Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘B2 Visa Thailand’

14th April 2010

ในกระทู้นี้เราจะกล่าวถึง Notice of Action 1 หรือ NOA 1 เพื่อแสดงคำนิยามทางกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาที่แม่นยำให้แก่ผู้ที่กำลังจะขอวีซ่าอเมริกาจากประเทศไทย

ในกรณีเกี่ยวกับคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาหลายๆเรื่อง โดยเฉพาะเรื่องเกี่ยวกับการเข้าเมืองด้วยจุดประสงค์ทางครอบครัว คำขอจะต้องได้รับการอนุมัติจาก USCIS เสียก่อน หน่วยงานนี้เป็นหนึ่งในหน่วยงานที่ขึ้นตรงกับกระทรวงความมั่นคงสหรัฐอเมริกา (DHS)

เมื่อคู่รักเลือกที่จะยื่นขอวีซ่าสหรัฐอเมริกา ก็มักจะเป็นวีซ่า CR 1 , IR 1, K3 หรือ K 1 วีซ่า CR 1, IR 1 และ K 3 เป็นวีซ่าประเภทคู่สมรสอเมริกาทั้งหมด ในขณะที่วีซ่า K 1 เป็นวีซ่าคู่หมั้น วีซ่าประเภทเหล่านี้จะต้องได้รับการอนุมัติจาก USCIS ก่อนที่จะมีการกำหนดสัมภาษณ์ ในทางกลับกันวีซ่า B1, B2, F1 และ J1 เป็นวีซ่าไม่อพยพ ( ซึ่งไม่อนุญาตให้มีเจตนาในการเข้าเมืองเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์อื่นอีก ) และไม่จำต้องได้รับการอนุมัติจาก USCIS เสียก่อน ข้อควรสังเกตคือวีซ่าไม่อพยพประเภทเหล่านี้เป็นการยากที่จะขอสำหรับคนรักของบุคคลสัญชาติอเมริกันตามมาตรา 214b แห่งพระราชบัญญัติคนเข้าเมืองและสัญชาติ มาตรานี้ได้วางหลักถึงข้อสันนิษฐานที่จะต้องทำให้ปราศจากความสงสัยให้ได้ก่อนที่จะออกวีซ่าให้

เมื่อบุคคลสัญชาติอเมริกันยื่นคำขอวีซ่า K1, K3, CR1 หรือ IR1 จะต้องยื่นคำขอไปยัง USCIS เสียก่อน มีศูนย์บริการ USCIS อยู่สองแห่งโดยขึ้นอยู่กับภูมิลำเนาของผู้ยื่นขอชาวอเมริกัน ผู้ยื่นคำขอจะต้องยื่นคำขอต่อ USCIS และจะมีการออกใบรับให้เรียกว่า Notice of Action 1 (NOA1 ) ใบรับนี้จะแสดงชื่อผู้ยื่นคำขอและผู้รับผลประโยชน์ รวมถึงวันที่รับเรื่องและวันที่ออกใบรับ ใบรับนี้จะแสดงหมายเลขเรื่องด้วย

สำหรับผู้ที่ใช้บริการทนายความทำวีซ่าอเมริกา สำเนา Notice of Action 1 จะถูกส่งไปยังทนายความในกรณีที่ทนายความได้ยื่นแบบ G28 เข้าไปด้วยกับคำขอวีซ่า ก่อนทีจะใช้บริการกับทนายคนใด คุณควรตรวจสอบให้แน่ใจว่าจะมีการยื่นแบบ G28 ด้วยเนื่องจากมันค่อนข้างมีความสัมพันธ์ต่อการดำเนินการตามคำขอวีซ่า และบริษัทวีซ่าไม่สามารถกระทำการแทนลูกค้าต่อ USCIS ได้ดังนั้นน่าจะเป็นการดีที่จะตรวจสอบคุณสมบัติของบุคคลที่คุณต้องการให้เป็นตัวแทนให้ และโชคไม่ดีที่ในประเทศไทยมีผู้ให้บริการที่ไม่ได้รับอนุญาติอยู่มากมายที่ปฏิบัติงานเช่นทนายความมีใบอนุญาติของสหรัฐอเมริกา

