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I am currently residing in Thailand with my Thai national partner. We celebrated with the traditional Thai wedding ceremony about 2 years ago.  We were initially going to file for a K-1 visa, as our marriage has not been registered and is therefore not legal.  However, several forum members strongly discouraged us from doing this, saying that if the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok had any hint of this wedding ceremony, they would deny our K-1 visa.  Whether that is true or not, I wouldn't want any chance of denial at the interview step.

 

In looking further into the the CR-1 process, I came across the term "Direct Counselor Filing" or DCF.  Bangkok has a USCIS office across the street from the U.S. Embassy.  You can file an I-130 there without an appointment. Everything I've read online about this process seems to indicate that it is significantly faster than the standard CR-1 process.  However, I can't find any information about whether this option is available in Bangkok.  The U.S. Embassy website makes no mention of it at all. The local immigration law firms in Bangkok make no mention of it. I'm wondering why information about it is so scant. It definitely seems like the way to go if it's still available here in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Any information on this would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice on DCF in Bangkok, Thailand.

'

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~~~Moved from K1 Progress Reports to DCF Discussion; duplicate thread removed.~~~


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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On 1/31/2019 at 7:51 AM, hendo25 said:

I am currently residing in Thailand with my Thai national partner. We celebrated with the traditional Thai wedding ceremony about 2 years ago.  We were initially going to file for a K-1 visa, as our marriage has not been registered and is therefore not legal.  However, several forum members strongly discouraged us from doing this, saying that if the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok had any hint of this wedding ceremony, they would deny our K-1 visa.  Whether that is true or not, I wouldn't want any chance of denial at the interview step.

 

In looking further into the the CR-1 process, I came across the term "Direct Counselor Filing" or DCF.  Bangkok has a USCIS office across the street from the U.S. Embassy.  You can file an I-130 there without an appointment. Everything I've read online about this process seems to indicate that it is significantly faster than the standard CR-1 process.  However, I can't find any information about whether this option is available in Bangkok.  The U.S. Embassy website makes no mention of it at all. The local immigration law firms in Bangkok make no mention of it. I'm wondering why information about it is so scant. It definitely seems like the way to go if it's still available here in Bangkok, Thailand.

I think the main issue is, the phrase "DCF/Direct Consular Filing" is mostly VisaJourney lingo, so if you are searching for that phrase anywhere else, especially official websites, most likely it won't show up. What the official phrasing will be is filing an I-130 petition to bring your spouse to the US.

 

USCIS does have a field office in Bangkok:

 

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/thailand-uscis-bangkok-field-office

 

I recommend calling them and asking if you are eligible to file the I-130 there directly for your spouse. From their website, it seems there is an option to file if you meet the conditions they list:

 

Quote

 

Purpose:

To establish your relationship to a relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States.
Who May File or Receive Service:

U.S. citizens residing in Thailand filing on behalf of their spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 or parent (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

U.S. citizens residing in this field office’s jurisdiction but outside of Thailand may file with the Department of State only if the USCIS Bangkok field office director determines that there are exceptional circumstances.

Active duty U.S. Military: Active duty U.S. military service members stationed permanently at a military base in USCIS Bangkok's jurisdiction but outside of Thailand may file this form directly with the Department of State without needing to establish exceptional circumstances.
Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Residents of Thailand filing with USCIS Bangkok must submit the petition and supporting evidence in person.

Evidence of residency must be submitted with the petition.  The evidence you submit must support a determination that you are a resident in Thailand.

Please Note: Certain pieces of evidence may more strongly support a finding of residency than others.  For petitions filed at this field office, you must submit one or more of the following:

  •     Passport entry stamp(s) and visa reflecting that you are residing in Thailand and not just visiting Thailand
  •     Residency permit or card
  •     Work authorization document
  •     Military or government orders assigning you to reside in Thailand

In addition, other evidence of residency may include, but is not limited to:

  •     Utility bills
  •     Housing lease
  •     Work contract or other employment documents
  •     Proof of local registration
  •     Local bank statements
  •     Proof of school enrollment
  •     Vehicle registration
  •     Local driver’s license
  •     Tax documents listing a Thai address
  •     Foreign property deeds or registration (although proof of property ownership in itself, may be insufficient if there is no evidence that the petitioner resides at that property)

Any document issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by a full English translation and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English. The original documents, with one copy of the originals, and the English translation should be submitted with the petition.  Any original documents submitted upon USCIS’ request will be returned.

If you live outside of Thailand in a country where we do not have an office, and you believe that exceptional circumstances justify filing your petition overseas, please go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to make your request to file. You must provide evidence of exceptional circumstances. The consular section will contact the field office director to request permission to accept your petition overseas. If your request is denied, you will need to file with the Chicago Lockbox.

Petitions from lawful permanent residents and petitions for relatives of U.S. citizens other than those mentioned in the "Who May File or Receive Service" section must be filed with the Chicago Lockbox.

 

Contacting the USCIS Bangkok filed office directly to find out if you qualify would be the best thing to get clarification. According to official USCIS processing times, the I-130 turn around time is about 1.2 months for Bangkok: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/international-operations-office. That is much, much faster than filing via the Chicago lockbox, so it's worth it if you qualify.

 

 

Edited by millefleur

03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Embassy
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – middle name is cut off 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sept-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Yes you can file the I-130 at the USCIS Office in Bangkok.   See the link for details.

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-immigration-offices

 


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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