Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘K1’

21st December 2021

There was discussion that the “test and go” scheme, which effectively eliminated quarantine for foreign travelers, would be suspended and then the discussion became moot as authorities in Thailand announced that the scheme would end effective immediately. To quote directly from the Thai Enquirer website:

The Thai government said on Tuesday that it will scrap the recently implemented Test and Go Plan as Omicron variant cases spike worldwide. The Test and Go Plan, which allowed foreign arrivals to skip quarantine, and the Thailand Pass system will be suspended and reevaluated again on January 4.

This raises the question: what about those who already booked their travel plans and were expecting to use the “test and go” system? Well, apparently, they will be allowed to enter so long as they had already booked their travel, quoting further:

All travelers that previously applied for and received the Thailand Pass can still enter the kingdom until January 10 but must report two more PCR negative tests.

Meanwhile, it seems the Thailand Pass system may also be suspended. To quote directly from the ASEAN Now website:

Thailand has suspended its ‘Thailand Pass’ and ‘Test & Go’ schemes due to fears over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha has ordered the immediate suspension of new registrations for Thailand Pass and at the same reinstated mandatory quarantine effective immediately. The PM announced on Tuesday afternoon that Test & Go will be put on hold until at least January 4, 2022. The so-called ‘Sandbox’ programs will also be suspended. “After Dec. 21, there will be no new registrations for ‘Test and Go’, only quarantine or Phuket sandbox,” said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek.

With a “stroke of the pen” the travel situation has reverted back to the status it was at in mid-summer of 2021. This raises the question: will certificates of entry once again be the order of the day when traveling to Thailand? It would appear so, although the situation remains in flux and could change rather rapidly as past events have shown.

Concurrently, many of those wishing to obtain visas to the USA are finding that backlogs are common throughout the Immigration process. Presently, there are very few interview being scheduled at the US Embassy in Bangkok, citing concerns about the pandemic. Furthermore, American tourist visa applications are not processing as quickly as they did in the past due to interviews being scheduled nearly a year out. Even cases that have seen interview are seeing issues as Administrative Processing is delaying a number of cases, sometimes for a prolonged period of time.

Hopefully, the overall situation will improve and we will update this blog as the situation evolves.

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17th October 2021

There are a substantial number of news stories currently noting the announced reopening of Thailand for a broad swath of tourists beginning November 1. To quote directly from the Bangkok Post:

Thailand will allow fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries to enter the kingdom without quarantine from Nov 1 as a key effort by the government to boost the economy. In a televised broadcast on Monday night, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he has instructed the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Public Health Ministry to consider reopening the country to fully vaccinated tourists without quarantine on Nov 1. However, pre-conditions are that international visitors will need to show that they are Covid-free at their time of travel with an RT-PCR test undertaken before they leave their home country, and then have a test in Thailand…

Clearly the government seems intent upon reopening, but there are some who question whether Thailand will actually reopen on the date selected. Some have pointed out that the deadlines remains tentative. As of the time of this writing the regulations regarding entry to Thailand remain as they have been since April of 2021 for the unvaccinated traveling to Thailand by land, while vaccinated travelers coming by air have seen their quarantine period reduced to 7 days and the unvaccinated must now only quarantine 10 days. Meanwhile, there is also discussion about abolishing the certificate of entry in favor of a “Thailand Pass”. To quote again from the Bangkok Post:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Digital Government Development Agency are developing a new system to replace the certificate of entry (CoE) for Thais and foreigners who wish to enter the country through an airport. Tanee Sangrat, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Thursday a new web-based application called the Thailand Pass system, where people can gather information and upload documents, is being developed for the kingdom’s Nov 1 reopening. Mr Tanee said the Thailand Pass will replace the CoE system and facilitate the filing of an immigration form known as the TM6 and a health declaration form known as T8…

Although the new Thailand Pass will replace the certificate of entry, many of the attributes of this new system appear very similar to the COE system and it should be noted that for some travelers a certificate of entry may still be required. The analysis regarding who requires a certificate of entry to be admitted to Thailand and who can use the Thailand Pass will depend upon the specific facts in a given case.

