US Tourist Visa in Thailand – An Overview
It has never been easy for Thais and other nationalities to get a tourist visa to the United States. The process is known to be a gruelling one with the all the stringent requirements and strict standards set by immigration officers who interview visa applicants. This situation is due to the inherent assumption of the United States government that most foreigners seeking to visit their country have the intention of staying for good. For this reason, it is harder to obtain a US tourist visa than the other types of visas.
With this in mind, an applicant for a US Tourist Visa in Thailand should go about meeting the requirements and passing the interview accordingly. It is important to point out however, that applications are dealt with subjectively and the decision to approve or deny depends entirely on the discretion of the evaluating officer.
In applying for your tourist visa, always remember that your main objective is to prove that you are financially capable of supporting yourself throughout your stay in the U.S. and that you will be returning to Thailand after your visit. This means that you should provide strong proof of your financial status and lack of reason to stay permanently in the United States. First of all, you need to show that you have a stable and well-paying job in Thailand. Secondly, you should show that you have assets and properties as well in the country. Thirdly, if applicable, you should let the visa officer know that you have family or children who are your dependents that you will leave behind.
Some of the evidences you can use are listed below:
– Employment letter that indicates the date when employment began, salary and other compensation paid, nature of position (whether temporary or permanent), length of vacation or other types of leave granted to the applicant
– Ownership of their business (for self-employed applicants)
– Letter from the Thai company you are visiting (for business travellers)
– Evidence of enrollment in a school or university (for students)
– Personal and business bank books and bank statements (original)
– House registrations
– Marriage certificates
– Birth certificates (to confirm family ties)
– Evidence of your professional status (for doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.)
The Application Process
1. Make an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or at the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai. You can do this by contacting the Visa Information Service through the Internet or by telephone. In order to use this service, you need to buy a Visa Information Service Personal Identification Number (PIN).
2. Make an appointment for your interview through the U.S. Visa Information Service. You can do this online or by telephone. Before your interview, you need to pay the Thai Baht equivalent of $140 visa application processing fee using the “Pay at Post” service at a Thai Post Office. You also need to purchase a bar-coded envelope at the Mae Ping or Chiang Mai University Post Office prior to your interview appointment since you will be submitting it along with your other documents when you go to the Embassy or Consulate.
3. Fill out the DS-160 Electronic Visa Application Form (EVAF) which can be accessed through the US Embassy in Thailand website. This new online application is effective beginning 1 June 2010.
4. Go to Consulate on your appointment date and make sure to be there at least 30 minutes before your interview. Be sure also that you have all the necessary documents.