US Fiancee (K1) Visa
TIP:It is important to use a Thai consultant who is based in Thailand and who knows Thai. The US lawyer cannot communicate in Thai so there will be communication issue. A Thai consultant will handle all application forms including translation of Thai documents into English, help in obtaining police clearance and scheduling medical examination and one of the most important thing, a Thai consultant will prepare your Thai partner for the visa interview.
What is a K1 visa from Thailand?
A K1 Visa is a US Visa that allows you as an American to take your Thai fiance/fiancée to the United States with the intention to get married when in the United States. You may attempt to take your Thai fiancée to the US on a different US Visa however this may be viewed at a later date as you have had the intention to take your Thai fiancée to the US without applying for a K1 Visa and thereby evading the checks and balances set by the United States Immigration Services with the K1 Visa.
If you are already married and have a Thai wife you would not be permitted to use a K1 Visa application from Thailand to take her back to the US as the K1 Visa was created for the sole purpose of a fiancée and not a wife. As a married American, you have to apply for a K3 Visa which is Spouse Visa. See our US website or our other pages on the K3 visa Thailand.
Many clients wonder what the benefits are of the K1 fiancée visa compared to other US Visa options. We have listed below the many benefits of applying for a K1 Visa for your Thai fiancée. If you are considering using a US Tourist Visa for your fiancée - don't. The K1 Visa is the better option for a number of reasons as mentioned in K1 visa process.
- The K1 Visa Thailand is easier to obtain than the K-3 Visa. Comparing the two, the K1 Visa is much faster. The average K1 Visa application form submission to having a K1 Visa in your Thai fiancées passport is on average 12-18 months due to the pandemic.
- Your Thai fiancée during the K1 Visa application process can have her child/children added to the K1-Visa petition as a K2 derivative. Once she is granted the K1 Visa the children would then also be granted a K2 Visa.
- For the purposes of the K1 Visa Thailand, children falling under the K2 derivative have to be unmarried and under the age of 21.
- Once your fiancée has her K1 Visa from Thailand and is in the United States, she can apply for a work permit to engage in lawful employment by filing a Form I-765.
These points as listed above would be the main benefit of taking your Thai fiancée back to the United States with a K1 Visa. If you have any questions about the K1 Visa and the process then speak to us online or at any of our offices in Thailand. With offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket we are best able to assist you with your US Fiancée Visa.
Basic Requirements in Applying for a K-1 Fiancee Visa
Process in Applying for a K-1 Fiancee Visa
Government Fees in Applying for a K-1 Fiancee Visa
K-1 Visa Interview Process at the US Embassy
Steps in Obtaining a U.S. K-1 Visa in ThailandStep 1: File the K-1 Visa Petition to the USCIS
You must submit the K-1 Visa Petition (i-129F) to the USCIS. In return, the USCIS will send a letter after submission called Notice of Action with your WAC number to track the application. It will generally take at least 9 months for USCIS to process the petition due to the pandemic. Oftentimes, the USCIS will reject a petition because the petition was filed with incorrect or insufficient documentation. For this reason, it may be wise to consult with an immigration lawyer as you go about the application.Step 2: Approved Petition will be processed at the National Visa Center (NVC)
If the petition is approved it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center. At the National Visa Center (NVC) your Thai fiancée’s I-129F petition will be further processed. Basically, NVC does a background check to see who the Thai fiancée beneficiary of the K1 Visa and verify if she is inadmissible to the USA. It usually takes NVC approximately 4 weeks to process the petition.Step 3: K1 Visa petition will be transferred to US Embassy Bangkok
After your petition has been approved by the NVC, they will get in touch with you and tell you that the petition is being forwarded on to the US Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate in Chiang Mai. In this letter, they will also give you and your fiancée a BNK number. This number is your Thai fiancée’s application number for the US Embassy or Consulate, and she will need this reference number to make all correspondence with the US Embassy more convenient.Step 4: US Embassy will process the K-1 Visa Application
When the US Embassy or Consulate in Thailand receives your Thai fiancée’s K-1 petition from NVC they will send her a letter to submit the Packet 3 which includes the DS-160 application form. During this process, the applicant will also pay the US Visa Fee. The embassy will also set a visa interview for your fiancée. This is a complicated process and it would be helpful if the Thai applicant would seek assistance from a professional lawyer in preparing the documents for the interview, obtain a police clearance certificate, medical examination, and to provide interview training/practice.Step 5: Visa Interview and Issuance of the US K-1 Visa
Your Thai fiancée will attend the visa interview with the Packet 4 application documents. Once the interview is completed the Consular officer will likely inform your Thai fiancée either that the application is approved or request for more information or additional documentation. After the US Embassy/Consulate in Thailand has received the documentation they deem sufficient they will issue the visa. If the application is approved, the consular officer will keep her passport and the visa will be issued within 2 weeks.
