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BANGKOK 20 June 2019 21:02
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painterscabin

Getting The Wife A U.S Travel Visa

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Looking for some feed back, is applying for a U.S travel visa for my wife something to consider or just go all the way and start the permenant residence visa. I've heard getting a thai wife a travel visa is near to impossible. So, if some of you have some first hand feed back that would be great.

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Reckon you'd do better with this Q in the "Visas and migration to other countries" forum, a mod will probably move it.

And please do take a look through that forum for your Q, lots of POSITIVE results for guys taking their Thai wife on a Tourist Visa to the U.S., and most importantly, returning to Thailand. My wife's had five tourist visas, the last two being the 10-year types.

A lot would depend on YOUR status in Thailand, working? Going to school? Semi permanent in Thailand, or at least here for a semi long time?

Mac

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My wife and I were successful last year.

Yes, it is a nightmare but can be done.

Of course there is lots of steps and plenty of red tape.

The hardest part is getting an appointment.

Seems they only put out a few openings every month and when we did it, after 2 AM on Tuesdays was the optimal time to try. (according to others and it worked for me, after about 4 weeks of trying)

I have a friend who tried it this year and was finally successful after about 6 weeks of trying.

So, start early.

For the final interview, we had a big pile of papers, including letters, pictures, official documents etc. They only looked at one. (same with my friend this year)

But, you never know which one they are going to ask for of course.

The other thing that really upset me (wife didn't complain), was: after all the problems getting an appointment (7:15 AM on a Monday morning), they made her stand in a line until 1:20 PM for the 10 minute interview.

IT's got to be one of the worst run application processes in the world.

Good luck. After all the headaches, we had a very enjoyable 5 month trip to the states last year.

We'd go again but would prefer to stay longer (flights so expensive) and I am just not up for the legwork of starting all over again for the homeland security's process.

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The age difference is a major factor at the US embassy. If there is a big age gap between you and your Isan pi-noi then don't waste your money on an expensive application fee.Even if youre married and sponsor her you will mostly likely be rejected.The government will take your money and throw the application in the bin.Farang embassies get thousands of ridiculous Isan wife visa applications every month. Theyre all tightening up these days.

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I have only done transit visas (airport layover) for my wife, but have routinely found the process arduous - a lot of time, expensive, jumping through hoops, and getting sneered at through the bulletproof glass as if I were attempting to smuggle a few dozen 13 year olds. Once I was sternly advised "not to get any funny ideas about leaving the airport with her." My wife is 43. It was a 90 minute layover on our way to Central America. Perhaps I just got the employee who drew the bad mood card, but each time I see the process getting a little more difficult. Don't know what will happen with Thailand being added to the list of "countries to watch" for human trafficking. It was always refreshing flying KLM via Amsterdam, where we didn't need to go through the expense and processes the US imposes, but there is only one way to get her in the US if that is your destination, and that is to play by their rules. Good luck.

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I won't bother to tell my stories but must say that is an area of the US Embassy that definitely needs improvement.

I paid $20 for a PIN number that would allow me to ask some questions. The guy I talked to knew less than I did. I tried to explain that I lived 600 kilometers from Bangkok and didn't want to make multiple trips. It was like talking to a brick wall. I was NOT impressed.

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Sure a lot of negative comments in this thread.

Must say that my wife's four Tourist Visas were pretty easy, must also say, tho, that the last one was in 2006 before the appointment queue problem became so difficult.

One poster commented on "great difference in age." How about 20 years in our case, not a problem.

Stacks of documents? We also took a good stack but the only doc that was reviewed was my passport that showed a bunch of "retirement" extensions going back to 1998.

Back to my earlier posting, if YOU'RE pretty much fixed in place in Thailand, reckon there won't be a problem. If you've just completed your job and looking for another, and want to take the trip during the gap, could be troubles.

Mac

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Sure a lot of negative comments in this thread.

Must say that my wife's four Tourist Visas were pretty easy, must also say, tho, that the last one was in 2006 before the appointment queue problem became so difficult.

One poster commented on "great difference in age." How about 20 years in our case, not a problem.

Stacks of documents? We also took a good stack but the only doc that was reviewed was my passport that showed a bunch of "retirement" extensions going back to 1998.

Back to my earlier posting, if YOU'RE pretty much fixed in place in Thailand, reckon there won't be a problem. If you've just completed your job and looking for another, and want to take the trip during the gap, could be troubles.

Mac

Thanks alot, seventeen years in age, so that part sounds ok, She , we have children in thai as well, so someone to come home to if we can't take them. Anyhow, I'll take all of these postings into consideration, Thanks all

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The age difference is a major factor at the US embassy. If there is a big age gap between you and your Isan pi-noi then don't waste your money on an expensive application fee.Even if youre married and sponsor her you will mostly likely be rejected.The government will take your money and throw the application in the bin.Farang embassies get thousands of ridiculous Isan wife visa applications every month. Theyre all tightening up these days.

