Even at the best of times, American Immigration can be a rather difficult endeavor. This piece briefly delves into the precarious circumstances arising from the recent civil unrest in Bangkok, Thailand.
This article discusses the American visa process in light of recent events that have occurred in Thailand. As always, those interested in the visa process are wise to check the credentials of anyone claiming to be an expert in the area of US Immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is entitled to practice American Immigration law pursuant to 8 CFR 292.1.
For those who have been keeping up with Thai news articles, it is a well known fact that recent unrest in Bangkok caused the United States Embassy to close down for a relatively long period of time. Furthermore, non-essential staff and their families were evacuated due to safety concerns. The Thai government has restored order to the city of Bangkok and this article was not written to discuss the situation in Thailand per se. However, there are those who are interested in the situation on the ground in Bangkok as it pertains to the way in which the US Consulate at the US Embassy in Thailand is processing their caseload.
Since the American Embassy was compelled to evacuate, a backlog arose as cases and applications continued to be submitted regardless of the fact that the Embassy was not operating as normal. Furthermore, those who were intending to submit a visa application during the period of time that the Embassy was closed are now attempting to do so as the Embassy has reopened. This author can write from personal observation that the US Embassy in Thailand is working diligently to clear the backlog of case files and is also taking extraordinary measures to ensure that the Consulate continues to adjudicate applications fairly, judiciously, and professionally. However, at the time of this writing, Thai applicant’s and their US Citizen counterparts can expect a relatively longer waiting period for visa interview appointments compared to processing times during a more tranquil period.
Those processing K visa applications through any US Embassy or Consulate abroad should also be aware of the fact that as of June 4, 2010 the application fee for K visas is increasing from $131 to $350. The resources gathered from the increased application fees are to be used to facilitate more efficient Consular Processing of visa applications. It ought to be further noted that the application fee for K visas is not the only application fee that is set to increase as other non-immigrant visa application fees are set to go up as well. If seeking other non-immigrant visa categories and interested in the new fee structure it is advisable to check with the US Department of State for more details.