What is a travel document or, more specifically, what is a visa? A visa is permission to ask for entry into a foreign country. Unbeknownst to many laymen, visas and passports were not widely issued until the beginning of the last century.
The Visas discussed in this article are not the kind that you swipe at the local mall to buy things. Instead, they are the documents needed in order to enter most countries around the world. A mistaken belief held by many is based upon the notion that a visa entitles the bearer entry into a country. In most cases, a visa is not the equivalent of a "right of entry.In reality, a travel document such as a visa is merely an endorsement from a consul abroad which states that the bearer should be allowed to petition for entry into the country.
In Thailand, there are many different visa categories under Thai Immigration law. Thailand also has a seemingly similar Permanent Resident system to that of the United States of America. However, looks can be deceiving as Thai Permanent Residence is extremely difficult to obtain and there is a quota set for people of differing nationalities. In the late 1970's the Thai government authorities at Royal Thai Immigration promulgated non-immigrant visa categories. Currently the most widely issued visas are the Thai Business Visa, the Thai O Visa, and the Thai O-A (Retirement) Visa.
Many Thai people seek to obtain travel privileges to the United States of America. One of the most sought after US visas from Thailand is the US Fiance visa. The K-1 visa is designed for foreign fiancee's (in this case Thai fiancées) of United States Citizens who seek entry to the USS in order to marry their loved one.
In situations where a couple has already gotten married it might be wise to submit an I-130 application for an Immigrant Visa. The Immigrant Visa (CR-1) entitles the bearer to conditional permanent residence in the United States. In most cases, the Immigrant Visa will take 12 months to process. However, for those couples who are already married and wish to expedite the process the K3 marriage visa is an option. The K-3 is actually a non-immigrant visa category, but it does allow the visa beneficiary to adjust status (acquire a Green Card) in the United States. At one time the K3 visa was considered very beneficial because it took a great deal of time to process the Immigrant visas. Now, the K3's effectiveness has waned due to more efficient processing on the part of USCIS.
The United States and Thailand are two countries out of many around the world which issue visas.
(This is not legal advice, but intended for educational purposes. No Attorney/client relationship should be inferred from reading this article.)