Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

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semperfiguy
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by semperfiguy » January 29, 2012, 1:13 pm

In times past I have sponsored two foreign wives for immigration to the US, and both are now US citizens. My last experience was in 1991, and back in those days the process was relatively simplified and inexpensive and I had absolutely no hitches. I have now been retired and living in Thailand on a Non-Immigrant O-A Retirement Visa with my new wife (legally married) for the past 19 months and I have no intention of moving back to the US; however, later this year I would like to take my wife on a two week tour to meet my family and friends. My wife taught English in the government school system for 18 years, but took an early retirement when we married. Our car is paid for and our home will be paid in full this year, but currently all marital assets are in my name only.

Having said that, is there anyone on this forum who has been in a similar situation and whose wife has successfully (or unsuccessfully) obtained a tourist visa to the USA? Will you kindly elaborate on your experience with comments and suggestions. Thanks in advance!
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Asiaphile
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by Asiaphile » January 29, 2012, 1:53 pm

On thaivisa.com there is a special section ('Visas and Migration to Other Countries') on how to obtain a foreign visa for your Thai spouse.
This post might be helpful: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/481 ... try4777229

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by BobHelm » January 29, 2012, 1:54 pm

Don't know about the USA semperfi, but to the UK I would think that a Thai national with no large financial assets & not in full time employment would not stand a snowballs' chance in hell of getting a Tourist Visa.

The applicant has to convince the officials that they have every intention of exiting the UK before their visa expires.
Without assets & employment that is going to be a very difficult thing to do.
I know that a few years ago an application for a Tourist visa to the UK could not even be made unless the applicant had a certain amount of money in the bank. I'm not sure if that has changed now or not, but in general it has got much harder to obtain a Tourist visa to the UK, rather than easier...
If your spouse is well world travelled & has a passport full of visas to foreign countries then that could also act in their favour as it is an indication that they have been happy to apply by the rules before. If your wife has a brand new passport with no foreign travel indicated then, frankly that is another strike against.

The officials can only go by the facts presented to them, I think you are going to have a hard time convincing them unless you get a few 'facts' on your side first...
A bit of foreign travel maybe, if only in Asia...some assets in her name...Although I wonder why her name is not on the deeds to the land that your house is on. That could then, with the most favourable light presented on it, be seen as quite a considerable asset...

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by Allen A Hale » January 30, 2012, 12:39 am

Semperfiguy: I have sent you two PMs with info regarding my personal experience regarding a visa for my wife.

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by rct » January 30, 2012, 10:52 am

In 2002 when we first applied for my wife's Ameican tourist visa, prior to being married, and note she was a new college graduate from ABAC, she was denied the US visa because we did NOT show adequate proof that "her economic anchor is in Thailand." We showed one bank book from her mother, one of many, with huge amounts in and out on almost daily basis due to cash flow in business dealings, however the balance was small and that bottom line number was the only number they cared about. DENIED!

We reapplied the next day, of course paying all the fees a second time which I was not too happy about, and this second time showing all relevant documents related to MY presence in Thailand, since we were in fact saying that I am/was her "economic anchor." I showed my condo ownership document, etc. We secured the visa, and again a second visa a year later, each time only for the length of time we said we would travel in the US, and each time she was required to report back to the US embassy in Bangkok after the journey, to prove to them she returned. Again this was prior to being married.

I was at the embassy this morning with my family, new passports for both myself and my 5 year old son. The new appointment systems makes sense, it is much less crowded at the embassy, both the "foreigner" side as well as the American Citizen Services side. We were in and out within 30 minutes.

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by semperfiguy » January 23, 2013, 4:35 pm

I would like to reopen this thread and ask for additional comments from those of you who may have had recent experiences with obtaining, or being denied, a tourist visa to the USA for your Thai wife. I am the original poster and there is a brief description of my circumstances in the first post. I've been in Thailand continuously now for 2 years 7 months and I have no intentions of returning permanently to the US, and I am my wife's economic anchor. I'm just wondering if she will need to show money in her Thai account to cover expenses for her trip or will the US Embassy accept a detailed look at my finances since we will be making the trip together if she is approved. Your comments are indeed appreciated.
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by tutone » January 23, 2013, 5:56 pm

I don't recall that my wife had to show a specific amount of money in her bank accounts. I do know that she was not asked to show any funds when we went through customs/immigration when arriving in the U.S. If you haven't already, go to the embassy website. When you apply do everything exactly as they say, and at her interview she should have every possible document showing her status in Thailand (job, income, assets, marriage, etc). I even wrote a personal letter to the the consulate official and let my wife show them my passport. My wife was given a "conditional" tourist visa the first time good for one year traveling with me, but the second one she has now is the 10 year variety, no restrictions. Good Luck. PM me if you have any questions. Maybe I can give you some answers.