Notice of Action 1 นั้นเป็นคนละตัวกับจดหมายจากสถานทูตอเมริกาประจำประเทศไทย จดหมายนี้เรียกว่า Packet 3 และจะถูกส่งในช่วงท้ายๆของกระบวนการคนเข้าเมืองแล้วเท่านั้น

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30th March 2010

It is common knowledge that many people seek United States travel documents from the US Embassy Thailand. However, are those who have complex questions regarding United States Tourist visas and in many cases, these questions can only be answered by either an attorney or a Foreign Service Officer. Thanks to the internet, there are more and more opportunities for those with sought out knowledge to communicate with those who need specific questions answered. The website Thaivisa.com is reporting that the US Embassy in Bangkok has initiated a live chat program to allow the public to interact directly with Embassy personnel online:

“U.S. Embassy Bangkok Non-Immigrant Visa Webchat

Interested in visiting the U.S. as a tourist? Looking to study in the U.S.? If you have questions about non-immigrant visas to the U.S. here is your chance to ask! The U.S. Embassy Bangkok Consular Section will be online to answer questions about non-immigrant visa services for Thai citizens and residents of Thailand. Join us for this special webchat!

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Time: 6:00-7:00pm (Bangkok time)

To participate:

1. Go to https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/bangkok
2. Enter as a Guest (Type your name)
3. Submit your questions (We accept questions and comments in advance of, and at any time during the program)

We look forward to chatting with you then!

Please Note: At this time questions can be submitted in English only.”

Although this chat session has already occurred one should note that this is a terrific resource for those interested in a tourist visa as it allows for an applicant to have their inquiries answered in real time by one who is knowledgeable about US visa matters. It is interesting to note that the Thaivisa.com posting only makes reference to the the US Tourist Visa and not other visa categories. This is probably due to the fact that employment based visas such as the E2 visa or the L1 visa are granted after an assessment of the unique set of facts and issues in a given case so it would be difficult to discuss such visas through the internet. That being said, tourist visa adjudications are based upon the facts in the case, but judging an applicant’s likelihood of obtaining a US visa is often easier, compared to employment based cases, due to section 214(b) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act. Family based visa applications for visas such as the K1 visa, the K3 Visa, the IR1 visa and the CR1 Visa are also adjudicated based upon the facts of the case and in many cases the likelihood of ultimate approval is not easy to determine unless one delves deeply into the details of the case. This could explain why these types of applications do not appear to be the intended topic of discussion in the aforementioned live chat session.

Hopefully, this will become a regular addition to the already quality service provided by the US Embassy in Bangkok.

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11th March 2010

There are many people of all nationalities who submit applications for a US Tourist Visa at the US Embassy Thailand. Although these applications are quite common, they are becoming increasingly subject to denial pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Citizenship and Nationality Act. This provision basically requires that the Consular Officer make a presumption that the tourist visa applicant is an undisclosed immigrant unless the applicant can provide strong evidence to the contrary. This creates the “strong ties” vs. “weak ties” analysis which requires that the applicant show “strong ties” to a country outside of the United States and “weak ties” to the USA. This can be a very problematic provision especially for those Americans who wish to bring a Thai significant other back to the US.

The existence of an American Citizen boyfriend can be very detrimental for a Thai’s B2 visa application (or any non-immigrant visa application for that matter ex: F-1 visa, J-1 visa, B-1 visa, etc). The detriment arises from the fact that the applicant has a primary relationship with an American and therefore could be construed to have a “strong tie” to the USA. Some couples try to get around this problem by “not mentioning” the existence of a relationship with an American. This is not a good idea, in this author’s opinion, because any dishonesty, even dishonesty by omission, is unethical and could be viewed by the Embassy and/or Consulate as an attempt to defraud the US government. For an American Citizen, a finding of fraud and misrepresentation could lead to penalties, but such a finding could have a highly negative impact upon the applicant’s chances of ever obtaining a US visa in the future as fraud and misrepresentation is considered a legal grounds of inadmissibility to the USA that would likely only be remedied upon the approval of an I601 waiver.