As Thailand appears to be easing restrictions associated with inbound travel, backlogs in the American immigration system persist. Presently, it is taking an extremely long time, compared to times past, to secure an appointment for an American tourist visa interview. Concurrently, those seeking a K-1 visa or a K-3 visa for a Thai fiancee or spouse to travel to the USA are seeing interview appointments allocated with a decreasing frequency. Furthermore, appointments being issued through the National Visa Center for CR-1 visas and IR-1 visas for immigrant spouses are also increasingly scarce. Hopefully, these delays are temporary and we will see speedier processing of these cases sooner rather than later.

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1st September 2021

The lockdowns in Bangkok and other highly populated areas of Thailand appear to be abating as it has recently been decreed that certain retail businesses may reopen while restaurants and other eateries may again serve dine-in customers from today onward. There seems to be an implication that further easing will be forthcoming, but we have seen that attitude before only to see things suddenly reverse. Hopefully, the business community in Bangkok and Greater Thailand has finally come through the worst of these rather stringent measures and things can move on.

Meanwhile, various destinations in Thailand are attempting to “Move On“. Notably, Phuket has implemented initiatives in the “Phuket Sandbox” program to allow travelers in that location to travel to other destinations after an initial 7 days on the island in the “7+7” program. Although this is definitely good news tourism numbers remain far below normal and therefore it remains to be seen how many people will actually avail themselves of this opportunity. The sandbox initiative has not garnered the tourism interest that many had hoped, but with high season coming this could change. It is worth noting that a number of non-immigrant Thai visa holders have availed themselves of the sandbox scheme as it is viewed as less cumbersome compared to dealing with 14 days of quarantine when traveling to other parts of Thailand.

It is notable that Thailand is one of the only jurisdictions in Southeast Asia which is permitting tourists to enter the country. Not to mention non-immigrant visa holders (most of whom were completely barred from reentry last summer). That stated, issues still arise for foreign nationals in Thailand as there are those who have problems either maintaining their status due to unforeseen work issues or no longer meet the requirements of their lawful status. Under such circumstances it is optimal to avoid falling into overstay and attempt to obtain a Thai visa conversion in order to remain in the Kingdom.

American immigration is not moving as quickly as was the case prior to 2020. That stated, things are moving more quickly compared to the situation in 2020. Although appointments for non-immigrant visas to the USA such as tourist visas are difficult to come by and even obtaining an appointment for a K-1 visa interview can be difficult. There are those who hope that a change in administration in the USA will result in concrete changes to the American immigration apparatus, but any improvements remain to be seen.

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10th August 2021

As the current economic situation in Thailand continues down a precarious path due to lockdowns. There are many who fear tourism may not return to Thailand in high numbers any time in the near future. In fact, quarantine rules do not look like they are going away and the Phuket sandbox has proven to be less of a draw than initially anticipated. There are some who have speculated that Thailand may have come to overly rely upon tourism as an integral component of the overall economy. Whether or not this is true is difficult to ascertain, but it should be noted that anyone predicting the events of 2020 and 2021 in, say, the year 2018 would have been called worse names than crazy so the notion that Thailand came to overly depend upon tourism is only an argument that operates logically in hindsight.

Although the Phuket sandbox has been discussed a great deal as of late, there is also a similar program which has been initiated in Samui and those wishing to avail themselves of this tourism opportunity may do so by traveling through Bangkok in “sealed terminals” in order to undergo “sandbox quarantine” for 14 days on that island. Presently, travel restrictions in Thailand have precluded wide travel latitude for those wishing to leave the Phuket sandbox, but this does not appear to currently be an issue in the Samui system. Those wishing to travel to Bangkok from abroad may do so, but they are still required to undergo quarantine in a Bangkok hotel via the Alternative State Quarantine system.

Business travelers to Thailand are not precluded from using either the Samui or Phuket sandboxes so those with a Thai business visa and/or Thai work permit may return to Thailand without undue hardship. It is worth pointing out that Thailand is one of the few jurisdictions in Southeast Asia which is trying to maintain tourist travel as well as admitting non-immigrant visa holders such as the aforementioned B visa holders as well as those holding an O visa for marriage to a Thai or for retirement. Thai Embassies and Consulates are still issuing O-A retirement visas to those retirees abroad. Thailand remains one of the few countries in Southeast Asia actively issuing visas to foreign retirees.

Those seeking visas to the USA may continue to do so under present circumstances although appointment scheduling has proven somewhat cumbersome in recent months as the American Embassy in Bangkok appears to be either understaffed or unable to process a large caseload due to restrictions associated with the response to COVID-19. However, appointments are available, albeit it in a relatively limited number.

