Getting a K1 Fiancé Visa for Your Thai Girlfriend

The purpose of the K1 visa is to enable Thai non-permanent resident fiancées of US citizens to come into the country solely for the purpose of getting married. The visa is a 90-day, single-entry visa and it can only be issued from US consulates and US embassies. A K1 visa should be used for entry into the country within a 6-month period following the date of its issuance. The US citizen is typically the one who petitions the visa while the Thai fiancé will be the beneficiary of the K1 visa. After the couple gets married within the States, the beneficiary of the K1 visa is then allowed to live in the country. However, the Thai spouse will need to apply for ‘Adjustment of Status’ before being issued a US Marriage Visa as well as ‘Green Card’ status or a long-term eventual permanent residence. If it is approved by the relevant US immigration authorities, the holder of the K1 visa will be allowed to both travel and work abroad following the marriage.

Advise to apply for K1 Fiance visa

If you are a US citizen looking to get married to your Thai girlfriend, then it is advisable to apply for the K1 Fiancé visa after you have popped the big question. Your Thai girlfriend should not apply for the K1 visa or the US fiancée visa if you are unsure of whether or not you intend to get married. The K1 visa application process is very long and you will both have to swear under oath that you want to get married within a period of 90 days after she arrives in the US. If both of you apply for a K1 visa more than once then the US immigration officers might become suspicious concerning your level of honesty. The US immigration laws are especially stern regarding any omissions, lies, or fraud.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get married in the long run, then the K1 visa might be the ideal option for your Thai girlfriend. You might have some time over a year to get to know one another and spend time with each other from the time you will start the process to the time when she will arrive in the US. The application process for the K1 visa usually takes 6 months at least so your Thai girlfriend will have the same period following issuance of the K1 visa to arrange to travel to the US.

Obstacles in US visa process

Thai fiancées join a great number of foreign nationals who are betrothed to US citizens and come to America using K1 visas to marry their loved ones every year. These individuals usually end up getting residency in the US on a permanent basis and even gaining US citizenship. Some people assume that they do not need to meet their Thai fiancées physically before marrying them. It should, however, be noted that a US K1 visa will only be issued cases of extreme hardship or in exceptional circumstances in the event that the couple has not met in person before within the two years prior to the application. The meeting requirement can be waived in circumstances such as the presence of an acute illness preventing travel of the American spouse abroad or cultural/ religious reasons prohibiting the meeting of the betrothed prior to marriage. However, it is very rare that you will find such applications being approved.

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