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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage Visa Thailand’

4th April 2020

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Thai government has halted all incoming flights from overseas to Thailand. To quote directly from a recent article in Thai PBS World:

“[T]he prime minister wants to see stringent measures imposed on overseas arrivals for the period between April 2-15.  The Foreign Ministry has been tasked to find out ways to implement the directive from the prime minister.”

Further, in another article from The Nation, the following was noted:

“Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has told the Foreign Ministry to issue a new directive prohibiting new arrivals.”For the immediately foreseeable future, it appears that it will not be possible for anyone to enter Thailand by air.

Clearly, the Thai government has deemed the COVID-19 issues of a seriousness that it warrants across the board restriction of incoming flights. That stated, there appears to be a end date for these restrictions on the horizon. In a further article from the Bangkok Post:

“All passenger flights have been banned from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the aviation agency said on Friday. The ban came into effect on Saturday morning and will run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday.”

Whether the government decides to extend this restriction on in-bound flights due to Coronavirus concerns remains to be seen. However, it seems logical to infer that if the restriction is lifted and in-bound flights are allowed to come to Thailand, the previously enacted restrictions on foreigners traveling to Thailand is likely to remain in effect over the medium term. To quote directly from the aforementioned Civil Aviation authority of Thailand:

With reference to the declaration of state of emergency in Thailand on 25 March 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand hereby issues travel advisory to passengers planning to enter Thailand as follows:

1. Passengers or persons shall be permitted to enter, Transit or Transfer Thailand through international airport only if they fall under one of the following categories:

(a) Being in the situation or a person exempted by the Prime Minister or Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under certain conditions and prescribed time period

(b) Carriers of necessary cargoes, but required prompt exit after the mission is completed

(c) Pilot-in-command, and crew members of the flight entering Thailand with clear schedule to depart

(d) Persons on diplomatic or consular mission, or under International Organizations, representatives of the government performing their duties in Thailand or other persons or international agencies that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives permission, and their families. In this case, certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required.

(e) Non-Thai nationals with work permit or who have been granted permission from Thai government agencies to work in Thailand (Smart Visa only)

(f) Thai nationals with certificate of entry to the Kingdom issued by Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in their country of residence certifying that they are Thais returning to Thailand, and a Fit to Fly Health Certificate.
2. The persons in (d) (e) and (f) must have Fit to Fly Health Certificate issued no more than 72 hours before traveling.
3. Passengers or persons permitted to enter Thailand shall strictly comply with disease prevention measures imposed by the government.
4. The immigration officers have the power to deny the entry of Non-Thai nationals who have been tested positive for COVID- 19, or under the suspicion of being infected or who refuse to undergo such test.
5. All previous Notifications of CAAT become ineffective.

With limited exception, the vast majority of foreigners are not going to be permitted to enter Thailand in the upcoming weeks. The vast majority of those who are permitted to enter the Kingdom are likely to be Thai Work Permit holders. Bearing that in mind, it is notable that foreign nationals in Thailand maintaining work permit as well as Thai business visa status are likely to find unforeseen issues in renewing their work permits in coming months. This will likely be due to the unintended consequences of all of the lay-offs, furloughs, terminations, and voluntary reductions of work hours for Thai employees working in the Thai business sector.

In order to maintain a Thai work permit and business visa it is required that a Thai company maintain a 4-to-1 ratio of Thai employees to foreign employees. For those foreigners using a Thai marriage visa as a platform for maintaining lawful status in Thailand as well as employment authorization the ratio of Thai employees to foreign employees is 2:1. With this in mind, the small business sector of Thailand is likely to see a significant contraction of its workforce in the second and third quarter of 2020. As Thai employees are furloughed, terminated, or resign (sometimes in order to be eligible for newly created Thai unemployment benefits) it is likely that this will have a direct impact upon the Thai/Foreign employee ratio. If the ratio of Thai to Foreign employees is not maintained within a Thai business organization, then an application for a Thai business visa extension or Thai work permit renewal may prove impossible. Therefore, those businesses, small and large, employing foreigners in Thailand should keep a sharp eye on their labor force if they wish to maintain their foreign employees’ lawful status. This can be an especially acute issue for self-employed foreign nationals in Thailand who are using their Thai limited company as a platform to maintain their status. Those in the precarious position are strongly encouraged to seek the advice and counsel of legal professionals experiences in Thai corporate compliance, accounting, staffing, immigration, and labor issues

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19th March 2020

It now appears that all visa services provided to foreign nationals at American Embassies and Consulates abroad have been suspended. In a recent article from Reuters, the following was reported:

The United States is suspending all routine visa services as of Wednesday in most countries worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak, a spokeswoman for the State Department said, an unprecedented move that will potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people…The State Department spokeswoman said U.S. missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services “as resources allow,” and that the services to U.S. citizens will remain available.

Concurrently, the following message was issued by the US Embassy in Thailand:

Information for Immigrant Visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: As of March 19, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulate in Thailand are cancelling Immigrant Visa appointments until further notice.  We will resume routine Immigrant Visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Once we resume Immigrant Visa operations, we will contact you with a new appointment date. Applicants who had their Immigrant Visa interviews cancelled due to the cessation of operations will be given first priority for rescheduling.