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24th May 2021

The overall posture of American immigration has improved considerably since the beginning of 2021. With the transition to a new administration there have been a number of changes in how immigration cases are processed. As noted previously, the public charge rule has reverted back to pre-Trump criteria. Concurrently, it appears the current administration has rolled back a potentially disturbing policy regarding collection of biometric data from not only intending immigrants to the United States, but American petitioners and sponsors as well. Presently, there are a number of backlogs holding up cases at various points in the US immigration process. For example, processing times at USCIS are longer overall. Meanwhile issues at the National Visa Center are prolonging case processing. Finally, the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand has had to postpone a number of appointments citing the COVID situation. Although it seems the Embassy is prioritizing family based Immigrant Visa Unit matters over the non-immigrant visa unit as some level of priority seems to be conferred to cases such as applications for the K-1 visa (for fiances of America citizens) and the marriage visa cases (K-3, IR-1, and CR-1 visas). There does seem to be some hope on the horizon that things will start looking better as this administration does not seem as intent on being deliberately obtuse with respect to processing immigration cases.

Turning to Thai immigration news, the situation in Thailand has turned less positive since April and the upshot in an immigration context is the re-extension of the quarantine time in Thailand. As of the time of this writing, all travelers (including those vaccinated) arriving in Thailand are required to undergo a 14 day quarantine. On a more general note, Thailand remains under a state of pseudo-lockdown which is having a tremendously negative impact upon the SME sector. However, there is hope that things will begin to turn around as the COVID vaccination is rolled out in early June. Key officials in Thailand have also stood firm behind their commitment to reopen Phuket for the “sandbox” initiative in July. This is apparently still moving forward and, as yet, this doesn’t seem likely to be cancelled. That stated, many initiatives (such as “travel bubbles” or reduced quarantine) have been proposed and ultimately shot down or have been rolled out only to be rolled back. Therefore, it is difficult to predict exactly how things will progress moving forward in the course of the next few weeks, but hopefully these days ahead will be better than those recently transpired.

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14th February 2021

Since the last posting on this blog there have been a number of developments and discussions with respect to both Thai and American immigration issues. One development which has received substantial media coverage has been the Executive Orders signed by President Biden with regard to Immigration policy. Of particular note to the administration of this web log was the order titled: Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. The content of this Executive Order seems designed to impose a new policy paradigm upon the Immigration bureaucracy (or perhaps reimpose of a previously existing paradigm). This effort to change the prevailing paradigm is evidenced in the opening lines of the order itself:

Consistent with our character as a Nation of opportunity and of welcome, it is essential to ensure that our laws and policies encourage full participation by immigrants, including refugees, in our civic life; that immigration processes and other benefits are delivered effectively and efficiently; and that the Federal Government eliminates sources of fear and other barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government services available to them…The Federal Government should develop welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship, and it should embrace the full participation of the newest Americans in our democracy.

Clearly, the administration seeks to re-establish a sense of decorum and compassion tot eh immigration system. The order goes on the delineate as to more concrete steps toward those ends:

Sec. 3.  Restoring Trust in our Legal Immigration System.  The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall review existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that may be inconsistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(a)  In conducting this review, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall:

(i)   identify barriers that impede access to immigration benefits and fair, efficient adjudications of these benefits and make recommendations on how to remove these barriers, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law; and

(ii)  identify any agency actions that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system — such as the final rule entitled, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements,” 85 Fed. Reg. 46788 (Aug. 3, 2020), in light of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act (title I of division D of Public Law 116-159) — and recommend steps, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to revise or rescind those agency actions.

(b)  Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall each submit a plan to the President describing the steps their respective agencies will take to advance the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(c)  Within 180 days of submitting the plan described in subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall each submit a report to the President describing the progress of their respective agencies towards implementing the plan developed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and recognizing any areas of concern or barriers to implementing the plan.

