Another purpose of Thai nationals in traveling to the United States is to attend business conferences, trade shows, or any other business related purposes. In this case, Thai business travelers are required to apply a US business visa known as “B1 visa”.
B1 visa is catered to any foreign citizens including the Thai nationals for the purpose of business related activities in entering the US temporarily. This type of visa doesn’t permit visa holders to engage in any employment while inside the country but permitted only to conduct business meetings, conferences or seminars regarding their work outside the US. Also, U.S. business visa will only allow its holders to stay in the country for a certain period of time, usually up to 3 to 6 months dependent on the discretion of the immigration officer.
Other purposes in applying for this type of visa:
- To consult with business associates
- To attend a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates to settle an estate
- To negotiate a contract
- To participate in short-term training
For some urgent travels, Thai applicants can also apply for the expedited appointment for shorter period of processing their visa application. However, applicants are required to meet all the criteria and to make sure that they are qualified for the expedited appointment.
Gathering Supporting Evidence
It is very important to gather all the necessary evidences showing that the applicants have strong economic standings and social ties in their home country. B1 applicants must convince the immigration officer that they strong reason to return to their home country after the given period of stay. This is necessary since the embassy official always presumes that the applicants for B1 visa really intends to settle permanently in the United States.
Here are some proofs that the B1 visa applicants may present:
- Sufficient funds proving that applicants can afford their stay inside the country.
- Strong ties in Thailand to convince the immigration officers that they will most likely return to their home country.
- If student, documentation proving that they are enrolled into a University or College.
- If working, a proof or certification of employment from their company
- If owned a business , they may have to present the following; VAT receipts, business bank accounts, loan information or website to prove that their company is legitimate.
- Their immediate family members such as; spouse and children in Thailand can also testify the necessity of their return.
Complete the Form l-160 Online
The application for B1 visa, Form l-160, can only be done on the internet. The paper application forms are not accepted. It usually takes more than an hour in completing the form, but be sure to write down the application ID in case the application session has expired (this usually happens when the computer is left idle for couple of minutes) or in case you need to take a break and resume it later. Once the application has been submitted, you will receive a receipt which is required for the interview.
Pay the Fees and Schedule an Interview
After you have accomplished the Form l-160, you may schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok or at the US Consulate in Chiang Mai. The application fee is about US$ 140 which is non-refundable and can be paid at any Post Office in Thailand. Visa applicants may also buy a PIN which is needed for the visa appointment schedule. The US State Department maintains a website with average waiting time in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The Application Interview
You must arrive at the US Embassy at least 30 minutes before the set schedule in order for you to have enough time to refresh, prepare, and pass all the necessary security check-ups. Once arrived, you must submit your passport and supporting documents. Then, you need to undergo the preliminary processes including the assessment of documents before you can go directly to the consular for the interview. During the interview, your sincere and honest response is very important to avoid the chance of getting denied.
Once the visa application is approved, you will be asked to pay at the Embassy’s Thai Post counter and fill up an envelope with your complete mailing address. Your passport with the US visa on it will be mailed to the address that you specified on that envelope.