The B-1/B-2 US tourist visa is applied to by a Thai national who intends to go to the United States and stay temporarily either for tourism, business, or medical treatment.
B-1 US Visa
This visit visa is for business purposes, such as attending business conventions or conferences, consulting business partners or associates, negotiating contracts or closing deals, and settling estates and properties.
B-2 US Visa
This visitor visa is recreational in nature, such as tourism, visiting friends and relatives, or participating in activities that are social or service-oriented. The B-2 visa is also used when the purpose is to undergo medical treatment in the United States. Oftentimes, both visas are issued as one, called the B-1/B-2 visa, because there are instances when the purposes for which these visas are applied for are correlated.
Qualifications for US Tourist Visa
The US Immigration and Nationality Act presume that every tourist visa applicant is an intending immigrant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to overcome this presumption by demonstrating the following:
- The purpose of the trip is on temporarily either for business, medical treatment or tourism;
- As a temporary visitor, the duration of stay in the United States is only for a specific and limited period;
- While in the US, there is evidence of substantial funds to cover for accommodation and expenses so as not to become a public burden;
- There must be adequate and strong ties to compel the visa applicant to go back to Thailand upon the expiration of the period allowed. Examples of which are residence, employment, and such other economic or social ties.
It is also equally important to be prepared with the necessary information and requirements for submitting the application for visitor visa. These basic requirements must be ready before lodging the application to avoid delays in the processing of the visa.
Here are the things to be submitted when applying for a B-1/B-2 visit visa:
- Completed Application Form DS-160
- Current passport, the validity of which should be at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States
- Visa photograph in accordance with the photograph requirements
- Acknowledgement receipt for the payment of the visa fee
- There may be additional requirements that the consular officer will ask, but this is dependent on the type of visa applied for the specific purpose for which the visa is applied.
Applying for a US Tourist Visa in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1 – Determine the proper type of visa for your need
Review the common Non-immigrant Visas to determine what kind of visitor visa is suited for your purpose of travel. This would be either B1 or B2 US Visa.
Step 2 – Fill out the application online
The DS-160 form is an online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form for temporary travel to the United States. You need to register with your passport information.
It is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet so you need to login first using the credentials you have used on the registration process.
Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and combined with a personal interview as well as to determine an applicant’s eligibility. It is important to read first the Guidelines in Completing the DS-160 Form.
Step 3 – Pay the right application fee
You must log in to your online account profile to proceed with payment. It is critical to read the pages of the visa fee listings and how to make your payment online to avoid future complications.
Step 4 – Schedule your interview
All US Visa require an interview. In order to schedule your appointment, make sure you already have the following information at hand:
- Your passport number
- The receipt number from your Visa Fee payment.
- The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.
This process is done online and you must enter accurate information pertaining to your visa application.
Step 5 – Show up to the Scheduled Interview
All applicants regardless of age (except for those applying for diplomatic visa) are required to appear at the US embassy Bangkok for the visa interview. Please keep in mind the important things on the interview date.
Make sure you will be at the embassy 15 minutes earlier of your scheduled appointment time.
Know what must and must not bring before going to the embassy for your interview.
There will be a pre-screening process during the scheduled appointment. The DS-160 will be reviewed for any necessary corrections to be made; making sure you are applying for the correct visa classification; qualifying your visa photos base on the required specifications; undergo biometric or finger scanning.
You will be assisted by someone from consular or immigration office during the biometric process.
During the interview, be open and honest. Do not worry of anything that you might lack because the immigration officer can provide you the information on how to obtain those if there are any missing document that’s required before proceeding to the final decision in your US Visa Application.
Important Factors that can Impact the Success of the Visa Application
Purpose of the Trip or Reason for your Visit
An intending visitor must present sufficient grounds and reasons why they would like to visit the US. US Visitor Visa is issued solely for the purpose of leisure and business trips. The applicant must provide travel itineraries that show activities and schedules during the stay in the US.
Sponsorship and Relationship with the Sponsor
Should the applicant fail to meet the financial capacity to support themselves during their trip to the US, he or she must have a willing sponsor. The sponsor fortifies the application by presenting evidence that he or she is willing to pay the travel expenses on the applicant’s behalf. The US Embassy wants to ensure that the intending visitor is less likely to seek assistance from public funds once in the US.
While the US law permits sponsorship for the visitor visa, the applicant must prove the authenticity of the relationship with the sponsor. For family members, a birth certificate or marriage certificate to show must be presented. Additionally, evidence that shows continuous communication must also be submitted such as pictures, chat conversations, e-mails, etc.
Length and Place of stay in the US
Upon application, the intending visitor has to declare the length of time he/she intends to stay in the US and must provide a date of return to Thailand. The maximum stay in the US under this visa category should not exceed 3 months.
The intending visitor must present hotel accommodation and bookings which shows the place where he/she will stay in the US. If the purpose of travel is to visit a family member or a relative, the applicant must provide the US address of the family. This can be supported by an invitation letter or documents serving as proof of address.
Employment in Thailand
Having a job in your home country will not guarantee to have your visa issued. Immigration officers also look at the length of your current and previous employment, the type of job you have or had, and your current salary income.
The duration of the requested visit to the US will also be measured, as Immigration Officers most likely question applicants who wish to stay for more couple of months. It’s important to consider the nature of your current job and the allowable leave your company issues, thus, you will need to provide a Certificate of Employment stating your position, start date, current status, monthly or annual salary income, and leave certification. Providing this evidence will serve as a reference for the immigration officer who will evaluate your application.
Family Obligation in Thailand
Examples of family obligations are elderly parents who need your presence to take care of their needs and obligation to take care of your child/children, especially when they are still going to school. The applicant should submit official documents establishing the family relationships, letters from physicians explaining important medical conditions of any dependent family members, and documents establishing the current school enrolment of the children.
You may also obtain supporting letters from family members, attesting that they will look after your loved ones while you are shortly away. This will help answer questions of the immigration officer as to who will take care of them if you go to the U.S.
Property and Personal Asset
Individuals are less likely to leave if they own a home, have property, or have large amounts of funds in investment accounts in their home country. While financial assets are required to establish the ability to support the visit, evidence of property and financial assets should also be provided as evidence that the applicant’s connections to the home country. Evidence can include ownership of real estate property, business, or house.
If you have previously visited outside your home country for tourism, and have not overstayed or have followed your allowable stay provided by the juristic immigration, then you are more likely establishing a trust to the immigration officer that you will not overstay during your visit to the U.S. and that you will return to your home country after your vacation.