Integrity Legal

23rd November 2009

The K1 visa process is long and complicated. At the end of the process, the K1 visa holder is permitted to enter the United States one time for a duration of 90 days. Unlike a United States Tourist visa, the K1 fiance visa is a dual intent travel document. This means that the bearer is entitled to simultaneous immigrant and non-immigrant intent. Luckily, the K1 visa holder would likely not be placed in expedited removal proceedings based upon the notion that the alien is an undisclosed immigrant without proper documentation. That being said, there are still considerations which must be made before a Thai fiancee enters the United States of America.

The first major issue many American men ask about: Can My Thai fiancee leave the USA after she enters on her K1 visa? She can leave the United States, but doing so would cause her to fall out of K1 status and a new visa would need to be obtained. There is a document called an advance parole travel document which would allow the Thai fiancee to leave the USA and reenter in the same status. That being said, it is never wise to leave the USA after entering on a K1 until after the adjustment of status application is approved. It is wise to make certain the the Thai fiancee does not have any pressing concerns that must be dealt with abroad. Some circumstances cannot be foreseen, but it is not advisable to plan on turning around and leaving the USA shortly after entering on a K1.

Upon reaching a port of entry in the USA, the Thai fiancee will pass through Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This is the point at which she will need to present her visa. Most people do not realize that the visa is not merely the document in her passport, but also a large amount of documentation that the Embassy gives her after approving the application. This documentation is remitted in a sealed envelope which is not to be opened by anyone other than the CBP Officer. Generally, the CBP officer will ask some routine questions and usually admit the alien fiancee. In very extreme cases, it may be possible for a CBP officer to turn the entrant away. However, this author has yet to see a K1 visa holder turned away at the port of entry. With this in mind, couples should keep an eye upon the expiration date of the visa as this is critically important. If the visa expires before entry, then the entrant will need to reapply for a new visa at an Embassy or Consulate in Thailand.


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One Response to “Preparing a Thai Fiancee for arrival in the USA on a K1 visa”

  1. [...] 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or info@integrity-legal.com. For more on the internet please see K1 visa or US [...]

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