However, the DS-156 form that is used to apply for a US tourist visa does not ask “do you have an American boyfriend/girlfriend?” Instead the forms asks:

“Are Any of The Following Persons in The U.S., or Do They Have U.S. Legal Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship? Mark YES or NO and indicate that person’s status in the U.S. (i.e., U.S. legal permanent resident, U.S. citizen, visiting, studying, working, etc.)”

The form then allows the applicant to note family relationships, including “fiance/fiancee.” The reason this is being discussed is due to the fact that the rest of the form’s questions can be relatively easily answered. For example,  one can say with near certainty if they have a US Citizen husband, but “fiance” is another, more opaque, concept. Defining “fiance” is difficult as relationships, prior to marriage, are fairly fluid from a legal standpoint. In this author’s opinion, if the applicant has a romantic relationship with an American Citizen, then this fact should be disclosed to the Consular Officers either in writing or at the visa interview, but if there is any inkling that marriage and adjustment of status may be a possibility, then it may be better to forgo an attempt at a tourist visa, as this is not really the proper travel document, and submit a petition for a K1 visa.

For further information, please see: US Visa Thailand.

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9th February 2010

The method of making an appointment at the US Embassy in Bangkok depends upon the reason for the appointment. For example, the appointment process for obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad is different than the process for obtaining an appointment for a non-immigrant visa interview.

Many expatriates in Thailand seek such services as: Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (a document akin to a birth certificate) , notarization, visa page replacement, and new passport issuance. Virtually all of the issues surrounding these services can be dealt with at the American Citizen Services Section of the United States Embassy in Bangkok.  For those interested in making an appointment with the American Citizen Services Section of the US Embassy in Bangkok, it may be wise to click on this link.

For those who need a non-immigrant visa to the United States a visa interview appointment will likely be required. For those unfamiliar with the US visa process, a non-immigrant visa is granted to an individual who does not have the intention of remaining in the USA. Popular non-immigrant visa categories are the J1 visa, the F1 visa, the B1 visa, and the B2 visa (also known as a Tourist visa). The aforementioned visa categories are not the only non-immigrant visas, but they are currently the most popular among those interviewing at the US Embassy in Bangkok. For those interested in more information about non-immigrant visas please click here.

Another common reason for needing an appointment at the US Embassy in Bangkok is the need to finish the American Immigration process. For those who wish to immigrate to the United States, in order for a US visa to be issued, the applicant must undergo a visa interview. In Thailand, the popular immigrant visas are category CR-1 and IR-1 for Thai spouses. Although not immigrant visas in the strict sense of the word, the K1 visa and the K3 visa are treated as immigrant visas because they are dual intent travel documents. A dual intent visa (travel document) is designed for a foreign national to enter the United States in non-immigrant status with the option of adjusting status to that of an Immigrant at a later date. For many, the Immigrant visa process is time consuming and the final phase of the process can cause anxiety in many applicants. However, for the applicant who tells the truth and is forthright in their application, there is usually no reason to be anxious as the visa interview is nothing more than an exercise of due diligence on the part of the Consular officers. For more on immigrant visas please click here.

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7th January 2010

For those interested in finding out detailed information regarding United States business visas from Thailand please see our main page at: B1 visa Thailand. For further general information about American Immigration from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.

The B-1 Visa in 2010

In this writer’s opinion, the US Business Visa Process will probably remain relatively unchanged in 2010. That being said, it does provide an opportunity to re-explore this American travel document.

