Webinar: How to bring your loved one to the United States 

Introduction

In this webinar session, we’ll guide you through the process of bringing your friend, fiancée, or family member to the United States. Our comprehensive discussion includes key topics:
 
  1. Visitor Visa (B-1/B-2): Understand the essentials for a temporary stay in the US.
  2. Fiancée – K1 (Form 129): Uncover the steps to bring your fiancée to the US.
  3. Spouse/Minor Child (CR-1/IR-1): Navigate the process for your spouse or minor child’s immigration journey.
  4. Navigating the Path Forward: Gain insights into the next steps and considerations.
US Immigration can be challenging, especially with all the visa procedures. Want to bring your friend, fiancée, or family member to the United States? Learn all the different ways you can do it!
 
Watch the webinar recording or read the transcription below.
 
You can also download the presentation here.

Transcription

Mark Friedman: 

Hi, everyone, good morning to those participating from Thailand. And good afternoon, and good evening to those of you in the United States, and welcome to pathways to the US webinar. Before we get started, just a couple of things to talk about. Gonna get to the next slide here. Thank you. Thank you, Wilbert. Um, so we’re going to wait to do questions and answers at the end of the webinar. Feel free, you’ll see in the toolbar up above a Q&A button. If you click on that, it’ll give you an opportunity to type in your questions. And we’ve got a couple of folks here that are going to collect those. And we’ll get to your questions at the end of the webinar. So feel free to ask whatever you’d like. We are going to be sharing a recording of this webinar on both our website and our YouTube channel. So if you didn’t catch everything, don’t worry about it, you can go back and take a look at the recording. And for those of you who are looking at this as a recording, and you’ve got questions, you can submit those to us at Hello@btisolutions.co Or you can book a free consultation on our website. And finally, for those of you participating today and stick around to the end, we’ve got a special thank you for your time and your efforts. So I want to start with the team. This is your US visa team. I’m Mark Friedman. I’m the Managing Director and co founder of Baan Thai for those who do not speak Thai means Thai home. And we created this business to create to help people create Thai homes, whether that’s in America, or here in Thailand. I’m an American lawyer. I’ve been a member of the California Bar since 1987. And I was also in many of your shoes as my relationship with my wife of many years was progressing. I was considering ways after meeting her family ways that she could meet my family and get to know the United States a little bit better. And the person here in Thailand who helped me through that process is sitting right next to me.

Noina:

Hi, my name is Noina. I’m partner of Baan Thai. I have experience on the US visa immigration and Canada visa for 15 years. I helped Mark’s wife to immigrate to the US 10 years ago, and I helped
many clients to immigrate to the US.

Mark Friedman:

Thank you, Noina and Martin

Martin Juarez:

Hi Hello. My name is Martin. I’m one of the immigration consultant of Baan Thai. I’ve been handling US integration for 16 years and my expertise our US tourist visa is K1 fiance visas US spouse visas and adjustment of status.

Mark Friedman:

Thank you, Martin and Preow was also with us here in Bangkok.

Preow:

Hello, my name is Preow. I’ve been helping with Visa immigration since 2021. If I remember that, right, maybe 2020, something like that. And I also helping Thai applicants to understand what document that they have to be prepared to helping them understand how to prepare for the interview in their own language so that they fully understand what they need to do for the visa.

Mark Friedman:

