How early should you start your US visa application?

Starting your american visa application

As seen in recent years, visa applications to the US are now subject to a higher degree of evaluation than in the past; hence, advance visa application and early planning of travel are always a good idea. The estimated time frame covering the process of getting an appointment for an interview until the release of the visa is one major concern to many Thai nationals who wish to come to the US.

Planning for your travel to the US includes timely submission of your visa application. You must also painstakingly review the information provided by the US Embassy for the local process.

At the most basic level, it makes sense to ask, when is the best time to start the visa application? Here is a rational guide.

To those who wish to secure a US Tourist Visa, Thai citizens should start their application 1 to 2 months in advance prior to the intended date of travel. This is because the appointment depends on the next available interview date set by the US Embassy. The length of the process for US Tourist Visa application is usually 2 weeks.

For the K1 Visa, it is recommended to start their application about 9 months in advance of the couple’s intended date of marriage. As soon as the couple finalize their settlement to legally tie the knot in the US, a timeline should immediately follow. In general, the K1 visa process takes about 6 to 8 months to complete from the time of application until the visa is available for pick-up at the embassy. The K1 visa holder (the Thai fiancée) should marry the US citizen and consequently adjusts his/her status after the marriage in the United States, preferably within the 90 days period since his/her arrival in the country.

For Thai citizens who wish to migrate to the United States and are seeking to obtain US Spouse Visa, the petition is best filed as soon as possible (at least a year prior to the intended date of arrival in the US). As an overview of the process, each individual case is sent to USCIS for thorough review. Once approved, the USCIS then sends the petition to National Visa Center. The National Visa Center sends the petition to US Embassy, then the US Embassy sets an interview date. Assuming everything is in order, the usual length of the processing time required for the Thai wife to obtain this visa is about a year. However, this may vary depending on individual circumstances as there are cases when additional special clearances or administrative processing is required.

Having a timeline not only gives ample time for the applicant to prepare things necessary to the US Visa application process. Proper timing plays a role in the success rate of getting your visa to the US approved.


Category: US Immigration

About the Author (Author Profile)

Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.


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