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US Visa Services
K1 Visa Thailand: K1 Fiancee Visas from the Kingdom of Thailand
One of the most popular US Family Visas is probably the type classified, in immigration law circles, as: K1 Visa Thailand. Obtaining a K1 Visa from any country is a unique process as each Embassy or Consulate has unique methods of processing K1 visa applications. An American Citizen must first petition for a K1 visa from USCIS. Then the K1 visa application will be processed at the US Embassy in Bangkok. A K1 visa processed though Thailand must be adjudicated by the Immigrant Visa Unit of the US Embassy. Each year, there are many K1 visa applications submitted to the US Embassy in Bangkok. This has lead to a large number of K1 visas being processed out of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Below are some frequently asked questions for those researching this process for the first time.
What is a K1 Visa? Is a K1 Visa what I need for my Thai Fiancé/ Fiancée?
A K1 visa is a visa for a fiancé/ fiancée of a US citizen. It can be obtained by any US Citizen. After obtaining a K1 fiancé/ fiancée visa the Thai fiancé/ fiancée will have 6 months to go to the US. Once in the US the couple will have exactly 90 days to get married in order for the Thai fiancé/ fiancée to remain in the US.
If you and your Thai fiancé/ fiancée are unmarried and wish to travel to the US in order to get married, then the K1 fiancé/ fiancée Visa is the choice for you.
What are the requirements of the US citizen to obtain a K1 visa for his or her Thai fiancé/ fiancée?
In order to obtain a K1 visa for a Thai fiancé / fiancée, a US citizen must meet certain requirements: the citizen must be free to marry (single, divorced, or widowed), he or she must meet a certain income requirement, and not have petitioned for more than two previous K1 visas (if the US citizen has petitioned for two or more K1 visas previously, then a waiver is required). Also the two parties must have met at least once prior to filing the K1 petition, although this requirement can be waived under certain conditions.
How long will it take to obtain a K1 Visa for my Thai fiancé/ fiancée?
No definitive timeframe can be guaranteed when discussing a K1 fiancé/ fiancée visa. However, solid estimates can be made based on prior experience with the K1 visa process in Thailand. It is the experience of Integrity Legal that the K1 visa process will, on average, take about 6 months to obtain a visa for a Thai fiancé/ fiancée.
Will my Thai fiancé/ fiancée be able to work upon entering the United States on a K1 Visa?
The short answer: Yes. Once a K1 visa holder enters the United States on a K1 Visa, they may apply for a Work Permit right away. However, the Thai fiancé/ fiancée will have to re-apply for a different Work Permit after the filing of an adjustment of status (which is required in order for the Thai fiancé/fiancée to stay in the US after the marriage). Integrity Legal recommends waiting until after the marriage takes place to file for a Work Permit. Unless the Thai fiancé/ fiancée must immediately go to work upon entering the US, filing for a Work Permit too soon could lead to a waste of time and money.
Can my Thai fiancé/ fiancée’s children come to the United States prior to the marriage?
A fiancé/ fiancée’s children are eligible for K2 Visas which would allow them to accompany the fiancé/ fiancée or follow the fiancé/ fiancée within 6 months of visa issuance. If the children do not apply for a K2 Visa, they should be eligible for a K2 Visa after the Thai fiancé/ fiancée gets married as long as the children apply for the K2 visa within 1 year of the Thai fiancé/ fiancée’s K1 Visa issuance.
Is the K1 Visa issued to my Thai fiancé / fiancée immediately following the embassy interview? How long is the wait to get the K1 visa after the interview?
Each embassy has its own unique procedures and as internal Embassy procedures change the timeframe for obtaining the visa can change as well. It is the experience of Integrity Legal that the US Embassy in Thailand generally takes about 4-5 business days to process an approved K1 visa application for a Thai fiancé/ fiancée. It is the advice of Integrity Legal to make no travel arrangements on behalf of your Thai fiancé/ fiancée until after the visa has actually been obtained.
Can a Permanent Resident file a petition for a K1 Visa?
The K1 fiancé/ fiancée Visa is only available to U.S. citizens and you must be a U.S. citizen in order to file for a K1 Visa Petition.
Should I just do the paperwork for the K1 visa myself?
