Demystifying Thailand Visa Terminologies

Passport & VISA Assistance, वीजा असिस्टेंस सर्विस, वीजा असिस्टेंट सर्विस,  वीज़ा सहायता सेवा in Kolkata , Tourism House | ID: 20069056397The use of a Thai Visa application to generally refer to visiting the immigration office or Thai embassy/consulate overseas to obtain, renew or extend an entry permit is a common misnomer among baffled neophyte expats in Thailand. While the difference doesn’t really matter to the common Thai visa applicant whose main concern is to successfully obtain his pass, it certainly helps to be familiar with these different terms especially for future reference in relation to the maintenance of your long term visa in Thailand visa services. Moreover, it also facilitates a more efficient communication with your visa agent who may be well-versed with these common terms and may be using it to explain the procedures to you.

Thai visa application as the word implies generally refers to obtaining an entry permit from the Thai embassy or consulate abroad. Depending on your circumstances and the type of entry permit being applied for it can also be done inside Thailand. Thai Visa application is the initial procedure prior to Thai visa extension as current entry permits are subject to extensions when needed. For example, the usual retirement visa application procedure starts with a NON O Visa application from the Thai embassy applicant’s home country. This is usually a 90-day pass. The same process goes with the Non B application. An initial 90-day B visa is given to the applicant during the application. These initial visas are then extended into one year retirement or one year or another 90 day B visas as long as the requirements are met.

Thai Visa extension, therefore, is carried out to lengthen or extend current entry permits whose validity is due for extension. The extension is granted as long as requirements are met. Extensions are normally done at any immigration office across the kingdom. A 60-day tourist visa for example can be extended for one month at the at the immigration office for a fee of 1900 Baht.

Thai Visa Conversion refers to the switching from one visa type to another. Say a business to a retirement visa. There are certain travel documents that can be switched without the necessity to leave Thailand. If you have a competent visa agent then you may need to go out of the country anymore when switching the said travel document into another type.

Thai Visa renewal is another term you may need to wont yourself to especially if you are not a Thai PR holder in Thailand. Most long term entry permits are good for one year however they are subject to renewal with the proper requirements. A retirement visa for example is renewed for another year as long as you have the required funds. A marriage visa can be renewed as long as you are still married and you have the required funds. The good thing about this type of renewal is that it’s simple and straightforward as long as you have the requirements.

Thai Visa Validity refers to the entire period the visa is valid. This is normally stamped in your passport when you enter to Thailand so you have to be wary with this date to avoid overstay fine later on. This should not be confused with the validity of the visa (or the grace period) prior to entering Thailand once the visa is obtained from the Thai embassy abroad. This is normally indicated with the phrase “ENTER BEFORE (DATE)” in the visa itself. The NVC (short for the National Visa Center) and its processing guidelines have been the topic of discussion in some US Immigration circles. The following piece will look at whether or not recent policy changes will have an impact upon those seeking K1 Fiance visa benefits.

The National Visa Center (NVC) recently stated that as of the 1st of February 2010 they will no longer process I-129f petitions for marriage visa benefits if the underlying I-130 petition arrives before, or contemporaneously with, the supplemental I-129f petition. There may be those readers who are probably wondering what impact this will have upon visa seekers.

For those seeking a K-3 visa, the possible consequence of this recent announcement is very important since the NVC, in certain situations, is now compelling couples to seek immigrant spouse visa benefits in the form of the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa rather than the non-immigrant K-3 visa. Although, the K3 visa petitioner submits an I-129f petition form in order to apply for K3 visa benefits this petition is also utilized when applying for fiance visa benefits as well. What effect will the recently announced rule change have upon the K-1 visa obtainment process?

In order to obtain a US fiance visa, the us Citizen must file an I-129f petition for K-1 visa benefits. If the petition is approved, then it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. After the NVC processes the application, it will be forwarded to the US Embassy or Consulate-General with proper jurisdiction. Confusion may arise as there are those who may be placed under the mistaken impression that the I-129f petition will be administratively closed by NVC in a K-1 visa case. This is likely not the case, as administrative closures of I-129f petitions are only supposed to happen in the context of applications for K-3 benefits and not for K-1 benefits. This recent change in the rules will likely have no impact upon the K-1 visa process as the rule is designed to only impact the K-3 visa process.

One possible consequence of this recent announcement is that the resources that the NVC was exhausting in processing I-129f petitions for K-3 visas may be used to process other types of visas. Although, it is this author’s opinion that the K1 visa process is quite efficient and NVC usually takes very little time to process K1 visa applications.

In most cases where the visa application is to be processed by the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, there is usually a two week waiting time between I-129f petition approval by USCIS and the forwarding of the file from NVC to the US Embassy. By most people’s estimate, this is a reasonable period of time to wait. In the case of Immigrant visas, the NVC processing time is considerably longer as the NVC requires submission of more documentation in Immigrant visa matters when compared to non-immigrant visa cases.

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