will stop accepting applications, and on 31 March the office will officially close. As of March 25, applications and petitions previously accepted by the USCIS in Saigon may be filed with the U.S. Consulate General in Saigon. The Consulate will accept certain kinds of cases and applications for processing. The Consulate will send other applications and petitions to the USCIS Field Office in Bangkok, Thailand.

US CIS has had a long involvement with Vietnamese visa processing. This began with processing at the refugee camps outside of Vietnam and continued with the “HO” program for individuals who were still living in Vietnam. At one point, CIS decided to stop issuing refugee visas and many people in the refugee camps were given the opportunity to return to live in Vietnam.

When the McCain Amendment appeared, it was of great help to previously-denied children in many families. The McCain Amendment was extended but it eventually expired. After that, the Consulate opened the Humanitarian Resettlement Program for eligible applicants whose cases had not been completed in the past. This program ended in 2008. The Consulate in Saigon and USCIS in Bangkok will no longer accept any new refugee case applications or any appeals for old cases.

USCIS was also involved in the processing of hundreds of adoption cases in Vietnam for several years, until various problems caused the American government to end the adoption agreement with Vietnam.

There has not been any official announcement about exactly which applications will be processed by the Consulate and which ones must be sent to USCIS in Bangkok. However, we can assume that the Consulate will accept immigrant visa petitions filed by sponsors who live in Vietnam. The Consulate will also be able to accept visa applications for Returning Residents and people who lost their Green Cards while visiting Vietnam.

If the US and Vietnam can reach an agreement about adoptions, the processing will probably be handled by the Consulate in Saigon with the assistance of a CIS officer temporarily assigned from Bangkok.

It is likely that Humanitarian Parole applications and Waiver requests will need to be submitted directly to CIS in Bangkok.

The USCIS Bangkok Field Office can be contacted at


Q.1. I’ve heard that visa processing is faster in Bangkok than in Saigon. Could I arrange to have my wife’s visa petition handled by the US Embassy in Bangkok?

A.1. You must file your applications with the CIS office that serrves your home area, and your wife can only be interviewed at the US Consulate that serves her place of residence. It is not permitted to shop around for the place with a faster processing time.


Q.2. My uncle lives in Norway with his daughter’s family. He was in a re-education camp for five years and he still has his original Giay Ra Trai from the camp. He would much rather live in California than in Norway, but he has no close relatives in the US.

A.2. There are two reasons why he could not get a refugee visa to the US: (1) The US government no longer has any refugee program for Vietnamese people, and (2) he has already been legally settled in Norway so he is no longer a refugee.
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