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Petitioning Wife To Go With Me Back To America


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Can someone explain the steps involved in petitioning for my wife to return with me and our month old son to American. I am unsure of how to begin the petitioning process from here in Bangkok, Thailand.

The instructions on the Us Embassy site says to the USA on-line process to begin, unless you are currently living in Thailand. However, it doesn't give instructions about how to begin from Thailand.

I have already looked to find on the Thai-Us site, and do not see of any way of making an appointment regarding petition. I suspect you cannot just drop in and expect anyone to help.

So, how does one begin the petitioning process from here in Thailand? Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

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You have to prove you can provide for your wife. If you are very wealthy no job will be required. Otherwise a US based job is since that is where you will be living. You can also get a cosigner. So you can start the process here just be sending in the papers but you need a US address to get it started.

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You can file the petition at the USCIS office across the street from the US embassy in Bangkok. You have to be able to prove you have been living in Thailand, and you must file the petition in person. Also, in spite of what online instructions told us, they produced a new instruction sheet with hand-lettered requirements for US passport-style photos for both of you, so I suggest bringing those as well. As I recall, the process involves walking back and forth between the USCIS office for filing, the embassy cashier for payment, and USCIS to return the cashier's receipts to add to the filing... so give yourselves plenty of time!

You file the basic petition form according to its instructions, using your Thai address (or at least your wife's), and then a visa packet should arrive in the mail to your Thailand residence. As I recall, it only took a month or so for ours. The packet includes the full application form set and instructions, and this has to be prepared with all of the immigration support documentation such as police reports, proof of support once you're in the US, proof of relationship, etc. Then your wife arranges an interview at the embassy when the packet is completely prepared. The initial petition requires an address where your wife intends to stay in the US, but the later full filing can be updated with new address and employment information in case you are still arranging things.

During the embassy interview, there is an opportunity for her to learn of missing documentation and return with it later to complete the process to obtain an immigrant visa. One caution: they procedurally canceled my wife's existing 10 year B-visa to the US following the interview. So, she is unable to visit me in the US until she completes the paperwork and process to get the immigration visa.

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  • 5 months later...

The first forms that you need will be the petition form (I-130) and a G325a (biographic information, one for each you, her and baby makes three). Download the PDF forms available on the website. Fill the forms out completely after reading and understanding the instructions. If something is not applicable put "n/a" or "none" so that there is no blanks. You can save and update these forms and then print when needed. Gather the necessary documents for you, her, and the baby. If the document is in Thai, it needs translated. I recommend getting all the documents together first and getting them all translated at one time using a certified translator. Some of the documents have duplicate information that can be cut and pasted into other documents so this can save time and money. There is a good, inexpensive, and quick translation office in the Sindhorn tower on the second floor that gave me good service last March. Avoid lawyers doing the translation because they will charge you lawyer fees for clerks work.

These forms are tedious, but easy to understand and fill out so do it your self. A visa service is probably not needed and you would still have to gather the required documents and provide information for the forms as well as them charging between $1500 - $3000 dollars.

When filling out the forms, if there is an entry that is longer than the provided area, make an word doc. addendum to the form and list them in order of number, item and full information line and attach to the form. Do not abbreviate or use short names. I had used "Korat" vice "Nakhon Ratchasima" for my wife's. The clerk had me white out and write in the corrections on the spot, so don't panic if you have a spelling error or 2.

When all is ready (after checking and rechecking) you do indeed walk in to the USCIS (not allowed to make appointments at this stage) go early so that you can make corrections if needed (the clerk rejected the one document translation that I had done at a lawyer's office) and still have time to go to the second floor and get a new translation. Put all of the documents in the order listed on the USCIS web page in an easy to retrieve order (2 hole punch the top, tabs on the bottom and ACCO fasteners is what USCIS recommends. Keep the originals in one package and duplicates in another package. The USCIS only wants to see the originals but will not want to keep them.

You need sufficient evidence of a relationship, the USCIS is not interested in a lot of pictures (the counsular side wants those). When the clerk accepts your package, go to the cashier by ACS as stated and pay your fee, and take the receipt back to USCIS. My wife's package submitted on 31 March 2009 was approved by USCIS on 3 April 2009 and forwarded to the embassy. The consular section will send you a packet 3 instructions and a letter with the visa type, name, and case # (BKK****). Then fill out the checklist of documents and the part one of DS 230 (also, downloadable PDF). This document has longer time frames for employment and residence information, as well as details of wife's parents and other children if applicable even if they are not going to immigrate. When this is ready your spouse will date and sign the checklist and DS 230 and mail it back to the embassy. Use a return receipt EMS service as proof sending in the copies of documents they want. Again in the order of the checklist and easy to access.

After about 6 weeks or so you will get package 4 with the interview date, medical instructions, and police cerificate requirements. There are only 2 (I think) hospitals in BKK that can do this. We used Bumrengrad (SP?) on Sukumvit Soi 3 and they were well organized and took about 3 hours and have appointments 7 days per week. The police certifcate can only be done at 1 palce in BKK as per the instructions. Go in and drop off the require documents (the embassy says take passport pictures, but my wife has done this twice and they took digital pictures there). They will mail the police certificate to you and it does not need translation (it's in English). Medical and police certificates are only valid for 6 months so don't get them too early.

The key is patience, being organized and not getting frustrated. Only your wife and baby will be allowed to go to the interview (unless you outsmart the embassy) but don't worry about that, if everything is in order and honest. My wife's interview lasted 12 minutes, the clerk spoke adequate Thai but did call a translator over for one thing that she did not understand. 9 other spouses were interviewed that morning and each interview was in the 10 - 12 minute range. All approved except one, who was dressed like a poster girl for Bimbos R us, which did not appear to interest the female clerk. If sucessful, she will be given a card telling her to return in 2 working days a 3 pm to collect her passport.

Hope this helps, anything else let me know. Good Luck!!

By the way, I don't think that you can use the I-134. I think that you need to use the I 864 or I 864EZ if you qualify as per the instructions.

Edited by mmcsusnret
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