It remains to be seen precisely how this will impact the American immigration system, and it should be noted that the apparatus is unlikely to fundamentally change over night. That stated, there is good reason to hope there may be “light at the end of the tunnel” after months of seemingly unnecessary delay and obfuscation in the visa process. There does appear to one area of particular interest to the current administration with respect to US immigration. Namely, there have been a number of issues associated with the “Public Charge rule” and prior to the issue of COVID-19 coming to the forefront of immigration analysis, public charge was shaping up to be a significant obstacle for a number of family based immigration cases (including, but not limited to: the K-1 visa, the K-3 visa, the CR-1 visa, and the IR-1 visa categories). The recently promulgated order seems to take this issue seriously:

The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of other relevant agencies, as appropriate, shall review all agency actions related to implementation of the public charge ground of inadmissibility in section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4), and the related ground of deportability in section 237(a)(5) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(5).  They shall, in considering the effects and implications of public charge policies, consult with the heads of relevant agencies, including the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(a)  This review should:

(i)    consider and evaluate the current effects of these agency actions and the implications of their continued implementation in light of the policy set forth in section 1 of this order;

(ii)   identify appropriate agency actions, if any, to address concerns about the current public charge policies’ effect on the integrity of the Nation’s immigration system and public health; and

(iii)  recommend steps that relevant agencies should take to clearly communicate current public charge policies and proposed changes, if any, to reduce fear and confusion among impacted communities.

(b)  Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall each submit a report to the President describing any agency actions identified pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) of this section and any steps their agencies intend to take or have taken, consistent with subsection (a)(iii) of this section.

It seems the administration is particularly keen to address the difficulties imposed by rules changes pertaining to public charge and hopefully some revision of the rules may be forthcoming sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, although there has not been a great deal of substantive change to current immigration policy in Thailand, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding possible policy changes to in an effort to revitalize the Thai tourism sector which, depending upon the source, seems to have seen between 1-3 million layoffs since the response to the pandemic began. Once solution discussed has been the notion of a “vaccine passport” or “immunity passport“. Essentially, this notion centers upon the idea that those who can prove they have been inoculated against COVID-19, via one of the many vaccinations currently on the market, will be allowed to travel to Thailand without the need to quarantine in one of the alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities. Notwithstanding the fact that there has ben a great deal of discussion on this matter, it currently appears, as with the so-called “travel bubble” scheme, that this program will not be implemented any time soon. As the tourism sector in Thailand languishes, long stay tourists may avail themselves to special tourist visas or standard TR visas to stay in Thailand. Furthermore, the Thai retirement visa remains a viable option for those wishing to travel to Thailand for retirement purposes.

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5th January 2021

As 2021 dawned the situation in Thailand, specifically the response to COVID-19, deteriorated. Presently, in place of full lockdowns, much of Thailand is operating under a system of provincial imposition of “highly controlled area” status which is restricting many operations many people once took for granted. How has this impacted the immigration system? Initially, it seemed this turn of events would not impact prospects for gaining admission to Thailand. Then, it appeared that those from the UK might be restricted from arriving in Thailand. To quote directly from the Bangkok Post:

The Ministry of Public Health will ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to defer the entry of British visitors to the country after the fast-spreading B117 strain of Covid-19 was found in four British nationals entering Thailand on Dec 21.

This caused a great deal of consternation especially among those seeking Thai visas from the Embassy in the UK. However, further deliberation seems to have resulted in the decision that arrivals from the United Kingdom will not be impeded. Quoting directly from The Nation:

Thailand’s measures to control the spread of Covid-19 are strong enough to not warrant special measures against travellers from the United Kingdom, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thanee Saengrat said.

Based upon the above information, it seems logical to presume that the overall situation regarding foreign nationals arriving in Thailand remains much as it did prior to the new year. Meanwhile, a number of travelers are finding that trying to process their Thai visa application on their own from abroad is a cumbersome endeavor. The overall process of gaining lawful admission to Thailand is greatly changed compared to times past. One major sticking point for many is the addition of the certificate of entry to the process. This document is required in addition to a Thai visa. Concurrently, documentation showing a lack of infection for COVID-19 in addition to fit to fly documentation has proven nettlesome for many. Couple this with the fact that those entering Thailand are still required to undergo Alternative State Quarantine for 14 days prior to gaining total access to the Kingdom. There was some discussion regarding the possibility of seeing the quarantine time frame reduced to 10 days or even less. However, under present circumstances this seems highly unlikely. The notion of “travel bubble” arrangements also being brought online seems unlikely at this time as well.  Although many in Thailand are hopeful that the disbursement of a vaccine may result in a return of tourists in 2021. As of the time of this writing, this remains conjecture.