Ken Graham, Partner
Ken is a US-licensed lawyer with several years of experience advising clients both in the US and abroad. He formerly practiced family law in the US, both on the client side and as adjudicator in matters related to custody and child support. Ken now heads the US Immigration and Property teams at Siam Legal International where he assists American citizens with bringing their Thai fiances, spouses, and family members to the US.
Rex Baay, Senior Immigration Consultant
Rex joined Siam Legal in 2009 and throughout his 11 years of experience at the firm, he handled more than 800 immigration cases for Thailand and the US. With a fluent grasp of English, he can provide a simple and easy to understand explanation of what to expect at every stage of the application process to the clients. His expertise can be invaluable to those in search of immigration assistance pertaining to Thailand and the USA.
How about a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your K1 Visa options with our immigration consultant from our US Visa Thailand section? You can call us at 1-877-252-8831 to schedule a telephone consultation or use LINE or WHATSAPP. We will review your plan for the best US Visa for your Thai girlfriend or fiancee.
5 Reasons to Hire Siam Legal International
- We have more than 16 years of experience handling US Visas. We will make a professional assessment and thorough explanation of the K1 Visa requirements and process, before we start the service. We will personally oversee your case and review everything prior to the case being sent to the appropriate U.S. government agency.
- We have processed over 900 K-1 Visas in our 16-year history. We have an excellent record of K1 Visa approvals in Thailand. In our long history, no other law firm in Thailand has processed more K1 Visa than our firm.
- It is important to use a local consultant who is based in Thailand and who knows Thai. The US lawyer cannot communicate in Thai so there will be communication issue. We will handle all application processes including translation of your Thai documents into English, filling of application, preparing the documents, help in obtaining police clearance and scheduling medical examination and one of the most important thing, we will prepare you for the visa interview. We will give you some professional tips on how to succeed your visa interview.
- We offer an open communication. You are able to personally send us messages through our Line ID at any time and I guarantee that we will respond with an answer as quickly as possible. Your American fiancé may also contact us through our US Phone number to get an update on your case.
- We offer payment plans. We understand that you may have financial difficulty and you are unable to pay for the full packager, therefore we offer flexibility and you may pay in installments.
5 Reasons for K1 Visa Refusal
- Submitting the Wrong Forms and Providing Fraudulent Documents
Submitting the wrong forms and making mistakes in filling out the forms can lead to the denial of the K-1 fiancée visa petition. Completing all forms accurately helps reduce the possibility of a denial. Also, being fully prepared with all requirements, documentation, and forms of verification helps reduce the possibility of a denial. In addition, having unverifiable or inaccurate information can lead to visa denials or delayed processing. Fraud and misrepresentation of information are also reasons for refusal of the petition or application. Here are some examples of fraud and misrepresentation:
- Providing a photoshopped or fake photos
- Not disclosing previous marriages
- Falsified affidavits from friends and family
- Inconsistencies between application and evidence
- Not disclosing medical or criminal history
- Falsifying the income
- Not Qualified for the Visa
One of the most obvious reasons for visa refusal is not being qualified. Here are a few examples:
- Not having met in person: Keep in mind that the 2-year meeting requirement is from the date you file your petition with the USCIS to two years prior to that.
- Income requirement: The petitioner’s income changes during the application or the numbers just don’t add up as evident on the income documents.
- Free to marry requirement: The petitioner or applicant is in the process of a divorce when the application is submitted, however, divorce isn’t finalized. If you got married during the time of K1 Visa application, this disqualifies you from being eligible to marry hence your K1 visa application will be denied.
