If you have registered your marriage in Thailand then you can now apply for a US spouse visa for a Thai national from Thailand. There are financial requirements for the K3 visa that needs to be met and there are also other requirements which your Thai wife will need to meet such as a medical exam as well as a visa interview and a criminal record clearance certificate. Speak to a Thailand lawyer for more information.
The US spouse visa starts with you as the US citizen who has to file a “Petition for Alien Relative” with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the area where you live. Once you had filed this application the USCIS will send you a receipt that the documents have been accepted. This is what is called a “Notice of Action 1”.
If you are taking a child back to the US then the child needs to be unmarried and under the age of 21. Speak to an immigration lawyer in Thailand for information on the K4 visa for your Thai step-child. Once the application has been processed it will then be sent to the National Visa Centre (NVC) for further processing. When the NVC has processed the application then they will notify the US Embassy in Thailand.
Documents needed for a US spouse visa
The following are the basic documents that will be needed for the application process:
- Completed Non-immigrant Visa Application;
- You passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months;
- Birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate for the marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse;
- Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s);
- Police certificates from Thailand;
- Medical examination;
- Evidence of financial support;
- Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen spouse (emails, letters, photos etc.).
There will be more documents if you are taking your step children back to the US. You will need to take legal advice on this in Thailand as it can become complicated if your Thai wife was divorced and there was an agreement to access to the children by the biological father.
The most common problems with the US visa is where your Thai wife falls in ineligibilities. The most common issues tend to be having overstayed her US visa before. This will require the assistance of an attorney in Bangkok to solve the issue. Submitting fraudulent documents or drug smuggling will also make your Thai wife ineligible for a US visa. Note that there will also be a visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok.
There is also the financial requirements which is 125 percent of the poverty level for the state in which you are going to live. See the federal poverty guideline minimum income requirement. You will need to show your most recent year’s tax return. Speak to a lawyer about this as you can use equity in your house or other investments to bring to above the minimum level. Note that the medical exam also has to be completed and there is an article on this website about the process and that there are also a visa interview that will test the validity of the marriage or relationship. Outside of the K3 visa there is also the option of a CR1 visa which takes a bit longer but much less paperwork back in the US to finalise and settle your Thai wife into life in the US. Always take legal advice when dealing with immigration matters.