What You Need to Know About US Visas
If you plan to visit the US or want to live with your fiance or spouse in the US, you need to know how to enter the country legally. The following information will give you some highlights on what you need to know to make the journey easier while still complying with the law.
Visas in the form of a K1 visa, K3 visa, and CR-1 visa are designed for couples who wish to live permanently or temporarily in the US. An adjustment of status can be made in case you wish to become a permanent and naturalized resident. You can also secure a US tourist visa, or a B-2 visa if you wish to visit the US and return to Thailand.
How the Tourist Visa Works
The B-2 visa permits you to travel to the US for leisure. You can also use this visa to obtain medical treatments or therapies. If you wish to do business in the US, you need to secure a B-1 visa. This visa makes it possible for Thai residents to attend business conferences in the US or negotiate and settle contracts.
Basically, the B-2 visa is a US Tourist Visa. It may be combined with the B-1 visa if you plan to do business and enjoy the sights during your stay. When applying for a B-1 or B-2 visa, you need to show that you plan to visit the US temporarily. You will also need to state how long you plan to travel and stay. All applicants must demonstrate that they can manage the costs.
If you have a residence in Thailand but are connected professionally and socially to people in the US, you usually can get approved for this type of visa in a fairly fast amount of time. To ensure that the visa you receive is correct, make sure that your personal information on the application matches your passport details. Otherwise, your visa will not be valid. All the data that is provided on the visa must be the same as the personal details on the passport.
Getting a K1 Visa
If you have not yet gotten married but wish to marry in the US, you should obtain a K1 visa. This visa is used by the Thai fiancé or fiancée of a US citizen. Once you obtain the visa, you need to marry within 90 days after entry. After getting married in the US, you may file for an adjustment of status in order for you to be allowed to work in the US and to be able to qualify for an immigrant status and obtain a permanent residency or green card.
If you plan to get married and return to Thailand and live, you can also use the K1 visa to get married in the US and return to Thailand.
The K3 Visa – How It Differs from the K1
The K3 Visa allows you, as a couple, to enter the US without difficulty. This visa is designed for the applicant and US resident who is already married. To obtain a K3, you will need to complete an I-130 and I-129F forms and submit it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service or USCIS. This particular visa permits US entry as a non-immigrant. While in the US, the visa holder may apply for the change of immigration status and obtain a green card or permanent residency.
Obtaining an IR-1 or CR-1 Visa
If you currently reside in Thailand and have married a US citizen, you can obtain a CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa for immigration purposes. While the CR-1 visa covers entry for couples who have been married up to two years, the IR-1 visa is used for couples married for more than two years.
Otherwise known as spousal visas, the CR-1 and IR-1 visas can take as long as seven to ten months to process.
Knowing the above information can make your journey and initiation to the US easier and less stressful. Contact an immigration attorney about the mandates set for journeying into the US as a Thai citizen. Once you better know the law, it will be simple to collect the information you need and submit your application. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Contact an attorney to get the needed help.
The key to a successful application depends on your plans and if you wish to stay or visit the US. If you do travel to the US for leisure, make sure you can show that you can afford the costs associated with the trip. Doing so, for instance, will make it easier to receive a B-2 visa.
If you obtain a CR-1 visa or IR-1 visa, you can work after entering the US. Your stamped passport serves as a type of temporary green card until you can make an adjustment of status. Usually, it takes about three months to get your green card and become a permanent citizen.
Some visas, such as the CR-1 visa, permit you to enjoy conditional permanent residency while others primarily give you a timeframe on your US stay. Again, you just need to know what you plan to do with your visa. Do you want to attend school in the US, work for a US employer, or reside with your spouse? These are the kinds of questions you have to answer if you want to make sure you comply legally and residentially.
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.