Integrity Legal

23rd Jan 2010

The United States Consulate at the American Embassy in Bangkok conducts most, if not all, of the immigrant and non-immigrant family based visa application interviews submitted by those resident in the Kingdom of Thailand. The Immigrant Visa Unit is a division of the United States Consulate which has been given the specific task of adjudicating Immigrant visa applications for travel documents such as the IR1 and the CR1 visa as well as the non-immigrant dual intent travel documents such as the K1 visa and the K3 visa.

The visa interview itself is viewed by many applicants with apprehension and fear as they are worried that it will be used in an attempt to undermine the applicant’s visa application. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. In cases where the applicant has been candid, told the truth on the application forms,  and provided proper documentation the interview is simply an exercise on the part of the Consular Officers to determine that the applicant is who they say they are and that they meet the legal and factual requirements for visa issuance. The interview is not conducted in an effort to somehow humiliate or degrade the applicant, it is truly an investigation into the facts of the case. This being said, those that lie on an application or falsify documentation will likely have an unpleasant experience at the US Embassy as an Administrative Processing interview with the Fraud Prevention Unit can be a less-than-pleasant undertaking. Although courteous, the Consular Officers will often conduct their due diligence zealously in order to uncover the truth regarding the facts of the application.

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to US Immigration matters. Unfortunately, some so-called “visa agents” in Thailand encourage applicants to lie in order to cover up some perceived problem with the application.  Not only is this practice unethical, but in the case of visa interviews it is almost cruel to send a non-native English speaker into the Embassy to be interrogated by officers trained and experienced in conducting these kinds of due diligence.

After the visa interview, should the application be approved, the Consular Officer will usually take the applicant’s passport and provide them with a “Red Card.” Many who research US Immigration are quite familiar with the so-called “Green Card,” which is the Resident Alien Card provided to aliens in the US as proof of lawful permanent residence in America. A “Red Card,” is the appellation that some Immigration attorneys in Thailand as well as Thai visa applicants have applied to the the small index card that the US Embassy in Bangkok provides the applicant should their passport be taken for visa issuance. The reason that this card is referred to it as a “Red Card” is due to the fact that the stamp on the card, which denotes (in Thai and English) the date and time that an applicant can pick up the passport and visa, is red.

Red Cards are not necessarily a guarantee of visa issuance as in rare cases necessary documentation is overlooked and must still be presented by the applicant. However, in the vast majority of cases when a Red Card it issued it means that the visa will more than likely be issued and can be picked up a few days after the conclusion of the interview.

Please note that each US Embassy or US Consulate has different administrative procedures and rules. Therefore, the information regarding “Red Card” issuance at the US Embassy in Bangkok may be completely irrelevant when it comes to other posts such as the US Embassy in Myanmar or the US Consulate in HCMC. Therefore it is advisable to refer to each Embassy’s individual website for specific information about processing a visa application through that particular post.

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One Response to “Red Card: Interview and Visa Issuance at the US Embassy Bangkok”

  1. [...] +66 (0)2-266-3698, 1-877-231-7533, or [email protected]. See them on the internet at: Red Card or K-3 [...]

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