- Insufficient Evidence of Genuine Relationship
Insufficient evidence is one of the big reasons for a K-1 fiancée visa refusal. The most important information to provide is to prove that your relationship is legitimate, genuine and true. Some items that may raise a red flag as to your relationship’s legitimacy:
- Engaged to be married very short time after meeting
- Huge age difference
- Different religions
- Severe difference in culture
- No common spoken language
- Very little physical time together
- Past Criminal Issues
Another reason for K1 Visa refusal is that the U.S. Citizen or Thai fiancé has past criminal issues. Any past criminal matter should be evaluated by a reputable immigration attorney or consultant, prior to filing, to make sure it will not cause the fiancée visa case to be denied. The last thing you would want to do is file an application that has very little chance of being approved. It is a waste of time and money. It is far better to take the time to resolve any issues prior to filing anything with the USCIS. Another reason for visa refusal is the immigration violation in the past by your Thai fiancée such as overstaying his/her previous visa in the US.
- Failure during the Visa Interview
Your Thai fiancé has failed the visa interview. Your fiancé should know a lot about you in order to have a good interview. You need to tell her all about yourself, your current economic situation (job, living situation etc.), your past relationships and any criminal history. If something is brought up about you at the interview your fiancée should know about it. Not knowing important facts about you is a serious red flag. You should go over the fiancée visa interview questions with your fiancée prior to his or her interview. Your fiancée should also bring plenty of evidence, including, but not limited to, all documents filed in the case, on the day of the interview.
Brief Questions About the K-1 Visa ThailandIs the K-1 visa application from Thailand for married couples?
No, the K-1 Visa is for a US citizen and Thai fiancée who are free to marry. Married couples are recommended to apply for a US Spouse Visa.Do we need to meet face to face before we can apply for a K-1 Fiancée Visa?
Yes. You and your Thai fiancée must have met in person within the last 2 years. It is highly recommended that you have kept photos together and other evidence of the relationship such as records of ongoing communication when applying for the K-1 visa.How long is the process of applying for a K-1 Fiancée Visa?
The processing time is between 12-18 months due to pandemic. This involves the processing of your petition at the USCIS, National Visa Center and the application and interview at the US Embassy in Thailand.How long is the K1 visa Thailand valid for?
The K-1 Visa must be used within a specified date and the K-1 visa holder will be allowed to stay for 90 days upon arrival in the US.I am divorced can I petition for a K1 visa from Thailand?
Yes, you can obtain a K-1 Visa if you are legally divorced and free to marry.Where is the visa interview held for my fiancée to obtain the K-1 visa in Thailand?
Your fiancée will undergo a visa interview at the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Bangkok. The interview process may last between 20-30 minutes.Is K-1 visa a single entry or multiple entry visa?
The US K-1 Visa is a single entry visa only and there is a timeframe when you must use the visa and enter the US.Can my fiancée bring her child on a K-1 Visa? If yes, what type of visa does she needs to apply for her child?
Yes, she needs to apply for a K-2 visa which is a derivative of the K-1 Visa. Both the K-1 Visa and K-2 visa applicants will proceed to the visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. The child must not be older than 21 years old.If we did not get married in the US on a K-1 Visa, can my fiancée extend her visa so she can stay long?
As a requirement in applying for a K-1 Visa, you need to get married within 90 days. If you did not get married within this timeframe, your fiancée needs to leave the country before the K-1 Visa expires.Can my Thai fiancée travel to the US while waiting for her K-1 Visa?
Yes. Your Thai fiancée may apply for a US Tourist visa and travel to the US while waiting for the K-1 Visa. She should return to Thailand after the trip. Her leisure trip to the US will not affect her K-1 Visa application.Can a K-1 visa holder from Thailand allowed to work in the United States?
Your fiancée, the K-1 visa holder, may be allowed to work in the United States once she has applied for and issued a work permit.
Here’s what our K-1 Fiancee Visa Clients have to say:
K1 Visa (September 2018)
Adjustment of Status (December 2019)
K1 Visa (April 2011)
Child Visa (August 2013)
US Tourist Visa for In-Laws (June 2018)
K1 Visa (July 2018)
Adjustment of Status (December 2019)
K1 Visa (April 2019)
US Embassy Thailand to Siam Legal Bangkok
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