The B-1 Business visa is a non-immigrant visa intended for those who wish to travel to the United States for short term business purposes. It is not a dual intent visa meaning that one who applies for a B-1 visa must have bona fide non-immigrant intent. Those who have an undisclosed intention to immigrate to the United States of America at the time of application should disclose this fact in the application form and/or the visa interview. Failure to disclose immigrant intent could be construed as fraud and/or misrepresentation of a material fact. A finding of fraud and misrepresentation of material fact could lead to the applicant being found inadmissible to enter the United States. This inadmissibility would likely then only be remedied by an approved I-601 waiver application. Due to the drastic consequences that can befall a non-immigrant visa applicant, it is always wise to be completely candid on a visa application and explain all of one’s reasons for traveling to the United States of America.

The B1 visa is often issued in tandem with a US tourist visa, also known as a B2 visa. This visa category is utilized by those traveling to the United States for recreational purposes. Consular Officers will often issue combined B1/B2 visas because the applicant is planning a trip which combines elements of both business and pleasure. For example, a Thai doctor may travel to the United States to attend a medical seminar and visit family and friends after the seminar ends. In this case, a B1/B2 visa would be optimal because it encompasses all of the activities that the applicant will be undertaking in the United States.

As with many types of non-immigrant single intent visas, the applicant must overcome the statutory presumption of immigrant intent under section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. The applicant must essentially show that they have such strong ties to Thailand (or any other country outside of the USA) that they will not remain in America past the expiration of their visa.

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6th January 2010

For those who are interested in learning about the details of tourist visas from Thailand please see our main page at: US tourist visa Thailand. For those who would like to see information about all aspects of American Immigration from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.

The United States B-2 Tourist Visa in 2010

In 2010, it is this author’s opinion that the B2 visa process will remain largely the same as it was in 2009. However, a brief comparison of the current B2 visa process with that of  the year 2000 could be revealing. In 2000, it was still possible to obtain a United States tourist visa through the mail. At that time, interviews were not required in certain situations if the applicant met some pre-conditions. There is anecdotal evidence which suggests that the US tourist visa application approval rate was higher prior to the introduction of the rule that there must be visa interviews for all non-immigrant visa applicants.

At the present time, an American tourist visa applicant can apply for a US Visitor Visa at either the US Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate-General in Chiang Mai provided the applicant resides in the Consular District. Unfortunately, this category is often sought by those who probably should not be seeking a tourist visa. This is particularly the case when it comes to Thai fiancees or girlfriends. In many cases, American citizens encourage their Thai fiancees and/or girlfriends to apply for a US tourist visa because it is a less time consuming process when compared to the application process for a K1 fiance visa. That being said, it is not an appropriate visa for those who intend to apply for adjustment of status in the United States. This is due to the fact that the US tourist visa is not a dual intent travel document meaning that the applicant must have true non-immigrant intent when he or she submits a tourist visa application. Lying about one’s intentions on a Department of State application form could lead to serious civil and criminal penalties as such activity could be construed as visa fraud. Further, one who has been found to be presenting a fraudulent visa application could be found inadmissible to the United States and barred from entering for a statutorily prescribed period of time. For those who wish to bring their loved one to the US, it may be wise to look into a K1, K3, or CR1 visa.

Even those with bona fide non-immigrant intent must still overcome the presumption of immigrant intent under section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. One must prove that they have strong ties to Thailand (or any other country besides the US) and weak ties to the USA before a Consular Officer will approve a B2 visa application.

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19th December 2009

The United States Department of State wishes to amend the current rule regarding the fees to be charged to applicants for non-immigrant visas overseas. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has recently released information regarding the proposed rule change. Below is a direct quote from this announcement:

“This rule amends the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for nonimmigrant visa application and border crossing card processing fees. The rule raises from $131 to $140 the fee charged for the processing of an application for most non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas…The Department of State is adjusting the fees to ensure that sufficient resources are available to meet the costs of providing consular services in light of an independent cost of service study’s findings that the U.S. Government is not fully covering its costs for the processing of these visas under the current cost structure.”

