Do You Need to Apply for a US Visa for a Thai Girlfriend?
Whether you want to travel to the U.S. with your Thai girlfriend or want to make it possible for her to marry and live with you after you enter the U.S., you need to know what steps to take to make this happen. The following information will help you with the details of getting a US tourist visa or US K1 visa.
Visiting the U.S. Temporarily
The U.S. features over 20 nonimmigrant visa types for non-U.S. travelers as well as an array of visas for anyone coming to the U.S. to reside. What type of visa you need is based on the purpose of your travels. If you are coming to the U.S. with your U.S. citizen boyfriend and Thailand is your permanent home, you would apply for a B2 visa. This temporary visa is for visitors from other countries who want to temporarily visit the U.S. and wish to return home.
However, if you are the fiancée or fiancé of a U.S. citizen national, you need to learn more about obtaining a K1 visa, also known as a fiancé or fiancée visa. To get this visa, you must agree to marry in the U.S. by a specific time. Otherwise, the visa will be declared null and void.
Ask for Legal Assistance before Applying
If you need a K1 visa fairly fast, you will first fill out the paperwork and submit the petition for a K1 visa. With the help of an immigration and visa lawyer, you can check for any errors, omissions, or typos before the form is submitted.
Receiving Notices from the USCIS
After you submit the I-129F, or the petition, you will receive notification of receipt in 1 to 3 weeks by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). This notification comes in the form of NOA1, or Notice of Action 1. After the notice is received, you will receive an NOA 2 – another notice in 5 to 7 months. This notice lets you know that the visa application has been transferred to the National Visa Center for further review. The NVC phase normally takes about 2 to 3 weeks for the U.S. K1 visa.
Scheduling an Interview with the Embassy or Consulate
After the NVC phase, the application process moves to the Embassy phase, which can last from 1 to 3 months. This phase may be stressful for you if you are not prepared, as you do have to schedule a face-to-face interview with a consular officer. Also, you will need to schedule a medical exam before you talk to the official. This is done to make sure you do not have a communicable disease. After the scheduled interview, you will receive a decision.
If you do get approved, the visa will be delivered by courier. It is ironic, after going through all these steps, that the actual K1 fiancé/fiancée visa is a stick-on decal that is designed to be placed on the recipient’s passport. However, when you have this all-important decal, you’re ready to purchase tickets and travel to the United States.
Meeting the Visa’s Requirements
After you receive your decal/K1 visa, you need to meet certain stipulations. For example, you cannot stay in the U.S. if you marry someone else or you and your boyfriend/girlfriend decide not to marry. When this happens, it voids the visa, and you will have to leave the country.
Therefore, you need to be sure about your decision to marry and settle in the U.S. Plus, your relationship has to be the real thing. You have to be an actual couple – two people who love each other who are committed to building a life together. This will make it possible for you to benefit greatly from getting a K1 visa – one that will ensure your future livelihood and residence in the U.S.
Do You Really Want to Marry and Live in the U.S.?
While a US tourist visa will make temporary travel with your girlfriend or boyfriend possible in the U.S., a U.S. K1 Visa will give you the authority you need to marry and permanently settle in the U.S. Both types of visas make it possible for you to be with the one you love and enjoy temporary travel or settling down permanently. Again, be sure about your decision to marry and live in the U.S. If you know that is what you want, take the steps needed now to begin the process.