Integrity Legal

13th May 2009

There are certain questions that seem to come up repeatedly when dealing with clients and prospective clients in Thailand. I thought that todays post could review some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the US Immigration process, specifically from Thailand.

1. Do two fiances need to have met before applying for a K1 visa?

The short answer: Yes. The Long answer: a couple should have met, but this requirement can be waived. In certain instances, USCIS will waive the meeting requirement if the applicant or petitioner can show a compelling reason why they have not met their fiancee within the past 2 years. That being said, it should be borne in mind that in order to have this requirement waived, a high threshold must be overcome in that the petitioner must show a compelling reason why he or she could not have met their fiancee. This burden of proof is on the level of showing “extreme hardship,” for waiver purposes.

2. Is it okay if my Thai fiancee speaks no English and only speaks Thai?

Strictly speaking, there is no language requirement with regard to US Immigration from Thailand. That being said,  having no shared language would raise issues as to whether the couple is in a bona fide relationship, because if they cannot communicate, then it could be inferred that the relationship is not genuine.

However, in cases where it is a Thai-American wishing to file a K1 application for a Thai and the couple shares a common language (Thai), this would not be as much of a pressing issue.

3. Can I file for more than 1 K1 Fiance Visa?

Yes, but with restrictions. Under the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) restrictions have been placed upon multiple filers of K1 Visas. Basically, if one wishes to file for a second K1 visa within a 2 year period after initially filing for another K1 visa, then the petitioner will need to obtain a waiver of IMBRA restrictions from USCIS.

4. How much money do I need to make in order to prove an ability to support a Thai fiance or wife?

The amount of income necessary to prove an ability to support a Thai fiancee or spouse varies depending upon the number of dependent a US Citizen petitioner has. Check the Affidavit of support financial requirements to learn more. Also, if one does not meet the income requirement, then a joint sponsor may be utilized.

Can a Permanent Resident Apply for a K1 Visa?

No, only a US Citizen is entitled to file a petition on behalf of an alien fiancee.

Can I apply for a K1 or Marriage Visa for my Partner of the Same Sex?

Under Current law, Same Sex couples are restricted from many of the family based immigration categories. However, the Uniting of American Families Act is a piece of pending legislation. The UAFA would grant, “permanent partners,”  the same immigration rights as different sex couples.

Thanks for reading,

For more information please see:

Thailand K1 visa

Thai Fiance Visa

US Visa Thailand

(Note: Nothing Contained herein should be used in lieu of individualized legal advice from a licensed attorney. No attorney-client relationship (express or implied) is created between the reader and the writer of this post).


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