Meanwhile, it now appears that all intending entrants to Thailand will be required to present a medical certificate prior to boarding a plane for Thailand. To quote directly from a recent article in the Bangkok Post:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand now requires all air passengers, Thai and foreign, to show Covid-19-free health certificates and Covid-19 insurance before boarding their flights to Thailand…Airlines must require passengers to present health certificates issued no more than 72 hours before the  flight departs. The certificates must guarantee that the passengers are free of Covid-19, regardles where they board. Airlines must also require that passengers have insurance covering Covid-19 treatment in Thailand, up to at least US$100,000.

We will keep this blog updated as the situation evolves.

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25th October 2018

It recently came to this blogger’s attention, via a press release from the US Embassy in Bangkok, that the Embassy seems to be in the process of discontinuing issuance of income affidavits pertaining to verification of finances in the context of application for certain types of Thai visa extension. To quote directly from the press release:

As of January 1, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai will cease to provide the income affidavit for the purpose of applying for Thai retirement and family visas and will not notarize previous versions of the income affidavit.  The Royal Thai Government requires actual verification of income to certify visa applicants meet financial requirements for long-stay visas.  The U.S. government cannot provide this verification and will no longer issue the affidavits.

Those unaware of the importance of these documents should take note of the fact that in the past notarized income affidavits were used in connection with applications for either a Thai retirement visa or a Thai marriage visa. Such documents were utilized in lieu of presenting evidence of a lump sum in a Thai bank account (800,000 THB for a retirement visa, and 400,000 THB for a marriage visa) or proof of a prolonged history of income in a Thai bank account (65,000 THB per month for a retirement visa and 40,000 per month for a marriage visa). These documents were generally issued by the American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the US Embassy. In the past, a notarized income affidavit from the US Embassy which was legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was sufficient to meet the evidentiary requirements of the Thai Immigration officers adjudicating financial documentation in connection with applications for visa extensions. As seems to be the case in matters pertaining to British income letters, American officials appear to be unwilling to continue issuance these instruments in light of the recent official Thai requests that the veracity of the information in the affidavit be verified rather than merely the authenticity of the signature on the document. It seems that although the Embassy is unable to continue issuing such documentation as it was issued in the past, they will continue to notarize other documentation.

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14th September 2009

In a previous blog posting we discussed the K2 child visa which is a derivative visa of the K1 fiance visa. The K2 visa is intended for the unmarried minor children of K1 visa applicants. Both visas have an initial validity of 90 days, but if the K1 visa holder adjusts status, then the K2 visa holder can “piggyback” their application for adjustment onto that of their parent and obtain permanent residence as both a derivative and a step-child.

K3 visas operate in a similar manner as the K1 visa. K3 visas are non-immigrant visas that allow for dual intent. This means that the entrant can have non-immigrant as well immigrant intent at the time of entry in the United States of America. For those with children, the K4 visa is one way of bringing a K3 visa holder’s unmarried minor children to the United States. Like the K2 visa, the K4 visa mirrors the benefits of its parent category. Therefore, if a K3 visa is issued with a validity of 2 years (which has become the common practice), then the K4 will likely be issued with the same validity period. The K4 visa is also a multiple entry visa just like the K3.

The K3 visa category was created at a time when it was taking nearly three years to process regular I-130 visa applications for foreign spouses. It was created with the idea of providing an expedited non-immigrant visa alternative so that bi-national families could be reunited quickly. As the processing time for the I-130 has decreased, so too has the need for the K3.

For those who travel to the United States on a K3 or K4 visa, eventually the issue of adjustment of status will arise. As the K3 and K4 are non-immigrant visas, the holders must apply for a “green card” before being allowed to remain in the USA. K4 beneficiaries can “piggyback” their application for adjustment on their K3 parent’s application.

As stated previously, for most people the K3 visa, and therefore its K4 counterpart, is generally not the most optimum visa because it takes longer to process when compared to the K1 and it does not confer Permanent Residence as the CR1 or IR1 visa does. However, the K3 has its strategic benefits because it can allow the couple the opportunity to have more control over their case’s adjudication, because the statute specifies that the interview forum is based upon the location of the underlying marriage.

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20th June 2009

A question sometimes posed with regard to US Immigration from Thailand involves the possibility of a Thai fiancee or spouse eventually acquiring United States Citizenship by naturalization. Even in a case in which the couple in question is seeking a K-1 visa or a K-3 Visa (which are both non-immigrant visas) there still seems to be an underlying belief that eventually the immigrant fiancee or spouse will one day wish to acquire United States citizenship.

Many people wonder about the time and residency requirements for naturalization. In many cases the ability to read, speak, and write in the English language is a requirement and a general knowledge of the history and government of the United States is also mandatory.

As to the residency requirement, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) stipulates that one must have been lawfully admitted to permanent residence in the United States in order to subsequently apply for citizenship. The USCIS website goes further and states:


“Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status.”

To quote further from the USCIS website, in order to Naturalize as a United States Citizen one must meet the following eligibility requirements set forth under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Basically, the applicant must:

  1. have resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing with no single absence from the United States of more than one year;
  2. have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant’s continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period)
  3. have resided within a state or district for at least three months

Beyond these requirements the applicant must also show that they are of good character. Which is best indicated by an absence of criminal record. In cases where a child of an American Citizen is not eligible to acquire US citizenship at birth, naturalization technically occurs automatically upon the child’s entry into the United States on an Immigrant Visa.

Please note: that where the applicant for naturalization gained lawful permanent residence due to marriage to a United States Citizen, the time requirement for naturalization is 3 years of permanent residence and 18 months physical presence in the United States.

(This post is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be used as substantive legal advice. For more information please contact a licensed attorney. This post does not create a lawyer-client relationship between the person writing this post and those later reading it.)

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