Although it is fairly self evident that this proposed rule change will affect non-immigrant visa categories such as the J1 visa, the F1 visa, the B1 visa, and the B2 visa (commonly referred to as the US Tourist Visa) there is some question as to whether or not this rule change will have an impact upon those seeking a K1 visa or a K3 visa. As can be read in the above quotation, the rule should only impact “non-petition based non-immigrant visas…” As K1 visa applications and K3 visa applications are both based upon an underlying visa petition made to USCIS this proposed rule begs the question: how will it impact K visa applicants?

The K1 visa and the K3 visa are non-immigrant dual intent visas. They are non-immigrant in that they do not allow the visa holder to remain in the United States indefinitely upon entry, but they allow for the bearer to apply for adjustment of status at a later date (provided certain prerequisites are met; in the case of the K1, marriage to the original petitioner).

This author believes that is is likely that the final rule will include a provisions raising the fees for the K visas as well as the other non-immigrant visa categories. Immigrant visa fees are in a separate category and for those filing a petition in the USA, these fess are paid directly to the National Visa Center (NVC). Many people are under the mistaken impression that in family visa cases the fees paid initially to USCIS are all-inclusive. This is not the case as the US Embassies and US Consulates are under the jurisdiction of DOS while USCIS is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) therefore, processing fees must be made to each agency at different stages.

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15th June 2009

For many Americans the Tourist visa is the travel document that comes to mind when discussing US Immigration. For Immigration based upon a family relationship the Tourist Visa is the worst option when an American Citizen spouse or Fiance is seeking to bring the foreign fiancee or spouse to the USA in order to remain.

One of the main reasons why the tourist visa is not an option that should be contemplated when making family immigration decisions stems from the fact that the purpose of the US tourist visa is misunderstood and the visa itself has been greatly misused in the past. A US Visitor Visa is intended for short term recreational purposes only. Similarly the US business visa is meant for short term business endeavors in the USA (conferences, trade shows, etc.) Neither are designed for use by those who seek to have their loved one remain in the USA permanently.

Consular officers making a judgment call on a US visitor visa must be convinced that the applicant has overcome the statutory presumption of immigrant intent. This doctrine stipulates that the applicant for a tourist visa is a presumed immigrant until they can demonstrate that they are strongly connected to a place outside of the USA. So connected, in fact, that they are more likely to leave the United States in order to return to that location than they would be to remain in the United States past their visa expiration.

A major misconception regarding practically any visa is the idea that it confers a “right” to enter the United States of America. In reality, the visa confers a right to present themselves at the border and upon inspection and approval from the Immigration officer, be admitted to the United States. Even at a United States port of entry, it is possible for the traveler to be turned away if the Immigration officer feels it is necessary. As a practical matter, this rarely occurs due to the fact that most entrants to the USA have a legitimate reason for entry.

Since September 11, 2001 US Immigration officials have been more zealous in their enforcement of US Immigration rules and regulations and as a result the scrutiny placed upon entrants to the US, whether they intend to immigrate or not, has increased.

Due to the fact that the US tourist visa is intended for non-immigrant purposes and the fact that scrutiny of non-immigrants to the US has increased. It is now highly advisable that those wishing to bring a loved one to the USA use the proper travel document. For those seeking to bring a loved one that they are not married to, a K-1 visa may be an appropriate option. While those with an overseas wife might opt for the K-3 visa, CR-1 Visa, or IR-1 Visa depending upon the couple’s circumstances and immigration goals.

Be advised that entering the USA on a visitor visa with anything other than NON-immigrant intent, could be viewed as an attempt to defraud immigration officials and lead to criminal or civil penalties as well as a possible later finding of inadmissibility. If deemed inadmissible, one can only be admitted to the USA after application for a waiver.

(Please note: this post is not a substitute for legal advice. For proper legal advice seek the counsel of a licensed attorney. No part of this piece should be construed as forming an Attorney-client relationship between author and reader.)

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