Integrity Legal

28th June 2009

US Immigration from Thailand can be a complex and multifaceted process. Compiling Immigration forms and  documentation can be an arduous task for an American Citizen who understands the English language fluently. This difficulty is compounded when one takes into account the fact that a language barrier and 12 hour time difference can slow the visa obtainment process immeasurably. In some cases, the Thai fiancee must deal with Thai government offices, which can be frustrating and confusing depending upon the office in question.

In a previous post we discussed how retaining a US Immigration Lawyer can be highly advantageous for those seeking to obtain a US visa from Thailand. An American attorney on the ground in Bangkok can expedite the visa process by assisting a Thai fiancee with the US Immigration forms and 221 g follow up documentation at the US Embassy Thailand. Many American Citizens enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing a US visa lawyer is assisting their Thai loved one in real time.

That being said, there are certain aspects of the US visa process where a Thai attorney can be a boon to both the American client and the Thai fiancee. The first instance in which a legally trained Thai who is fluent in English can be useful is document translation. Thai legal documents that are pertinent to Visa obtainment should be translated by one with both a fluency in English and a familiarity with Thai law.  Further, some documents that are quite common in Thailand, have no analogous counterpart in the American common law system. A lack of familiarity with Thai legal documentation can create confusion and delay for visa cases submitted and processed by American citizens who opt not to retain representation. Therefore, a Thai attorney’s expertise with Thai legal documents can be essential to an expeditious visa processing time frame. Requests for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS and 221 g denials are far less common where the petitioner and beneficiary have opted to retain a firm that employs Thai and American attorneys.

A Thai Attorney can be of real assistance when it comes to dealing with government offices because they are familiar with bureaucratic protocol and can speak to the Thai officers in their own language.

A Thai attorney can assist an American attorney with preparing the applicant for the visa interview in Bangkok.  This preparation helps the fiancee or spouse feel more comfortable about the impending interview and also will make the interview proceed more quickly because the Thai is given a “heads up.”

A Thai attorney can be of great assistance in US Immigration matters, but they will not be able to accompany a Thai fiancee to the Visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. No one is allowed to accompany a Thai visa applicant to the visa interview (this includes the US Citizen spouse or fiancee). With the large caseload processing through the American Embassy in Bangkok, the waiting room cannot accommodate all of the relatives of those seeking US Visas.

(Please note: the content contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. No attorney/client relationship is created by reading this post.)


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