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US Immigration Applications and Waivers of Inadmissibility
By Siam Global Associates, Thailand Law firm
Summary: This section provides information for citizens of Thailand and their American fiances or spouses when undergoing waiver applications in the event their US K1 or K3 marriage or fiance visa application is denied. It explains how consular officers of the US Embassy in Thailand and the Bangkok District office of the Department of Homeland security process waivers following K1 or K3 marriage or fiance visa application inadmissibility and what paperwork is normally required for such.
WAIVER APPLICATIONS: PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS
In the event an application for a visa is denied on grounds, the next step would be to apply for an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (Form I-601). Waiver applications are typically presented to the Consular Officer at the Consulate or Embassy abroad. Although the Consular Officer cannot accept or deny the application, he can make a recommendation to the appropriate officials at the BCIS and forward the application to the Deparment of Homeland Security: Bangkok District Office, Sindhorn Building - Tower 2, 15th Floor, 130-132 Wireless Road for a decision.
In addition, a Consular Officer, will, in the process or handling a waiver application, interview the individual and other qualifying individuals, and make efforts to complete the processing of the application. The Officer may also assist in filling out the form, obtain other relevant documents, and ensure that the form contains complete and accurate information.
Some of the information needed for filing a waiver may include:
a. Letters of reference from individuals who can personally and knowledgeably vouch for the applicant's character and reputation in the community;
b. A letter from the applicant's employer stating the applicant's job title and period of employment;
c. An affidavit from the applicant addressing the 3 main criteria for entering the United States;
d. Copies of any prior criminal conviction records and/or letters from physicians, if applicable;
e. Documentation regarding previous waiver applications; and
f. Filing fee (required in most instances).
In cases where an individual knows in advance that he or she may be ineligible based on one of the grounds listed above, it is best to apply for a waiver at the same time as the visa application, instead of waiting until the visa application is denied.
A fee is generally not required when applying for a waiver if the visa applied for at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
For waivers in consular processing cases, the time to wait for the waiver is usually the same as the duration of the nonimmigrant visa sought. For waivers where no visa is required waivers were can be granted for up to 5 years.
Approved waivers are generally valid for one year for either single or multiple entry. Exceptions for a period of up to four years are granted to individuals who require frequent travel in and out of the U.S. The reasons for frequent travel must be established and verified with the Consular Officer.