Thank you Preow. And we’re going to be talking a bit about the interview process is that important last step. But let’s talk about what we’re going to go through today. And those are all the possible avenues to bring a friend or a loved one or a spouse to the United States. And we’re going to be talking about the degree of difficulty for all of these various options, we’re going to be talking about the timing, which has shifted around both during COVID and in a post COVID environment. And we’re going to be talking about trade offs and risks. And finally, we’re going to conclude with what we hope are helpful tips. Even if you’re not quite ready yet to file a visa for things you can be doing today. That will put you in the best chance best possible chance of success and to process that as efficiently later on. I do have to give as a lawyer, the legal disclaimer, we’re providing this information as general information only and not as legal advice. Legal advice would depend on your particular circumstances. But we’re always happy to talk about your particular circumstances in a free consultation should you decide to do that. So let’s start with why it’s challenging to either emigrate or to visit the United States and we all know the United States remains an economic juggernaut at a $40 trillion economy. So being able to do business there Everclear is still very attractive. It’s also a country of rights, religious rights and other freedoms. And so it remains a highly sought after jurisdiction. And once a immigrant visa is granted, you’re in the club for all purposes, you’re a permanent resident of the United States. Not true when I immigrated from the United States to Thailand, to become a permanent resident here, it takes a lot more hoops to jump through. But if you’re married to a US citizen, or as a US citizen, you’re married to a Thai National, there’s a certain path forward. And then once you’re in the club, you have all rights attendant to permanent residency, including the ability to work, including the ability to open a business, and you have a pathway to US citizenship, which would then give you a US passport, the right to vote, and the right to participate on juries. The second thing is we find there’s a lot of conflicting and outdated information on the internet, things have really changed in the COVID and post COVID environment, and there’s constant policy changes. So it’s always good to speak with somebody who’s kind of in this area and staying up to date with USCIS, you can do that yourself by checking in with the USCIS website. They have an official website att.gov. And they also have a very helpful YouTube channel if you want to stay abreast of these things. But just to give you one data point, before COVID, there was a backlog of something like 60,000 people waiting to be interviewed for immigrant visas, when the embassies shut down for COVID, that backlog grew to 650,000 people so the timing changes changed, and the process has changed. Always good to stay abreast of current information in that regard. And finally, it’s difficult for Thai nationals and people in this area to visit the United States. And we’ll go into this in a bit more detail, because there’s a presumption of an intention to violate the terms of that visa when you’re interviewed by the officer at the US Embassy. And we’ll talk about ways you can overcome that presumption. But that presumption means the vast majority of people who apply for visitor visas are denied. And that’s based on the history of folks from certain parts of the world, either overstaying or working on their visitor visas. So speaking of visitor visas, you know, it’s the first way I considered as my relationship with my now spouse of many years progressed, and Martin, once you describe sort of the basic tenants of that,

Martin Juarez:

okay, sure. And good morning. Okay. So I’m sure you’re very familiar what is you know, visitor visa B1 or B2. So let me just give you some information again, what is B1 visa tourist visa, this is a type of US visa to apply depends on the purpose and duration of the travel. A visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is that is used to enter the US temporarily for business that’s to be one for pleasure or medical treatment or a combination of this purposes. That is B1. So the purpose of the plan B2 visa is business related such as to consult with business associates attend
scientific educational, professional or business conference. So that’s one of the examples for B2 says purposes is recreational in nature, such as tourism, visiting friends or relatives rests or is related to medical treatment. So short term stays. So yes, this tourist visa is a short term type of visa, but I’m sure you will ask how long can you stay in the US. Under a US tourist visa, the visa holder can generally stay in the US for up to six months. However, the exact length of stay is determined by the Customs and Border Protection or CBP officer at your point of entry. So requirements, you know to meet or to qualify for a visitor visa. The required assumption under US law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant until they demonstrate otherwise, therefore applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating so for example, that the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States temporarily for business or for pleasure, that they plan to remain for a specific limited period. Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States that they have a residence out citing United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure their departure from the United States at the end of the visit. So, most of the applicants, of course, know that asking us is that you know, sponsor, typically they wanted to bring their boyfriends or girlfriends right. So just want to give you some information being the applicants to sponsors, boyfriend or girlfriend sponsoring the applicants, a US tourist visa has raised a long running debate in terms of visa approval, applicants always have this fear and misconception that declaring a boyfriend or a girlfriend as the sponsor is synonymous with visa denial. This is why some applicants resorts to concealing the truth which is in fact too risky, as this may cost legal problems, which then may affect the applicants future visa applications. Of course, it is always best to be honest. So give you some information as well. The limitations of having a US tourist visa, of course, there are limitations and activities that are not allowed on a tourist visa. Examples will be studying employment, paid performances or any professional performance as and also if you you know working as a nanny, because of course there are specific types of visa is for Nan’s when it comes to processing time, this will depend on the next available interview appointment. Currently, just to give you some information at the US Embassy in Bangkok, and US consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the next available appointment is already around mid April, or early May. I can mark Thank you.