Do you know this to be fact based on personal experience or an assumption based on bar stool gossip?

Just for the record my partner is considerably younger than me and comes from a small village in deepest Issan, and whilst she has never applied for a US visa she applied for UK and Schengen Visas, both of which were granted at the first request.

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Sure a lot of negative comments in this thread.

Must say that my wife's four Tourist Visas were pretty easy, must also say, tho, that the last one was in 2006 before the appointment queue problem became so difficult.

One poster commented on "great difference in age." How about 20 years in our case, not a problem.

Stacks of documents? We also took a good stack but the only doc that was reviewed was my passport that showed a bunch of "retirement" extensions going back to 1998.

Back to my earlier posting, if YOU'RE pretty much fixed in place in Thailand, reckon there won't be a problem. If you've just completed your job and looking for another, and want to take the trip during the gap, could be troubles.

Mac

20 years here and no problem for immigrant visa.

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OP in your opening comments you asked if you should get a tourist or go for a permanent residence. Well, this depends on what your plans are. If you plan on living in the USA then you need to apply for the correct visa either spouse or finance. If you dont plan of living in the USA then you need to apply for a tourist visa

i dont think the age difference matters that much, more on your relationship and if she has strong ties to return to Thailand, this is most important. If you are working then you should have a work permit and this will help, especially if you have been working for the company a few years. If you have a long term lease or she owns a house that will help. If you have a car or truck and making payment on this that will help. Anything to show you have obligations here and will return.

There are allot of visas that are denied, but there are just as many that are approved.

Good luck!!!

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my wife this year got a tourist visa (10 yr) no prolem once past the getting an appointment. Don't think age difference means much, there is 23 yrs difference with us and that was no problem. They just look to make sure she has a reason to come back...good luck

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I got my visa for my wife on the first try. We applied for the B2, not knowing it was the "hard" one to get. The officer explained to me that by law he is supposed to review a B-2 application purely on the requestor. They are not supposed to factor in the American spouse. That being said, they want her to show "ties to Thailand", that being something compelling to bring her back home. He admitted then that they look strongly at the spouses residency. If you are living in Thailand legally, and that is where you make your home, they look VERY favorably on that. But if you are doing visa runs, etc. and maintain your main residency in the US, they consider that more of a reason for her to overstay in the US with you.

So I think in some cases the age thing is an advantage. A retired guy, living legally in Thailand on a retirement visa should have an easier time getting his spouse a B-2 visa.

We also dragged in the big stack of paperwork...the wedding pictures, the land documents, the school enrollments, etc. Wife had taken my last name and updated her passport, son has US passport and Social Security number, we had been married two years at that point. I thought we looked pretty good for it.

But they were going to decline us because I did not live in Thailand. I usually work in the Middle East, and have a home in the USA, and have never bothered to get a Thai residency because I don't stay there for more than 30-60 days at a time.

Luckily, the officer had just left his last post in Kuwait, at the US Embassy there. He told me this at the end of the interview, and said because of that he believed everything I told him about my work (we knew some of the same people) and he would give me the benefit of the doubt. He also said if she followed the rules, we should get a 10 year next time around quite easily. I hope that is the case. Wife has her appointment next month.

The appointment process is a pain in the butt, for sure. Its a terrible system, terrible design. Prepare to be angry. Prepare to be patient. I am embarrassed as an American that this is how we are represented to Thais who wish to visit our country. They must wonder how we feel entitled to complain about visa processes in their country, when ours is so awful as well.

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The age difference is a major factor at the US embassy. If there is a big age gap between you and your Isan pi-noi then don't waste your money on an expensive application fee.Even if youre married and sponsor her you will mostly likely be rejected.The government will take your money and throw the application in the bin.Farang embassies get thousands of ridiculous Isan wife visa applications every month. Theyre all tightening up these days.

My wife was granted a 10 year tourist visa last year on her first attempt. Oh, and she is from Issan :whistling:. Maybe try doing a little research before posting again.

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Oops forgot to mention a few other things.....

The visa process I am describing took place four years ago. We just submitted for a new one, and wifes appointment is the end of next month.

Some things have changed. The paperwork all states that only SHE can enter the embassy for this appointment. If that is really the case, then she needs to be prepared to face them alone. I am not too worried about it this time, as she is more confident having done it once before. And she already has been to the US, as well as Kuwait and the UAE, so I don't expect them to put her through the wringer.

The other thing I wanted to mention, the officer told me that if you apply for the Immigration visa, then they are allowed to review the situation as a "whole", to include you and your assets, job, etc. He said she could be penniless and unemployed and it would not matter.

There are also several videos on YouTube that give some tips on filling out the paperwork. A few of them are in Thai...my wife seemed to learn a lot from them, and that helps her feel better about the process too...she knows whats going on. I think it was under DS-60 Thailand or something like that.

Hope that helps....good luck.

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