Turning to American immigration, many have found themselves in a kind of processing “limbo” with respect to cases such as the K-1 fiance visa as well as the various marriage visas including the K-3 visa, CR-1 and IR-1 visa categories. Currently, a large number of cases remain at the National Visa Center and seem unlikely to be processed out for interview soon. There appeared to be hope in the last part of the final quarter of 2020 as some cases were being scheduled for interview, but that hope may be dashed as the current situation in Thailand may result in further interview cancellations. This situation is fluid and still evolving.

Many hope that a transition to a new administration will herald an end to certain arbitrary and capricious aspects of the immigration process in its current form, but it should be noted that it takes time for bureaucracies to change and therefore a Biden presidency may not immediately see major changes to visa case processing in 2021.

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7th July 2020

The Immigration systems of both the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand have arguably been subjected to more changes recently than they have undergone in many years. Recently, President Trump announced an expansion of his travel ban on certain foreign nationals. The relevant portions can be found in the excerpt from the White House’s website:

Sec2.  Suspension and Limitation on Entry.  The entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas is hereby suspended and limited, subject to section 3 of this proclamation:

(a)  an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;

(b)  a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien; and

(c)  an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.

It should be noted, although the expanded ban appears to have rather wide ranging effects, those seeking the K-1 visa for a foreign fiancee, a K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, or IR-1 visa for the spouse of an American citizen are unaffected by this recent proclamation. That stated, while this ban does not have a direct impact, the fact that US Embassies and Consulates overseas are still not open for visa processing continues to stall immigration matters.

Meanwhile, Thailand is taking stringent measures in an attempt to forestall any further spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. With nearly 6 weeks of zero in-country transmissions, Thailand is a proving to be a global success story in the “fight” against Coronavirus. These measures appear to be bearing fruit, but Thailand remains in lock down from an international travel context. It was recently announced that some foreigners would be allowed to enter Thailand. At the same time, Thai officials are attempting to implement a “travel bubble” scheme which will allow some tourists to enter Thailand under specific conditions. As of the time of this writing, the initiation of “travel bubbles” has yet to be seen, but they are expected to come online in September. Thereafter, there will be a phased program of increasingly less stringent restrictions with the culmination presumably manifesting as tourism to resume as normal. It should be noted that the countries surrounding Thailand appear to be taking similar positions to that of Thailand with respect to inbound tourist arrivals, at least for the foreseeable future.

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4th October 2010


พลเมืองอเมริกันหลายคนต่างละเลยข้อเท็จจริงที่ว่า กงสุลอเมริกันมีอิสระในการพิจารณาคำขอวีซ่าประเภทที่ไม่ใช่ผู้อพยพ ( non-immigrant)ซึ่งมีการยื่นคำขอจากทั่วโลก สิ่งที่ต้องตระหนักถึงคือ ในแต่ละปี ชาวอเมริกันทั้งชายและหญิงเดินทางออกนอกสหรัฐอเมริกาและพบกับคนที่พิเศษ ในสถานการณ์นี้อาจมีคำถามมากมายเช่น ต้องทำอย่างไรที่จะขอวีซ่าสำหรับแฟนชาวต่างชาติเพื่อเดินทางมาที่สหรัฐอเมริกา คำตอบสำหรับคำถามนี้อาจไม่ง่ายเหมือนจุดเริ่มต้น

อ้างถึงมาตรา 214(b) พระราชบัญญัติสัญชาติและการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา เจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลในองค์กรของสหรัฐอเมริกา สถานทูตอเมริกา หรือสถานกงสุลสหรัฐอเมริกาสันนิษฐานว่าผู้ยื่นคำขอวีซ่าประเภทที่ไม่ใช่ผู้อพยพ (non-immigrant )เป็นผู้ที่มีเจตนาที่จะอพยพเข้าเมือง เว้นเสียแต่ว่าพวกเขาจะพิสูจน์ได้ว่าไม่ได้เป็นเช่นนั้น สิ่งเหล่านี้นำไปสู่การวิเคราะห์ข้อเท็จจริงโดยเจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลเจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลต้องเชื่อว่า ผู้ยื่นคำขอมีความผูกพันอย่างแน่นแฟ้นต่อประเทศของผู้ยื่นคำขอหรือประเทศอื่นๆนอกจากสหรัฐอเมริกาและต้องมีความผูกพันที่ไม่มากกับสหรัฐอเมริกา ในหลายๆกรณีการที่มีแฟนเป็นคนอเมริกันนั้นส่งผลให้ความผูกพันแน่นแฟ้นกับประเทศบ้านเกิดนั้นน้อยลงและนำไปสู่การปฏิเสธวีซ่าตามาตรา 214(b) เหตุผลนี้เป็นส่วนหนึ่งที่เจ้าหน้าที่สถานทูตไม่ควรที่จะแปลความหมายผิด เจ้าหน้าที่สามารถที่จะปฏิเสธคำขอวีซ่าท่องเที่ยวได้ตามกฎหมายถ้าผู้ยื่นคำขอไม่สามารถพิสูจน์ข้อสันนิษฐานตามมาตรา 214(b)