Mark Friedman:

Thank you very much, Martin. That was very helpful. And again, if you have any questions, feel free to click on the Q&A button at the top of the toolbar and Martin and I and knowing that Brianna will be happy to answer those at the end. So the pros as Martin points out, and the reason you may want to think about this is the visa term typically runs for 10 years, and I’ve applied for Indian and Chinese and, and Russian visas of the length of time is usually a lot shorter. And as Martin noted, the length of stay can be up to six months at a time. So it’s a very valuable B1/B2 visa once somebody gets it. But as Martin points out, they’re very hard to get obtain because of that presumption of the intention to violate the terms of the visa. So strategically, how do you overcome that presumption? One way is to show a history in your passport of being a trusted international traveler. And what that means is you’ve applied for a visa to the EU, to Japan to Australia someplace a bit easier than the United States. And you’ve observed the strictures of that visa, you didn’t work and you left on time and so on. We had a recent client who successfully obtained her B1, B2. And she showed a history of several trips to Japan, with Visa stamps, and she honored all of those visas. And the second thing is, why do you have a compelling reason to return to Thailand, that could be the ownership of some substantial property that you wouldn’t want to abandon. It could be a job with a decent salary. It could be a family reason, for example, we had a client who had just enrolled her child in a pretty prestigious international school, and she was going to go visit her sister in the United States during that school break. And then they needed to get back immediately to have that child attend that school. So you need to tell a crisp cogent story about being a trusted traveler and or having compelling reason to return to Thailand. And the more of those boxes you can check, the better off you’ll be. The other thing is how do we know that you’re not going to be working while you’re in the country. And as Martin mentioned, getting a sponsorship letter is pretty typical, or having sufficient funds in your bank account to cover those travel expenses. And being able to show the US Embassy officer those those assets will be very important. Our tip to you is don’t overstate the ability to support the applicant in the sponsorship letter. Because the more you overstate that, the more it’ll appear that that person will be so comfortable that they’ll overstay their visa and violate that way. So very vanilla right down the middle of the fairway. All expenses are covered. No reason to work. And really in this visa category, the interview will be the key moment and being prepared is absolutely essential. Failing to prepare Air is preparing to fail in this instance. So have the headlines of why I’m a trusted traveler, why I’m going to return why I’m not going to be needing to work well in the United States, in your mind, also have all of your documents in order. For example, if you want to show a history of international travel, make sure all of that is organized, and those visa stamps are easy for the officer to say, I want to just let you know that the officer is going to be seeing that day 75, maybe 100 applicants. So this interview process can be over in just a few minutes. And being organized and precise in your communication to the officer is really key. The other thing we’d advise is present date certain. So, you know, you may think, well, I may go for a couple of weeks, it may go for three or four more we don’t know yet, but have a cogent truthful story about your president intention to stay for a discreet period of time, once the visa is granted. And if you happen to need to stay for a few more days or another week, that’s okay. But presenting a date certain will give the officer more confidence that you intend to return to Thailand. And finally, and I know this is a frustration for many people, but denials are never explained. And we just had a meeting with the Consul General for a Thanksgiving party that
was hosted by the US ambassador here. And she explained that they sometimes get letters or calls from congressmen and senators and so on. But the US embassy will never explain the reason for denial. So just keep that in mind and don’t expend any energy on that. So let’s say that you going through these factors and understanding the presumption, don’t think that you’ve got a very good chance of being successful for a B1/B2 visa, what are your other options, you’re not quite ready to get married yet, but there is an option available to and that’s called the K1 visa and Noida will explain that to you.

Noina:

the K1 is non immigrant, and is also the no as Fiancee Visa. K1 visa is called for people who want to bring the loved one to the US for 30 or 60 days before deciding to get married in the US. Because for K1, they will allow your fiance to stay in the US 90 days. And once she enter to the US and get married within 90 days. So she can apply for lawful permanent resident status in the US or
green cards. And and also K1 is much faster than Spousal Visa, and also is more is more more sure to get approve than tourists. But that will be for the couple who want to plan the future to get married later on. And for K1. When during the process K1 process, you can add the minor child, under 21 years old and unmarried into the process and K1. Once granted also enter K2 status as well.