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by KHONDAHM » January 23, 2013, 7:42 pm

Semper, you have no worries if you've been married for over 2 years. Been there and done that multiple times with my wife (and daughter). You can do all the paperwork yourself, too. When she (actually both of you) go for the interview, they will ask you probing questions to determine if your marriage is real or fake. Marriages less than 2 years are biased as potentially more fake than marriages more than 2 years. They will also consider how much time you have been in-country with her and that goes a long way towards eroding the bias. All that other property stuff and what not is nowhere near as important as you seem to believe from your posts.

Just do the paperwork, show up with her for the interview, relax and answer all questions truthfully (observing the two of you bickering also helps), and *poof* she gets the visa. The only thing I can think of that would screw things up would be if she has a prior record of being rejected for any visa in the past. Still, you intervening - politely, but sternly - to resolve any Counsular staff trepidations works wonders. If you think you have been treated unfairly by lower level staff, do not be afraid to escalate!

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by fdimike » January 23, 2013, 8:14 pm

KD
I'm not sure when your wife applied for her visa but as far as I understand the current rules No one is permitted in the interview with your wife. The interview is conducted one on one.
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by Shado » January 23, 2013, 8:21 pm

That is correct fdimike. Only the applicant is allowed in for the interview. At least it was the case about a year ago.

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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by KHONDAHM » January 23, 2013, 9:17 pm

You can most certainly go with her. They will call her up to the window solo for the interview. After which, if they are made aware you are there with her, they will call you up to the window and ask you many of the same (and other) questions. They are not interviewing you "per se", but speaking with you and observing if the two of you behave like a normal couple married for a long time helps to assure them the marriage is real and that your intentions are to return to Thailand. They may check how frequently you are in the country and how long you've stayed. If they see you are clearly a "resident" per se, it helps erode the bias that she would stay in the USA. To be clear, they make the decision "solely" on the merits of her application and the interview, BUT the whole purpose of the entire visitor visa process is to provide assurance she will not stay in the USA. What they glean from you helps with the subjective element of the assessment.

You all can fuss about it all you want amongst yourselves, but I've been through the process more than once. That's just how it is. Take it or leave it. :-"
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by KHONDAHM » January 23, 2013, 9:28 pm

Footnote: It would be different if she were his girlfriend and NOT his wife. If she were simply a girlfriend, then the interviewer would not give two shts about what's been going on with you or the two of you. It would be all about her.
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by fdimike » January 23, 2013, 9:34 pm

A friend of mine who has been legally married to local woman for about 5 years was told up to last year when applying for a tourist visa for her that he could NOT accompany his wife into the interview. He was told this same thing on two seperate occasions.
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by fdimike » January 23, 2013, 9:38 pm

The following is extracted directly from the US Embassy website:

Please note that only individuals applying for a visa are allowed to enter the Embassy. Visa applicants may not bring family members, colleagues, or friends with them, even if those individuals are American citizens. During the interview process, each applicant must present his or her case individually. Applicants should be prepared to talk about their ties and their travel plans without assistance from other family members or legal representation. The only applicants who may be accompanied are children under the age of 16 and applicants with disabilities, who may be accompanied under certain circumstances.
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Tourist Visa to USA for Thai Wife...questions!

Post by KHONDAHM » January 23, 2013, 10:22 pm

Hold on a sec while I tell my wife and daughter they really didn't get the Visitor visas (plural) in their passports. I'll also have to convince my wife I didn't really accompany her each time. It only follows that all those photos we took while traveling around the USA must have been faked and somehow slipped onto our computers. OMG, I guess that also means I need to contact Homeland and let them know they didn't actually inspect their passports for the visitor visas in person (to confirm they were in the country legally) when we went to Pittsburgh for the green card interview.

Quick! Someone call Rod Sterling and get me out of this Twilight Zone! :confused:
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