US Visas for Thai Citizens

US Visas for Thai CitizensAll Thai citizens who want to travel to the US need a valid Thai passport and a US visa. There are two categories of visas: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. If you intend to stay in the United States permanently, you need an immigrant visa, but if you only want to visit for study, business or vacation, then you should apply for a non-immigrant visa.

For most non-immigrant visas you can apply through either the US Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate in Chiang Mai. But all immigrant visas and K visas for spouses and fiances of US citizens are processed only through the Embassy in Bangkok.

The requirements for each type of visa vary so you need to decide what type of visa you need before you can find out what the specific requirements are. If you have a criminal history, prior problems with US immigration, or a serious contagious disease you may not be eligible for a US visa. In some cases you may be eligible for a waiver allowing you to enter the US even if you are otherwise ineligible.

Student Visas

For students who are not immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, such as adopted children, step-children, or a a fiance’s children, there are two main options for obtaining a visa. University and high school students can obtain an F-1 student visa or participate in an exchange program and obtain a J-1 visa. Students under 15 years old may be eligible to obtain an F-1 visa to study in an approved private elementary school.

Business Visas

If you want to go to the US for a business meeting, conference or trade show, a B1 visa is the best choice. B1 visas are available for Thai citizens who wish to travel to the US temporarily for business. While a B1 visa does not allow you to work in the US, you can conduct business related to your work in Thailand. B1 visas are usually valid for a short period, three months or less.  You can apply for expedited visa processing if you have urgent business.

If you want to work in the US you will need a different type of visa. In general, you must have a job offer or employment contract with a US employer before you will be eligible for a work visa. Both non-immigrant and immigrant work visas are available, depending on the type of job you have.

Tourist Visas

If you want to visit the US temporarily as a tourist or for health reasons you will need a tourist visa. Tourist visas are non-immigrant visas and do not allow you to earn a salary in the US. To be eligible you will have to show that you have strong ties to Thailand, such as family, job, business interests or property.

Family Visas

If you have a family member, including a spouse, fiance, adopted parent or step parent, who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident you may be eligible for a family visa. These include immigrant visas and K visas. While K visas are technically non-immigrant visas the requirements, which include a medical exam, police report and interview at the Embassy in Bangkok, are more similar to those of immigrant visas.

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Category: US Immigration

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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.