While it is easy for Americans to come to Thailand for a holiday, Thais and other nationalities have to undergo a thorough procedure in obtaining a tourist visa that they may be able to enter the US for vacation.
Nature of a Tourist Visa
Obtaining a travel permit to visit the US proves to be very difficult to obtain particularly for ordinary Thai applicants relying on the invitation of their American friends, fiancé, spouse or relatives. The US government’s rigorous immigration procedure may be accounted for their inherent assumption when dealing with non-immigrant visa applications. The officer when evaluating the application immediately assumes that the tourist visa applicant who is seeking admittance to the US is in fact eyeing for a permanent stay in the country.
As such, this assumption needs to be overcome successfully by the applicant in such a way that he/she will be issued the necessary entry permit. However, it’s important to note that the application is evaluated subjectively and its approval or denial is entirely on the discretion of the officer evaluating the application. This is the reason why compared to other entry permit types a tourist visa has a lower success rate. It is also the reason why an application is still denied despite the applicant’s providing all the necessary requirements to substantiate his/her visit to the US.
Preparing for the Application
As the evaluation of the tourist visa application is solely based on the applicant’s capacity to prove that he can support himself financially through out his stay in the US and that he comes back to Thailand after his allowed visit, it’s a must that the applicant has the following qualifications in support of his entry permit application. First would be a decent and a stable job in Thailand.
An employment letter or contract, income tax and pay slips are some ways to substantiate this. A 6-month job stint might not be enough to establish the stability of your employment but it’s definitely better than nothing. A job involving prostitution or working in a bar or night club doesn’t add appeal to your application so it might not be good declaring it. Second, you have to show assets and properties in Thailand. Assets can be in the form of cars, a piece of land, a house among others. Land or House Title deed, Mortgage agreement, Car registration certificate and other documents can be submitted to prove your possession of these assets. Supposing you own a business in Thailand, you would need to show your business registration certificate, income tax, balance sheet among others. A savings account with substantial amount of deposit in it could also serve as one of the evidence to prove your financial capability.
You can ask your bank for your latest 6-month bank statements or you can show your passbooks for this matter. Just a note on the savings account, having a big money in your bank account doesn’t guarantee a successful application though it helps establish your financial status. However, if your sponsor abroad plans depositing an amount of money in your bank account just to show that you have money, make sure that the funds have been deposited discretely not in a lump sum as this will be obvious.
Finally, if you have your family or children in Thailand, then you can mention them as your dependants to support your visa application. Don’t also miss to provide an outline of your itinerary detailing the whereabouts of your trips i.e. accommodation and places to visit. What if you don’t have most of the above qualifications as you rely on the sponsorship of your American relative, boyfriend or friend? This would considerably make your chances even more slimmer. However, you can still proceed with the application. As mentioned above the approval or denial of your application is entirely on the discretion of the officer. For family members visiting their relatives or families in the US their situations are viewed differently.
The Application Process
After familiarizing yourself with the requirements and procedure of the tourist entry permit application, you may now start collecting the required documents. You have to collect as many evidence as you can to support your application. If your documents are in Thai, make sure to translate them into English. If you are going to the US via sponsorship, make sure that your sponsor provides sponsorship letter detailing your relationship and his intention to support you while you are in the US. He might need to provide bank statements or employment certificate to validate his good financial status in the US.
When everything is in order you can already contact the US embassy to schedule the submission of your documents and for the interview. The US embassy in Bangkok as well as the US consulate in Chiang Mai accepts and processes tourist visa applications. The processing time normally takes 2-3 business days and the result of the application is issued accordingly. During the interview, be prepared to answer questions like how will you support your stay in the US, what will you do in the US among others. A confident applicant would likely give a better impression on the visa officer than a nervous one. In this regard, you have to anticipate all possible questions that the officer may ask you in relation to your visa application and practice answering them.
Using a Visa Agent
If you want to increase the chances of your tourist visa application getting approved, it might be good enlisting the services of US visa professionals to assist you with this endeavor. You would greatly benefit from their expertise in going over the visa application therefore ensuring better chances for your visa application. Be mindful though about unscrupulous visa agents. Look for the established and registered ones with proven track of record in US visa assistance.
Obtaining a US tourist visa Thailand proves to be a difficult ordeal especially for ordinary applicants. Apart from proper planning and familiarizing yourself with the requirements and procedure, it would also be good to consult with US visa professionals to personally guide you with the visa application. A money you spend for them maybe worth it if you don’t need to do the application again the second time.