Integrity Legal

15th Jul 2009

One of the most prevalent advertising incentives utilized by people claiming to be a “visa agent,” “immigration consultant,” or “lawyer,” is the 100 percent guarantee that a visa will be issued. A variation on this scheme  is also the 100% money back guarantee if the visa is not obtained.

The most common visa category in which people run into these “guarantees” is the K-1 visa. When doing research regarding US Immigration Lawyers in Thailand, prospective petitioners and beneficiaries come across something that is seemingly too good to be true: a no-lose situation. The “agent,” does all of the work and should the visa be denied the fee will be refunded.

Sounds great right? Except for the fact that it really is too good to be true. First, no one can guarantee a visa will be obtained. Let me make this clear: NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE THAT A VISA WILL BE OBTAINED. Much like any other field of law, US Immigration has success and failure and there is a common incorrect belief that a marital, or intended marital, relationship with an American citizen gives the Thai spouse or fiancee the “right” to a marriage or fiance visa. Although an American Citizen does have the right to marry or date whomever they please, this relationship does not, in itself, create a right to United States Immigration benefits. Therefore, no visa guarantee can honestly be made regarding United States Immigration and visa regulations or how United States consular officers and USCIS adjudicators will interpret those regulations.

I have seen many cases in Thailand where an “agent” or “lawyer,” provided a 100% money back guarantee, failed to obtain a visa for his client, and did not subsequently provide a refund.

In the same vein as the 100% Guarantee is the notion that some “agents” have a special relationship with the US Embassy in Bangkok with regard to visa matters. In reality, no one has any type of special pull with Embassy and consular officials. In fact the US Embassy will occasionally comment regarding this phenomenon, if for no other reason than to explain that no person or organization has any special influence regarding Immigration or visa obtainment matters.

Although it is true that currently the US Embassy in Thailand will allow licensed American attorneys to present follow up documentation if a US visa is denied based upon section 221g of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, Embassy policy dictates that only the visa applicant may be present for the visa interview. Further, simply being able to present follow up documentation does not connote any sort of “special relationship,” but merely a policy decision.

(This posting doesn’t constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship should be inferred from reading this posting.)

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2 Responses to “US Visa Thailand: Reflections Regarding the 100% Guarantee”

  1. Emme says:

    Nice blog! Keep up the good work.

  2. Roger says:

    Thank you for the free information.

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