ด้วยเหตุผลที่สนับสนุน การที่จะพิสูจน์ให้ได้ตามมาตรา 214b แทบจะเป็นไปไม่ได้ในบางเขตอำนาจกงสุล สิ่งที่ทำให้สถานการณ์แย่ลงจากตัวอย่างที่ผ่านมามีการใช้วีซ่าประเภทที่ไม่ใช่ผู้อพยพ(non-immigrant visa)ในทางที่ผิดส่งผลถึงคำขอของการปรับเปปลี่ยนสถานะกับบริการคนเข้าเมืองและพลเมืองอเมริกา (USCIS)ตามสถิตินี้ ข้อสันนิษฐานตามกฎหมายมาตรา 214(b)ทำไห้ไม่มีความหวังในการขอวีซ่าสหรัฐอเมริกานั้นตั้งแต่เริ่มต้น

สิ่งที่ควรตระหนักถึงคือ มีหลายคู่ที่หลังจากทำความรู้จักซึ่งกันและกันและพัฒนาความสัมพันธ์ให้คงอยู่ตลอดไปสามารถที่จะรับสิทธิประโยชน์จากวีซ่าครอบครัวอเมริกัน แตกต่างจากวีซ่าประเภทไม่ใช่ผู้อพยพ (non-immigrant visa) ผู้ยื่นขอวีซ่าประเภทผู้อพยพ (immigrant visa) (หรือผู้สมัครวีซ่าที่มีวัตถุประสงค์สองอย่าง)ไม่ขึ้นอยู่กับการตรวจสอบของกงสุลตามมาตรา 214 (b)ของ INA ดังนั้นการที่จะขอวีซ่าประเภทK1, IR1 และ CR1 ไม่จำเป็นต้องเป็นไปตามมาตรา 214(b) อาจกล่าวได้ว่าการยื่นคำขอวีซ่านั้นต้องอยู่บนพื้นฐานของความสุจริตและวีซ่าครอบครัวต้องมีความสัมพันธ์ที่แท้จริงที่จะได้รับสิทธิประโยชน์จากวีซ่าอเมริกา

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11th June 2010

หัวข้อที่ถกเถียงกันบ่อยบนบอร์ดนี้ก็คือ หัวข้อวีซ่าท่องเที่ยว สถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกาประจำกรุงเทพมหานครจะออกวีซ่าท่องเที่ยวเป็นจำนวนมากในแต่ละแ ในอดีต คำร้องขอวีซ่าชั่วคราวจะต้องมีการยื่นแบบ DS-156 แต่ไม่นานมานี้ กระทรวงต่างประเทศได้ประกาศว่าไม่ให้ใช้ฟอร์ม DS-156 กับการขอวีซ่าท่องเที่ยว บีทู (B2)อีกต่อไป

ฟอร์ม DS-160 แบบใหม่ เป็นฟอร์มคำขอวีซ่าชั่วคราวแบบอิเล็กทรอนิกส์ เป็นฟอร์มออนไลน์ที่ใช้บันทึกข้อมูลที่จำเป็นของผู้ขอวีซ่าชั่วคราว ฟอร์ม DS-160 นี้สามารถยื่นผ่านระบบอินเตอร์เนตไปยังกระทรวงต่างประเทศของสหรัฐโดยตรง เจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลจะอาศัยข้อมูลจากฟอร์ม DS-160 ที่ยื่นเพื่อใช้ประกอบการพิจารณาคำขอวีซ่า ประกอบกับการสัมภาษณ์แบบตัวต่อตัว เพื่อตัดสินว่าผู้ยื่นขอมีคุณสมบัติได้รับวีซ่าชั่วคราวหรือไม่

