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I need a little clairification here

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I am so confused about what visa to apply/petiton for. Im new at all this, so let me just tell you guys about my situation and what you think the best choice/option should be.

Im a 27 year old offshore oil worker, im from the states, and I have been living in thailand in my off time. I have been with my Thai Girlfriend for 3 years (also 27). We applied for a tourist visa recently and got denied. It was a huge dissapointment to say the least. So now we are looking at our options. The goal is for her to get a US passport and freedom to travel with me.

We are not married yet, but have been talking about it and I heard there was some difference about applying for a K-1 fieonce visa and a K-3 Spouce visa. I heard that once in the states, you have to file for adjustment of status, and that takes like 6+ months. Ideally I dont want her to have to go to the states and sit there alone for 1-2 months at a time waiting for the adjustment of status while I am at work overseas. We dont have any plans to live in the states, but, I want us to have the option.

So I guess my question is:

Should I marry in Thailand and apply for the Spouce Visa or wait and apply for the K-1. Like I said, I dont want her to have to go to the states and be alone not knowing anybody waiting for the adjustment of status.

I dont know if this is the right sub-forum, but im just about as confused as I can get. I would really appreciate a little guidance here.

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There is no path for her to obtain a US passport that does not include obtaining a green card and residing in the US for a majority of time while a green card holder (3 years).

*At this point moving thread to General Immigration forum*

Edited by Anh map

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I agree, part of your plan must include your girlfriend living in the US. She must be a permenant resident of the US for 3 years before she can apply for citizenship

How you go about that is up to you. You can file for a fiance visa or the Cr-1 spousal visa (no more K3) and sadly, I'm not surprised a single woman in Thailand didn't get a tourist visa to visit her boyfriend in the US

Good luck


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You say you do want her to immigrate to the US but both the visa types you mention are immigrant visa's.

The B2 is the visitor visa.


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If you have no plans to live in the US in the immediate future, then you may wish to proceed with your plans to marry, travel as you can while residing outside of the US and postpone plans to get your wife US immigration documents until after you are ready to return to the US to live. After marriage, it may be easier for her to get a visitor's visa to join you on a visit to the US, as long as you are both able to provide evidence of ties to your life outside of the US as reassurance she would not be trying to bypass the appropriate immigration process. It is virtually impossible for a single Thai woman involved with but not married to a US citizen to get a visitor's visa because the immigration risk is considered too great.

If, after marriage and living/working abroad, you decide you would like to return to the US to live you can file overseas through what is known as 'Direct Consular Filing' (DCF). You have to have legal status in the country from where you are filing with the local US Consulate and be able to prove you have established or will re-establish domicile back in the US, but it is a faster process altogether, and may suit your needs better.

Once living in the US as a permanent resident, your wife would qualify to file for US citizenship after 3 years (as long as the two of you are still married and together) and then, if you wanted, you could both come and go as you please. There is no way for her to get US citizenship, however, without meeting the permanent residency and physical presence requirements of living within the US. Just having a green card is not enough - she would need to be living in the US as well.

If your intent is not to live in the US at this time, then a green card would be of no use to her because she needs to maintain physical residency in the US in order to retain her permanent residence status. She can't live overseas.

Edited by Kathryn41

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If you have no plans to live in the US in the immediate future, then you may wish to proceed with your plans to marry, travel as you can while residing outside of the US and postpone plans to get your wife US immigration documents until after you are ready to return to the US to live. After marriage, it may be easier for her to get a visitor's visa to join you on a visit to the US, as long as you are both able to provide evidence of ties to your life outside of the US as reassurance she would not be trying to bypass the appropriate immigration process. It is virtually impossible for a single Thai woman involved with but not married to a US citizen to get a visitor's visa because the immigration risk is considered too great.

If, after marriage and living/working abroad, you decide you would like to return to the US to live you can file overseas through what is known as 'Direct Consular Filing' (DCF). You have to have legal status in the country from where you are filing with the local US Consulate and be able to prove you have established or will re-establish domicile back in the US, but it is a faster process altogether, and may suit your needs better.

Once living in the US as a permanent resident, your wife would qualify to file for US citizenship after 3 years (as long as the two of you are still married and together) and then, if you wanted, you could both come and go as you please. There is no way for her to get US citizenship, however, without meeting the permanent residency and physical presence requirements of living within the US. Just having a green card is not enough - she would need to be living in the US as well.

If your intent is not to live in the US at this time, then a green card would be of no use to her because she needs to maintain physical residency in the US in order to retain her permanent residence status. She can't live overseas.

This is sound accurate advise with some exception.

My husband lived in Thailand for two years after we married. I applied 3 times for a tourist visa but was denied each time. Finally an officer told my husband they were NOT allowed to issue tourist visas to Thais married to USCs because of the " strongest ties " rule. Those ties are to the husband upon entry to the USA no matter what the previous situation might have been.

Having said that I think Kathryn is right in that you may be able to present the case that both of your lives are & will be centered outside the USA. You wil have to do an outstanding job at explaning that in a letter to be turned in with the tourist visa application. You will not be allowed at the interview to discuss the situation so it must be done in writting.