Mark Friedman:

Great. Thank you, Noina. And really what they’re going to be looking at, at the United States Customs and Immigration Service is is this a legitimate relationship. And we’ll talk about how you can begin to get a record together sooner than later. And your ability to support the person that you’re bringing, or people as Noida pointed out, you can bring a minor child under k one. And frankly, that’s the visa that I applied for and Noina successfully helped me get. So let’s go through some pros and cons. As Noida pointed out. It can be quicker and in certain circumstances substantially faster than a spousal visa. We’ll talk about that in a moment. Some of the downsides to a K1 visa is that Noina is right. The K1 only gives you a right to be in the United States for 90 days. And you either get married during that 90 day period or you have to leave the country. So once you get married, then you have to file for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident alien of the United States. And that is currently in a post COVID spike in demand time period. This may change is taking seven to nine months, during which time the K1 visa holder can’t travel outside of the United States. So we recently had a client gentleman Who was considering a K1 visa, but he has an international business and has to travel frequently. And because of this adjustment of status period, it became a non starter. If, for example, your fiance has maybe elderly parents that may need to be attended to, and being stuck in the United States for seven to nine months, is just not acceptable to them, then you’ll probably want to consider a spousal visa instead. I also think because it is a non immigrant visa, it’s more difficult to obtain a waiver, let’s say your fiance had a B1 / B2 tourist visa that was voided. And there’s additional scrutiny placed on the relationship. Now you have to visit each other at least one time in person, right. But if the relationship is fairly new, and you haven’t spent a lot of time together, I think there’s going to be additional scrutiny on the relationship, then under a marriage consent. But let’s say that the relationship has progressed and that you’ve decided and have in fact, legally committed to one another, and are married legally and Martin is going to describe the spousal visa to you.

Martin Juarez:

Thank you Mark Thank you. So, a spouse visa or an I-130. Visa is an immigrant type of visa. And this is the type of visa that you will need to file for your foreign spouse. Please be advised that again, this is a type of visa that you need to apply and you have to trick you are of course, this is for basically for individuals who are married abroad in Thailand and those who are planning to get married and bring their spouses to the US for the purpose of applying for a green card. married abroad, you have to make sure that this must be a government recognized marriage. So you will need to contact of course your respective embassy, you know, on how to get married under the I-130 Spouse Visa visa, there are two types that will be the CR1 visa and then the IR1 visa CR1 visa conditional resident visa is for those married less than two years. And the IR1 visa is for it’s an immigrant, immediate relative visa. And this is for those marriage who are more than two years. So just like the K1 fiancee visa, you will need to prove to the US government that the USCIS and the US embassy that you have a genuine a marital relationship. And most importantly as well, no criminal history and or the US citizen was the ability to support your spouse. Thank you, Mark.

Mark Friedman:

Great Martin. And again, unlike Thailand, where I’m married to a Thai nationals simply coming to Thailand doesn’t give me any past certain to permanent residency. Whereas for US citizens who are married to Thai nationals, that Thai National has a very certain pathway to permanent residency so long as they meet the criteria that Martin just described. So look, the pros of doing the CR1 visa is greater deference is given to the legitimacy of the relationship. Now there are scammers out there, and they’re still going to have to prove that it’s legitimate relationship, but greater deference is given than to a K1 it is an immigrant visa that you’re applying for. And if there’s any waiver requests that are that are needed, those waivers or requests are given greater deference. And there’s no adjustment of status period. So once you’ve been granted the visa and enter the United States, you’re entering as a permanent resident alien, and your and your ability to travel is not restricted at that point. But we’ve talked a lot about timing. And I know for some of you this is going to be disappointing. But currently, the average processing time and these are averages and I stress this is a snapshot in time things are changing, which I’ll talk about in just a moment, 14 months to get through the United States Customs and Immigration Service at your initial application. Then once that application is approved, approved, it goes from essentially a function of the Department of Homeland Security to a function of the State Department called the National Visa Center. Okay. And the reason it goes to the State Department is because at the end of the day, the US Embassy officer who is going to be interviewing the spouse works for the State Department, okay, and that’s taking about four to five months to get through the NVC process once you provide additional information. And then NBC will schedule your appointment at the US Embassy here in Bangkok, and that’s taking about two months. So the total length of time currently, for a CR one application on average is about 21 months. Now the good news I’m looking for a silver lining here is that a few months ago, the average processing time was 16 and a half months. So it has come down two and a half months recently. And we’re hoping that this post COVID spike in demand is now over. And the USCIS will continue to reduce processing times their goal is to get down to nine months. And we’ll see how they do on that. Compare that to filing for a K1 visa, knowing to mention that it’s much quicker. If, for example, you’re a resident of the Rocky Mountain, or Great Plains states, and your application ends up in the Nebraska processing center, that’s only taking about six months. So you’re looking at a eight to nine to 10 month process, which is substantially shorter. If you’re in the other processing centers, let’s say California, that processing time is actually about the same as a marriage visa, but then getting your US Embassy interviews quicker. So you’re looking at a processing time of around 16 or 17 months. But don’t forget, you’ve got a seven to nine month period of adjustment, during which you can’t travel under a K1 visa. So like we said, it really depends on your particular circumstances, as to which of these options may make the most amount of sense for you. Those are the three major visa types. And again, we’re getting some questions here, which we’ll answer at the end. Thank you for those. But let’s give you some tips that you may want to think about doing today, if you’re not quite ready to file your visa application for the tourist visa, if you have a friend here in Thailand, and you have the luxury of both resources and time to do some international travel to jurisdictions that are easier to visit than the United States do that build up a history of visa stamps and international travel, where you can demonstrate to the US Embassy officer that you’re a trusted international traveler. And if you’re in a relationship that’s progressive, progressing, and directionally, you know, there’s a glimmer of maybe a fiancee or spouse or relationship, start documenting that relationship today. That would mean for example, if you’re taking trips together, hotel stays and airline travel, photographs in various locations, if you’re messengering, one another to keep track of those messengers, messages, phone records, and so on. Again, whether it’s a fiancee visa or a marriage visa, the key stone here the touchstone here is is this a legitimate relationship. And by documenting it early, and often, it will go a long way to helping you when you put together your applications for those pieces. And finally, we talk a lot about interviews, you know, can you imagine going through a 17 or 18 or 19 month process, and you get to that final hurdle, which is the US Embassy officer interview, but you really don’t want to trip and fall at that last hurdle. And the US Embassy officer is the last line of defense to ensure that the folks appearing before them, or appearing before them lawfully have a lawful in tension, and have met all of the legal strictures to be granted that particular FISA. It can be intimidating. I mean, when my wife went in, she’s a very brave soul. But it was the first time for her to enter the US Embassy, which is right down the street from our offices here. And there are high walls and there’s lots of security and there’s lots of folks in uniforms with badges. And it can be intimidating. Frankly, every time I go through immigration and talking to a customs officer, I have a little moment of you know, a little higher heartbreak. So preparing and understanding what’s going to be asked I think is the key for anyone going into that interview situation. So it’s really important to preview the questions and Preow and Noina are very good in working with Thai nationals with working through them in their native native Thai language. It’s one of the benefits of hiring a firm in this area, whether it’s us or another, another Bangkok based firm to make sure you have people that can help your fiance spouse or tourist applicant prepare in their native language. You can be interviewed entire English. Frankly, the US Embassy has those capabilities in both languages. And it’s really important that the person be interviewed in the language in which they’re most comfortable, I would say. And finally, you know the US officer He or She, their decision is the only one that matters. Their opinion is the only one that matters. And helping to see the interview from their perspective, I think will help create a more empathetic environment and a better prepared applicant. So for a tourist visa, you now understand that their perspective is they’re going to presume that the person appearing before them intends to violate, and you have to give the officer confidence that that’s not your intention, and to give them data points as to why that intention is, is verified. And for the K1, or for the spousal interview, they’re really looking to probe and test Is this legitimate relationship. As we mentioned before, getting into the United States is still a highly prized kind of pass that people want to get. And the most certain path to that is being married to a US citizen. And so there are sham relationships out there. And the more you understand the questions that will be asked about your relationship, and the more you know about your fiance or your spouse, the more smoothly that interview process will go. So to help with that, we created a couple of guides, one for the K1 interview, and one for the spousal interview that goes through based upon Noina it and Preow and Martin’s experience over the over these many years, all of the questions that are likely to be asked during the interview. Again, we stress truthfulness is key. But understanding what’s coming is also key to being prepared, you can get these guides one of two ways, you can send us a note at hello@btisolutions.co Or you can go on our website, www.btisolutions.co Not .com, Go to the resources section of our website. And you can download these free guides and we hope that they’ll they’ll be beneficial for you as you’re preparing for the interview. So I want to thank you today, for your time, I know that it’s getting a little bit late there in New York, on the east coast, folks in LA are probably getting hungry, and folks here in Thailand are getting ready to start their work day. So as a special thank you. For those who participated today. We hope that you’ve seen a team giving you confidence that they are good at what they do. They’re knowledgeable again, we’d be happy to have a free consultation with you to get to know you better and answer your questions. But as a special thanks, if you decide to engage us before the middle of next month, we’d be happy to take a 10% off our professional fees. So I know that we’ve got a few questions that have come in. So why don’t we start with the first question here.

