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US Visa Denial and I-601 Waivers


Applying for a US visa from Thailand often proves to be a somewhat complicated and time consuming process.  There are a number of US laws and regulations that may affect the outcome of a visa application and these laws are usually not known by the general public.  When a US visa is denied, particularly in a situation resulting in family separation, it can be devastating.  A US visa application can be denied on a number of grounds—ranging from inadequately completely forms to health issues, to overstays or criminal convictions.  US visa waiver applications may be filed at the USCIS or the US Embassy in Thailand, depending on the circumstances.  The reason for the visa denial and possible grounds for the waiver must be carefully considered in order to produce a successful US visa waiver.

Grounds of US Visa Denial

There are multiple grounds on which one's US visa application can be denied.  The most common ground of denial, however, relates to application forms that do not meet basic requirements or are missing crucial documentation; a visa waiver is often not required in this situation, but the visa application must be corrected and re-submitted.  Other more serious yet common grounds of visa denial include communicable diseases (such as HIV/AIDs), past criminal offenses or prior immigration violations (such as overstay in the US).  The recently implemented International Marriage Brokers Act can also affect the initial outcome of K1 and K3 visas. In regard to US B visas as well as other non-immigrant visas such as J1 visas, if the applicant is unable to prove to the Consular official that they will return to their home country before their visa expires and are actually attempting to stay in the US for a time period longer than that permitted by their visa, their visa application will be denied.

US Visa Waivers Thailand

For Thai and other foreign nationals, US visa waivers are usually applied for by using the I-601 visa waiver form supported by additional documentary evidence and memorandums of law.  Waiver applications are submitted to either the US Embassy or the USCIS. Communicable diseases, past criminal offenses, immigration violations and International Marriage Brokers Act issues are commonly granted grounds of US visa waivers.  If the US visa application was denied because it was missing documents or had other errors, a form will usually be provided to correct the original visa application.

US Visa Waiver Process for Thais

Depending on the grounds of the US visa denial and the grounds for the corresponding US visa waiver, a visa waiver application can be a brief document or a lengthy submission with exhibits and a memorandum of law articles. These more complicated cases often require the compilation of supplementary evidence and documentation that can be rather time consuming.  It is important to note that a US visa waiver cannot be submitted at the same time as one's US visa application.  The Thai applicant must wait for their visa to be denied so that they will know the exact nature of their visa denial and be provided with the actual visa denial document in order to complete the waiver applications; In Thailand, waivers and denials are frequently dealt with separately by the USCIS and the US Embassy in Bangkok.

US Immigration Attorney Thailand

Retaining the services of a licensed and experienced US immigration lawyer in Thailand can significantly reduce your chances of a US visa denial for a Thai applicant.  A qualified US immigration lawyer should be able to anticipate visa denial issues in advance and advise on how to proceed.