Integrity Legal

5th Sep 2009

This blog has often compared and contrasted the difference between the Immigration procedures for obtainment of a US Visa and a Thai Visa. To further compare the two systems, this post will provide a brief overview of the financial requirements one must meet in order to obtain a visa to Thailand or the United States of America.

In order to sponsor a traveler to the United States, one must first decipher the type of visa the traveler will be using. In the case of Non-Immigrant visas (F1 student visa, J1 exchange visa, or B1 Business Visa) the applicant must be able to prove that they or their sponsor will be able to pay the expenses related to the trip. In the case of F1 and J1 visas, the applicant must show that they will also fully pay for their educational endeavors or their exchange program. In some cases, the J1 visitor must reimburse the public education system where they stay in order to obtain the J1 visa.

In the case of United States Immigrant IR1 and CR1 visas for family members from Thailand, the American Citizen must show that they meet the income or financial requirements in order to act as sponsor for their loved one. The basic concern of the Consular officer revolves around the notion that the Immigrant could become a “public charge,” if the American Citizen does not have the resources to pay for the foreign spouse. An I-864 affidavit of support is used to assist in determining if the American is capable of sponsorship.

The K1 visa is a combination of the non-immigrant and immigrant visas. That being said, an affidavit of support must be filled out by the American Citizen. The difference between the I-134 and I-864 is the fact that the I-864 is more legally binding with regard to the sponsor. If the foreign entrant ever becomes a ward of the state, then the sponsor could be forced to reimburse the American government for the expenses the foreign national incurs. The K3 visa, although a marriage visa, is technically a non-immigrant visa so the American Citizen must simply submit an I-134 affidavit of support.

In Thailand, there are certain Thai visa categories which require that the applicant show that they have some sort of financial safety net. Visas such as the Thai retirement visa and the Thailand O visa (based upon marriage), require the visa holder to continually prove that they either meet a prescribed minimum monthly income or have a certain amount of money in a Thai bank account.

For those applying for Thai visas outside of Thailand, certain consulates have differing financial requirements depending upon the visa category. Therefore, one wishing to obtain a Thai Business Visa may be required to show a minimum bank balance. The minimum financial requirement may vary from post to post.

The United States Embassy in Thailand, diligently scrutinizes the financial resources of those applicants wishing to obtain an American visa. Many people believe that there is some sort of magic numerical amount of money that if shown in a bank account will guarantee visa application approval. In reality, the Embassy looks at the “whole picture” when making decisions on US tourist visas and often simply having a large bank balance is not enough to obtain a tourist visa. Further, in cases where an American boyfriend tranfers a large amount of money into a Thai applicant’s bank account in an effort to “beef up” the applicant’s credentials, the Embassy can tell that the bank balance is artificially inflated and will likely deny the application. It is never wise to manufacture evidence in order to obtain a United States visa on behalf of another.

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