Later if you choose to live in the USA the DCF would be the best way to get a CR 1.

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This is sound accurate advise with some exception.

My husband lived in Thailand for two years after we married. I applied 3 times for a tourist visa but was denied each time. Finally an officer told my husband they were NOT allowed to issue tourist visas to Thais married to USCs because of the " strongest ties " rule. Those ties are to the husband upon entry to the USA no matter what the previous situation might have been.

Having said that I think Kathryn is right in that you may be able to present the case that both of your lives are & will be centered outside the USA. You wil have to do an outstanding job at explaning that in a letter to be turned in with the tourist visa application. You will not be allowed at the interview to discuss the situation so it must be done in writting.

Later if you choose to live in the USA the DCF would be the best way to get a CR 1.

Thanks for the clarification, Ning. First hand experience is always invaluable. :yes:


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. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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You say you do want her to immigrate to the US but both the visa types you mention are immigrant visa's.

The B2 is the visitor visa.

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If you have no plans to live in the US in the immediate future, then you may wish to proceed with your plans to marry, travel as you can while residing outside of the US and postpone plans to get your wife US immigration documents until after you are ready to return to the US to live. After marriage, it may be easier for her to get a visitor's visa to join you on a visit to the US, as long as you are both able to provide evidence of ties to your life outside of the US as reassurance she would not be trying to bypass the appropriate immigration process. It is virtually impossible for a single Thai woman involved with but not married to a US citizen to get a visitor's visa because the immigration risk is considered too great.

If, after marriage and living/working abroad, you decide you would like to return to the US to live you can file overseas through what is known as 'Direct Consular Filing' (DCF). You have to have legal status in the country from where you are filing with the local US Consulate and be able to prove you have established or will re-establish domicile back in the US, but it is a faster process altogether, and may suit your needs better.

Once living in the US as a permanent resident, your wife would qualify to file for US citizenship after 3 years (as long as the two of you are still married and together) and then, if you wanted, you could both come and go as you please. There is no way for her to get US citizenship, however, without meeting the permanent residency and physical presence requirements of living within the US. Just having a green card is not enough - she would need to be living in the US as well.

If your intent is not to live in the US at this time, then a green card would be of no use to her because she needs to maintain physical residency in the US in order to retain her permanent residence status. She can't live overseas.

Yeah I dont want to live in the US right now and I dont want to bring my girl back with me until Im ready to work and live there permanantly. I just dont want to dump her off there and then leave the country for 1-2 months at a time.

So let me make sure I understand this... Lets say we are already married in thailand. We then would do all the things needed for the CR-1 Visa. She gets it, and we go to the states and get legally married. We will be married less than 2 years obvieously, so she will be on a probational visa for 2 years? Is that right? And when she comes to the states, she has to stay there for 3 years until she can apply for permanant residency? With a green card she can work, get a drivers liscence, open a bank account, get credit cards, and all that right? So when she gets her visa, goes to the usa, immediately gets her green card, lives there for 3 years, then she can get the passport? If thats the case then it looks like you are right and we should wait until we are ready to live in the states.

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This is sound accurate advise with some exception.

My husband lived in Thailand for two years after we married. I applied 3 times for a tourist visa but was denied each time. Finally an officer told my husband they were NOT allowed to issue tourist visas to Thais married to USCs because of the " strongest ties " rule. Those ties are to the husband upon entry to the USA no matter what the previous situation might have been.

Having said that I think Kathryn is right in that you may be able to present the case that both of your lives are & will be centered outside the USA. You wil have to do an outstanding job at explaning that in a letter to be turned in with the tourist visa application. You will not be allowed at the interview to discuss the situation so it must be done in writting.

Later if you choose to live in the USA the DCF would be the best way to get a CR 1.

When we applied for the tourist visa, the guy doing the interview didnt even look at her evidence at all. He read my letter and in it I said that I was living in thailand on tourist visas. Me being 27, not married to a thai, not old enough for a retirement visa, and not working in thailand, I cant get a non immigrant class long term visa. Its impossible. We rent a house (Her name on the contract) Financed a car (In her name also) Ive got 2 1000cc Yamaha R1's both in her name, about a BILLION pictures of us everywhere in SEA. In the end, they guy said that I (the boyfriend) do not show strong enough ties to THAILAND and he can not grant her the visa. My girlfriend was shatterd, and asked him what we are supposed to do. She told him that we didnt want to get married because of visa issues, and he replied back that it might be better to be married. #######??? Man its sad. She waited for 5 hours in there, and the guy called her over, then promptly told her no. Didnt even give a ###### to ask her any questions.

So I was thinking we might stand a better chance at getting a tourist visa after we get married and I change over to non immigrant long term visas. Might even put more stuff in my name as well. That whole embassy ordeal made me disgusted.

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Youve got it. Although you must be legally married before filing an I-130 for a CR-1 visa.

Gets CR-1, enters USA, receives green card and has status as permenant resident. 2 years down the line you must apply to remove the conditions on your wifes green card (she will initially be issued a 2yr card). A year after that she can apply for citizenship!