Luckily, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the U.S. Embassies rarely turn down a K1 fiancé/ fiancée visa petition request if the above requirements are met. Unfortunately, the overall mood toward K1 fiancé/ fiancée visas within the USCIS is rather unhelpful. Instead of turning down K1 fiancé/ fiancée visa applications outright, the tactic of the USCIS is to find trivial mistakes or inaccuracies in the applications submitted to them, hold the application for around a month, and then return the entire package with a letter explaining that the application contains mistakes or is incomplete. It has been the experience of Integrity Legal that USCIS will repeat this ruse multiple times even when the mistakes brought up later would have been obvious when the petition was originally submitted. Since it is the unofficial USCIS policy of stalling the petition based upon any discrepancies, however slight; it is imperative to hire a seasoned immigration attorney when filing a K1 fiancé/ fiancée Visa.
What if we decide not to get married after my Thai fiancé/ fiancée comes to the US?
If you decide not to marry your Thai fiancé/ fiancée after obtainment of the K1 Visa and entry into the US, then your fiancé/ fiancée will have to leave the US within 90 days.
Can my fiancée travel back to Thailand after entering the US on a K-1 visa?
After entering the US, a Thai fiancé/ fiancée can travel abroad after obtaining permanent residence (a.k.a. green card). If your Thai fiancé/ fiancée would like to travel abroad before obtaining a green card, they will need to obtain official permission to leave the country known as Advance Parole. It is important to note: if your fiancé/ fiancée enters the country and then leaves before obtaining a green card or advance parole, your fiancé/ fiancée will be deemed to have abandoned his or her visa and the process will have to start over from scratch.
The process for obtaining a K1 fiancé/ fiancée Visa is difficult, arduous, and daunting. The paperwork alone can cause confusion and stress. Also, the language barrier, Thai bureaucracy, and the the large caseload of the US Embassy in Bangkok can make the process nearly insurmountable for a Thai-American couple.
Let Integrity Legal help you and your Thai fiancé / fiancée obtain the K1 Visa as quickly and efficiently as possible. With our federally licensed American attorneys we can help you fill out and submit the proper forms to USCIS.
Since our attorneys are licensed they can also accompany and represent your Thai fiancé/ fiancée to the US Embassy in Bangkok and help smooth the way for the visa application to be approved. This feature of our service is very different than what other firms in Thailand are offering.
Other firms say a representative will “accompany” your fiancé/ fiancée to the Embassy. Oftentimes all this means is that someone will basically walk her to the door and she will go into the Embassy alone. In reality, no one is allowed into the Embassy on the day of the visa interview other than the interviewee.
If your fiancé/ fiancée’s escort is a Thai National it is highly unlikely that the escort will even be allowed on Embassy property.
If the escort is not a licensed attorney then the Embassy will not even speak with him or her about your fiancé/ fiancée’s case. Currently, the US Embassy is allowing Licensed Attorneys into the Embassy in order to deal with 221 g requests for more evidence. However, the Embassy does not wish to talk to anyone other than the Thai fiancée on the day of interview.
With Integrity Legal’s K1 fiancé/ fiancée Visa service you and your fiancé/ fiancée receive the following services
- 1. Consultations with you and your Thai fiance / fiancée (in Thai if necessary)
- 2. Continuous correspondence with you and your Thai fiancé/ fiancee
- 3. Work up of documents for USCIS petition
- 4. Compilation of Thai fiancé/ fiancée’s information
- 5. Advice on compiling the documentation necessary for supporting the petition
- 6. USCIS petition filing
- 7. Monitoring of the petition once received by USCIS
- 8. Regular posting of case status
- 9. Access to legal consultation with Licensed American Attorney
- 10. Preparation of forms required by the US Embassy in Bangkok
- 11. Correspondence with the US Embassy in Bangkok
- 12. Assist your Thai fiancé/ fiancée in obtaining a Police Report
- 13. Accompanying your Thai fiancé / fiancée to get a Medical Examination
- 14. We coach and prepare your Thai fiancé / fiancée to deal with all aspects of the Embassy Interview
- 15. A licensed American Attorney will deal with any 221 (g) requests for more documentation.
For more information please see:
It should be noted that those with a Thai girlfriend who are seeking a US visa should have a bona fide intention to marry before petitioning for a K1 visa. Declaring illegitimate intentions for the purpose of seeking Immigration benefits could be construed as visa fraud and could result in penalties for a US Citizen or their Thai Girlfriend or Boyfriend. Therefore, the need for a visa should spring from a legitimate intention to marry a Thai girlfriend (fiancee) or boyfriend (fiance).
If interested in updated information regarding K1 visas please see: K1 Visa.
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