Integrity Legal

8th Jan 2010

The US F1 Student Visa in 2010

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For detailed information about F-1 Student Visas please see: F1 Visa Thailand. For further reading about American Immigration from Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.

The F-1 Visa in 2010

Unlike the J1 visa, the F1 Student Visa rules were left unmodified with no proposals for modification in 2009. That being said, the F1 visa could turn out to be a problem for those later filing for a family visa category such as a K-1 or K-3. This can be attributed to the fact that some of those who enter the United States on an initial F-1 visa either overstay their visa or remain for a long period of time in “duration of status.” Duration of status means that the visa holder is in status so long as underlying reason for traveling to the United States still exists. Those who remain for a long period of time in duration of status are unlikely to be later found inadmissible due to overstay as they usually do not accrue unlawful presence. However, their application and file may be placed into administrative processing while the Consular Officers make a determination regarding the applicant’s previous status in the United States. In some ways, this can be more frustrating than a finding of inadmissibility because Administrative Processing can take a great deal of time as the Consular Officers diligently research the applicant’s immigration history.

The F1 visa in Thailand is similar to the J1 visa in Thailand because the applicant may interview at the US Consulate in Chiang Mai rather than the US Embassy in Bangkok if the applicant lives in the Chiang Mai Consular district. One should not assume that one post is any “better,” than the other because at either post, the Consular Officers still make their decisions based upon the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). It has been the author’s opinion that Consular Officers adjudicate cases “by the book,” and therefore any type of “forum shopping,” could be counterproductive.

Unlike a K1 visa, the F-1 visa is not a dual intent travel document so the Consular Officer must make a presumption of immigrant intent pursuant to section 214b of the INA. In order to overcome this presumption, the F1 visa applicant must demonstrate that they have “strong ties,” to Thailand and do not intend to remain in the United States past the expiration of their visa. The F-1 visa applicant must further prove that he or she has the financial resources necessary to pay for the educational course of study as well as living expenses in the US.

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