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Well, that is basically it, but there are a few things you have mixed up.

Once you are married in Thailand, you are considered married in the US and do not need to get married again. In fact, she can't get the CR-1 visa unless she is legally married, wherever the marriage took place.

Yes, for a marriage of less than 2 years, when the immigrant becomes a permanent resident through marriage to a US citizen, she would have a conditional greencard and would need to file to remove those conditions during a narrow window of time that starts 90 days before the green card expires and ends when the green card expires. The application requires the two of you to provide documentary evidence that covers the whole time of the marriage, showing how you have co-mingled your financial, personal and social lives together. When this is approved, she would be a permanent resident with a green card good for 10 years. So, taking the time needed to process the removal of conditions, it could be up to 3 years as a permanent resident (she is considered a permanent resident even with the conditional 2 year card) before she gets her 10 year card.

She is eligible after living in the US for 3 years as a permanent resident (and being allowed to work, drive, open a bank account, etc. during all that time) to apply for citizenship. That process takes about another 5 months or so and there would be some additional time needed to apply for a passport afterwards as she would need a US passport in order to travel. You are looking probably at a time period of just under 4 years for her to be in a position to travel as a US citizen.

The other important consideration to keep in mind is that it isn't just your wife that needs to live in the US during this time. You need to be living there with her, maintaining a home, bank accounts and other sorts of residential ties. The two of you need to be living together in a valid marriage and have the documentation to prove it both for the removal of conditions and the citizenship application.

So, yes, you are better off just living your lives as you are until you are ready to return and live in the US. Then you would start the immigration paperwork for your wife to accompany/join you in the US. The good news is that if you have been married for more than 2 years when that time comes, your wife would receive a 10 year green card right away and would not have to file to remove conditions. She would still have to wait 3 years until she could apply for citizenship, though.

Edited by Kathryn41

“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

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When we applied for the tourist visa, the guy doing the interview didnt even look at her evidence at all. He read my letter and in it I said that I was living in thailand on tourist visas. Me being 27, not married to a thai, not old enough for a retirement visa, and not working in thailand, I cant get a non immigrant class long term visa. Its impossible. We rent a house (Her name on the contract) Financed a car (In her name also) Ive got 2 1000cc Yamaha R1's both in her name, about a BILLION pictures of us everywhere in SEA. In the end, they guy said that I (the boyfriend) do not show strong enough ties to THAILAND and he can not grant her the visa. My girlfriend was shatterd, and asked him what we are supposed to do. She told him that we didnt want to get married because of visa issues, and he replied back that it might be better to be married. #######??? Man its sad. She waited for 5 hours in there, and the guy called her over, then promptly told her no. Didnt even give a ###### to ask her any questions.

So I was thinking we might stand a better chance at getting a tourist visa after we get married and I change over to non immigrant long term visas. Might even put more stuff in my name as well. That whole embassy ordeal made me disgusted.

It would be better to start your own thread rather than take this one off track to discuss your situation.

It is almost impossible for a Thai to get a tourist visa. It is totaly impossible if the Thai female indicates she will be going to the USA with or to visit her USC boyfriend.

Every person with a visa is considered as an intending immigrant. That means they believe she will not return. Once she enters the USA you could attempt to petition for a change of status to obtain a immigrant visa. Read the strongest ties rule & you will see how that affects every attempt to get tourist visas. There is nothing to support the idea that either of you needs to return to Thailand. Motorcycles, rental houses ect are meaningless. Once the officer determined she couldnt meet the strongest ties rule there wasnt any reason to ask questions.

If you marry there is NO chance of getting a tourist visa. Her ties are then stronger to her husband than to Thailand. They will not issue the tourist visa. Even if they did she would be turned away at the POE. Having more of any property of any type in Thailand will not change the outcome.

It is true that you will have to marry to have a chance to get her a CR 1 visa. Use V J to better educate yourself about the immigration process before you proceed.

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It would be better to start your own thread rather than take this one off track to discuss your situation.

It is almost impossible for a Thai to get a tourist visa. It is totaly impossible if the Thai female indicates she will be going to the USA with or to visit her USC boyfriend.

Every person with a visa is considered as an intending immigrant. That means they believe she will not return. Once she enters the USA you could attempt to petition for a change of status to obtain a immigrant visa. Read the strongest ties rule & you will see how that affects every attempt to get tourist visas. There is nothing to support the idea that either of you needs to return to Thailand. Motorcycles, rental houses ect are meaningless. Once the officer determined she couldnt meet the strongest ties rule there wasnt any reason to ask questions.

If you marry there is NO chance of getting a tourist visa. Her ties are then stronger to her husband than to Thailand. They will not issue the tourist visa. Even if they did she would be turned away at the POE. Having more of any property of any type in Thailand will not change the outcome.

It is true that you will have to marry to have a chance to get her a CR 1 visa. Use V J to better educate yourself about the immigration process before you proceed.

Ning, you are replying to the Original Poster who created the thread.


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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