Integrity Legal

2nd January 2010

For those interested in a detailed analysis of the K-3 Marriage visa please see: K3 visa Thailand. For general US Immigration information please see: US Visa Thailand.

K3 Visas in 2010

It is a new year in both Thailand and America and this author felt that this would provide a perfect opportunity to discuss the K3 visa and the obtainment process in 2010. At present, there is no reason to believe that the K3 visa process will dramatically change. That being said, Comprehensive Immigration Reform will likely be a major issue in the coming months and US Family Visas will probably be effected by any changes to the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Since any commentary regarding future changes to the process would simply be an exercise in speculation it may better to simply explain the current process and processing times in order to facilitate more informed decision making on the part of future applicants and petitioners.

Currently, the K3 visa application is submitted after the submission of an initial I-130 application. At present, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) estimates that an I-129f application (the application that must be submitted in order to obtain a K3 visa) will be processed in approximately 5 months. This figure is slightly misleading as a K3 application requires that one include a copy of the Notice of Action 1 receipt for the initial I-130. It usually takes a minimum of one week after I-130 submission to receive a Notice of Action 1 receipt. Therefore, one should take this into consideration when making plans and timing calculations regarding the K3 visa for a Thai spouse.

K3 visas are processed through the National Visa Center in a manner similar to K1 visa applications. The application is then sent to the United States Embassy in Bangkok where the applicant (or their attorney of record) is notified that they can submit an application and request a visa interview.

The major difference between the K1 visa and the K3 visa is the fact that the K3 visa is a 2 year multiple entry visa where the K1 visa only provides the bearer with 90 days of lawful status in the United States. They are both dual intent visas in that they allow the bearer to have both non-immigrant and immigrant intent. This could be viewed as a benefit as it does not require the Consular Officer interviewing the applicant to analyze the applicant’s intentions through the prism of section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 214b is commonly cited by Consular Officers when denying applications for a US tourist visa or other non-immigrant visa categories.


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