Wilbert Briones:

Okay, so one of the questions here it’s I’m a US citizen married to a Chinese national in Thailand, living here for four years and have applied for the CR one visa in September of 2023. And Sue waiting for the services in USCIS. We have property here and did not intend to live in USA, we only want to visit from time to time for a few weeks. Can a B1 or B2 visa be a better option? Or if not, what do you recommend?

Mark Friedman:

You want to answer?

Noina:

yes, you can apply tourist visa during waiting for the approval for CR1. And just prove that you have a property in Thailand and the visa in Thailand that you will come back and you intend to interview for the R1 in Bangkok.

Mark Friedman:

So you can actually ignore the points out run these in parallel paths. The CR1 visa, as we noted is taking about 21 months these days, it takes about 12 to 14 months before you can start to ask after case status. And the B1/B2 will go much more quickly. You do want to be transparent that you do have a pending CR one as and that’s going to show up in the officers file anyway. And you will need to overcome that presumption. So think about all the ways in which you can overcome that presumption. However, you need to be a little cautious here that by applying for a CR1, you’re stating your intention to permanently reside in the United States. And so you need to balance the messaging that you’re going to give that officer who’s going to interview you for that tourist visa. All right.

Wilbert Briones:

And we have another one. Can I apply for the one fiancee visa if my girlfriend got denied with a tourist visa?

Mark Friedman:

You certainly can. And in fact that would not be an unusual circumstance. These are different visas with different considerations. The tourist visa can be turned down, based upon the sole discretion of the US officer. And based upon the presumption of that person’s intention to violate the visa. So if you’ve, if you’re with a Thai National, who hasn’t traveled internationally, who doesn’t have property here, can’t really tell a compelling story about why they’re going to return to Thailand, you can still apply for a K1 visa. And again, the bar there is is this a legitimate relationship? Or these people of good character? And can I support the family? Right? So those are two completely different sets of criteria, you are certainly able and in fact, much more likely to be granted a K1 in every instance, than a B1/B2 visa.

Wilbert Briones:

Perfect. Thank you. We have another question here from John. I’m a US citizen wife has dual us and Thai citizenship. We are moving back to the States this summer. At some point we’d like to bring her elderly mother to the US on a permanent visas. Which visa is our best path for the mother in law? Martin, can you answer? Sure,

Martin Juarez:

thank you. Um, to answer the question, definitely, your wife can file for an I-130 visa for her mom, since the purpose of travel to the US is for permanent basis, since your wife has a dual citizenship, US citizenship and ties so she can basically petition her mom to the US.

Mark Friedman:

Yes, and a couple of things to consider there is going to be kind of a lengthy time period based upon the post post COVID surge and in I-130 applications. So take that into consideration. The other thing is we did have the parent of an elderly parent of one of our clients. And that elderly parent did have significant health issues. You can request the US CIS to expedite the application on humanitarian grounds, if there are established medical reasons to do so. In this case, there was really substantial heart issues and so on. And we were able to accelerate the process by many, many months. And we’re able to unite father and son in the United States much more quickly. So that’s something to consider with elderly parents.

Wilbert Briones:

Okay, thank you. Another question here? Do I need to wait for two years to be getting married before I can apply for a spouse visa?

Mark Friedman:

And the answer to that is no. I think Martin described that pretty well. So if you’re married for fewer than two years, you apply for a conditional relative or conditional residency, visa and CR1. Now, what that will give you is a permanent resident write of two years, and then you need to extend that out. If you’re married for more than two years, you’re applying for an IR one, and that gives you an initial Green Card term of 10 years. But in either case, you can apply for a spousal visa. And given the fact that it’s currently as of this taping, taking about 21 months, probably the sooner you apply it the better.