เห็นได้ชัดว่า ฟอร์ม DS-160 ได้ถูกนำมาใช้เพื่อรวบรัดขั้นตอนการขอวีซ่าของผู้ต้องการขอวีซ่าชั่วคราวเพื่อเข้าประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา ผู้เขียนได้ตัดตอนข้อความที่ประกาศไว้มาให้อ่านกันดังต่อไปนี้

สถานทูตของสหรัฐอเมริกาและกงสุลทั้งหมดที่ดำเนินการคำขอวีซ่าชั่วคราวให้ใช้แบบฟอร์มออนไลน์ DS-160 แบบใหม่ ดังนั้นผู้ขอวีซ่าจะต้องใช้แบบฟอร์ม DS-160 ออนไลน์นี้กับการขอวีซ่าชั่วคราวเกือบทุกประเภท แต่ไม่ทั้งหมด โปรดดูหมวด ถาม-ตอบของกระทรวงการต่างประเทศ สำหรับข้อยกเว้นและเพื่อให้ทราบว่าวีซ่าชั่วคราวประเภทใดบ้างที่ยังคงใช้แบบฟอร์ม DS-156 ในขณะนี้

มีหลายๆคนที่กังวลว่าการเปลี่ยนแปลงที่เพิ่งเกิดขึ้นนี้จะส่งผลกระทบกับคำขอวีซ่าประเภทอื่นๆ ความกังวลนี้มักจะเกิดขึ้นกับผู้ที่จะขอวีซ่า K1 หรือ K3 สำหรับคู่หมั้นหรือคู่สมรสต่างชาติ นั่นหมายความว่าคุณอาจจะต้องปรึกษากับที่ปรึกษาชาวอเมริกันที่เชี่ยวชาญเสียก่อนว่าคุณควรจะยื่นแบบฟอร์มประเภทอะไรจึงจะเหมาะกับวีซ่าประเภทที่คุณต้องการยื่นขอ และเช่นเคย คุณควรหมายเหตุไว้ว่าทนายความอเมริกันที่มีใบอนุญาตเท่านั้นที่จะสามารถให้ความช่วยเหลือด้านกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองอเมริกันได้อย่างถูกกฎหมาย หลายๆคนอาจจะเห็นว่าการขอวีซ่าท่องเที่ยวไม่ต้องอาศัยความช่วยเหลือจากทนายอเมริกัน เนื่องจากจะทำให้เสียค่าใช้จ่ายมากขึ้นปล่าวๆ อย่างไรก็ตาม คำขอวีซ่าสำหรับบุคคลในครอบครัวของชาวอเมริกันบางประเภทนั้น การขอความช่วยเหลือจากทนายอาจจะเป็นประโยชน์มากทีเดียว

ยังควรหมายเหตุไว้อีกว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าหลายๆคนถูกปฏิเสธวีซ่าจากเจ้าหน้าที่กงสุลอาศัยเหตุตาม พระราชบัญญัติคนเข้าเมืองและสัญชาติของอเมริกา มาตรา 214(b) ซึ่งหมายความว่าผู้ขอวีซ่าไม่สามารถพิสูจน์ความสัมพันธ์อันแน่นแฟ้นกับประเทศบ้านเกิด และความสัมพันธ์ที่เปราะบางกับสหรัฐอเมริกา ผู้ที่ขอวีซ่าไปสหรัฐอเมริกาควรจำไว้ว่าหากว่าการอพยพเป็นเป้าหมายสุดท้ายของคุณแล้วละก็ การขอวีซ่าท่องเที่ยวอาจจะไม่ใช่วีซ่าประเภทที่เหมาะกับคุณ แม้ว่าวีซ่าจะได้รับการอนุมัติโดยกงสุลสหรัฐอเมริกาในต่างประเทศ แต่บุคคลต่างด้าวมีสิทธิที่จะถูกส่งตัวกลับเมื่อไปถึงด่านตรวจคนเข้าเมืองในสหรัฐอเมริกา หากว่า เจ้าหน้าที่ด่านตรวจคนเข้าเมืองและศุลกากรมีเหตุผลให้เชื่อได้ว่าผู้ขอวีซ่านั้นเป็นผู้ที่แฝงไปด้วยเจตนาอพยพเข้าสหรัฐอเมริกาเป็นการถาวร

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