US Tourist Visa
The United States is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. However, obtaining a US Tourist Visa at the US Embassy in Thailand can be difficult without a US immigration attorney. Thailand is not a visa waiver country. A Thai national who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a US Tourist Visa by submitting a US visa application at the US Embassy in Bangkok or US Consulate in Chiang Mai.
The US Tourist Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a Thai citizen to enter the United States temporarily for business (B1) or as a tourist or visitor (B2).
US Business Visa Thailand (B1)
If the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with potential business partners, travel for an investigation of new business leads, education endeavors, professional or business seminars, attend a conference, or negotiate a business deal, then a business (B1) visitor visa would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel. US Business visa applicants from Thailand have a high percentage of approval rate if you will show the proper supporting documents such as the Thai company registration, corporate tax receipts, VAT receipts, Thai employee social insurance payments, Thai bank account statements for the last 3 years, loans by the company, listing of business assets and the need for the applicant to attend to the business matter in the US.
US Tourist Visa Thailand (B2)
If the purpose of your planned travel is for a holiday or vacation, including tourism, sightseeing, visits with friends or family, relaxation, hospital treatment, and activities of a social or service nature, then a visitor visa (B2) would be the appropriate type of visa for entry into the United States.
The US Tourist Visa allows a Thai citizen to travel to the United States. A B2 Tourist Visa issued by the US Embassy Thailand may allow the Thai citizen to travel back and forth to the United States for up to 10 years. Each entry into the United States, the B2 visa holder may be given an authorized period of stay for up to six months.
Applying for a Thai girlfriend to travel to the US for a short holiday to meet your friends and family will prove to be a difficult process. The Thai girlfriend will have to establish that they plan on returning to Thailand. If there is intent on getting married, officials at the US Embassy in Thailand would most likely deny the Tourist Visa application and advise the Thai girlfriend to apply for an appropriate visa such as K1 Visa Thailand.
Many US Citizens are not aware of this problem when encouraging their girlfriend to apply for a US tourist visa. The Thai girlfriend’s US tourist visa application is most likely to be rejected once the consulate officer discovers the romantic relationship during the US visa interview. The interviewing officer will assume that the applicant will stay in the US and not return to Thailand. Had the couple consulted the US Embassy officials in Bangkok prior to the tourist visa application they may have been advised to apply for the K1 Fiancé Visa in Thailand instead.
But, if the Thai applicant is a legitimate tourist, with the intent of going to the US for sole tourism purpose, meet the financial requirement and visa eligibility, able to provide supporting documents for Tourist Visa application, then US Tourist Visa is for him/her.
Applying for a US Business/Tourist Visa Thailand
Complete the required DS-160 online application form
The first step of the process is to submit your information as well as details about your purpose of visit or what is called the DS-160 form. You must fill in the sections for your US Tourist visa and then submit it online. The online form may take 45 minutes to an hour to complete so you have to be thorough when filling out the form. After you submit it, you will get a verification page and code which you need for your visa application packet.
Pay Visa Application Fee
After receiving the confirmation of your DS-160 form, you will also receive the payment instruction for the US Embassy visa fee. You will print the payment instruction and pay the relevant fee at any branch of Krungsri Bank in Thailand. The current US visa fee is 4960 THB.
Schedule the US Visa Interview
After you pay the US Visa fee, you will schedule a visa interview. To get this interview, you must schedule it through US Embassy Bangkok’s website. Due to the high workload that they have, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible or ahead of your planned trip to the US. When this procedure is done, you will get an interview confirmation letter which you need to bring to the interview.
Prepare the Application Packet
Here are the required documents for a B1/B2 US Visa application which the applicant must bring on the interview:
- Valid passport
- Passport Photograph (2x2 inches)
- Form DS-160 confirmation page and code
- Receipt of payment of the visa fee
- Interview confirmation page
- A letter which describes the purpose of your trip
- Proof of financial means. Financial or bank statements to prove you have the finances to stay in the US
- Compelling social and economic ties to Thailand such as Family, job contract, lease contract, or property deed, which prove you will return.
- US visitor visa invitation letter from friends or family in the US (optional)
- Criminal record checks or letters from authorities stating that you do not have prior convictions.
- Documents relevant to your prior US visa application or visits to the US. This only applies if you visited the US before or if you have been refused a US visa.
- Educational transcripts or diploma. This only applies to students.
- A letter from your employer and payslips for the last three months. If you are currently employed.
- A letter from the company detailing the purpose of the trip and your job position (for business purpose)
US Citizens often contact us and ask if they can write a letter of support for the Thai applicant to visit the United States. Under U.S. law, however, applicants for a US Tourist Visa must qualify on their own for visas to visit the United States.
Attend the Visa Interview
On the date of your interview, a US Embassy consular officer will ask questions about your background and why you want to go to the US. They will go through your documents to ensure that everything is in order. The interviews do not last long but make sure to answer questions truthfully and disclose all the necessary information to avoid problems later on.
At the end of the interview, you will know the result of your visa application. If your visa is granted, your passport will be collected by the consular officer. You may opt to collect your passport at a post office or have your passport with the visa mailed to your home address.
Why choose us for your U.S. Business or Tourist Visa Application?
Siam Legal provides you with services, which may include (but not limited to) the following:
- Full review of your personal, financial and employment history
- Consultation and confirmation that the B1/B2 visa is appropriate for you
- An extensive checklist of documents that you need for your B1/B2 visa
- Professional and accurate preparation of your visa application
- Submission of your visa application by our competent US visa specialist
- Careful preparation of all correspondence with the US embassy
- Expert advice on how to handle yourself at your Consular interview
- Unlimited personal communication with our US Visa Specialist