Wilbert Briones:

Another question here. Can same sex apply for CR1? I’m not sure. What’s the current state of same sex emergence Island, you mentioned that the document needs to be government

Mark Friedman:

Right. So we have assisted same sex couples with their CR1 applications. But yes, I currently in Thailand, although a very tolerant society, there is no right to marry here in Thailand, you could get married in another jurisdiction. And in fact, the same sex couple that we most recently helped were married in the US and then and then apply from here, but Noida. Do you have any thoughts on that? Could they get married, for example, if they went over to Europe? I think they’re your European jurisdictions.

Noina:

They can get married from the country that is allowed to get married. And then once you have to marry is certificate. You can apply for CR1

Mark Friedman:

I mean, you can consider jurisdictions like Canada, Europe and so on. And as long as you have a legally recognized marriage, the United States Government will recognize that marriage and you can obtained a spousal visa.

Wilbert Briones:

All right. There’s another one here. My mother is a green card holder she would like to bring my sister to leave here, my sister’s 30 years old, can she apply for a green card for her?

Noina:

Martin? Martin.

Martin Juarez:

Um, yes, she can actually apply for a green card for her daughter, which is her sister. But please be advised that for Green Card petition that will take really long because the USA as they always prioritize US citizen or to petition their family or relative. So yeah, that will be the process, it may take a while for a green card holder.

Mark Friedman:

And we’re talking about potentially several years. Okay. And Martin is absolutely right, there is a priority system. In the current under current immigration law, priority is given to citizen applications versus green card holders. And priority is given to spouses and minor children, as opposed to children who have reached age of maturity, or spouse or rather siblings of US citizens or green card holders. So it’s possible but patience is cautioned. And to look at current timelines by processing centers, you can go on to the official USCIS website. It’s a transparent agency, I think their communications are excellent. And you can get a sense of how long that will take in order for that application to be considered and approved.

Wilbert Briones:

All right, thank you. We actually have one interesting question here. From Randy, my Thai girlfriend applied for tourist visa two years ago, brought documentation of property ownership and family in Thailand. Transcript over interview Chiang Mai considered, they said that your application is denied, I don’t need to see your papers, and I don’t owe you an explanation. What do we do now?

Mark Friedman:

Well, that’s not untypical. And what’s happening is that the officer is reviewing the file, as your girlfriend is approaching the desk to be interviewed. And, you know, look, the officers are imbued with a great deal of discretion. So you had an officer that looked at the file on the screen of the application that you submitted, and didn’t see any indicia there or factual basis to overcome the presumption. And that happens from time to time. If things have changed since the last application, that should be noted, obviously, then I will still be in the system. And the way in which you present that application is important Noida and and Martin and Preow, we try to get information into that application, what we call the headlines, that would cause the officer to believe that perhaps the presumption can be overcome. So I think the way in which the information is presented any new circumstances, and now that two years have elapsed, taking another shot at it may be worthwhile. But we need to know obviously more about your particular girlfriend’s circumstances to be able to get better advice. But I hope that helped. Okay,

Wilbert Briones:

we have last question here. And I think this is related to the last question or the previous question to this site. How soon can my girlfriend reapply for a tourist visa? He just got denied recently?

Mark Friedman:

Well, I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule here. But if somebody has been denied for a visa, and they show up, you know, within 30 days, and there’s been no substantial change in circumstance, the prior officers decision is going to be given a lot of weight. What I would consider is, you know, how did we tell our story and now that you know about the presumption and the factors that the US officer is going to consider, is there information we didn’t present? Or Is it there information we can develop over the next period of months, that would give this person a better chance at success? But just going back in immediately, probably won’t result in a different outcome. Okay. Well, we’re right at 45 minutes past the hour, or past the time we started not seeing any further questions. Is that correct? Okay. So again, we want to thank everyone for their time. For those in the United States. Enjoy your dinner or your evening for those appear in Thailand. Enjoy the rest of your day. If you do have any further questions or wish to book a free consultation with Martin, Noina or Preow or myself, feel free to reach out to us at Hello@btisolutions.co And we’d be happy to get back to you. Thanks again for your time.

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Mark Friedman

Managing Director of Baan Thai
Mark is a member of the California Bar and a 1987 graduate with honors from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

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