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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawCR-1 and IR-1 Visa from Thailand: The Importance of Interview Preparation

CR-1 and IR-1 Visa from Thailand: The Importance of Interview Preparation

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the CR-1 and the IR-1 visa.  These are Immigrant Spouse Visas. It should be noted this is a different type of Marriage visa from the K-3 visa. The K-3 Visa is a supplemental Visa that is used pursuant to the provisions of the Life Act to essentially expedite processing of a Marriage Visa. 

As a practical matter though, into the foreseeable future, the K-3, not overly useful and not used very often. Most folks are going to go ahead and use a CR-1 or IR-1 when trying to get a US Immigrant Visa for their Thai spouse and we are going to talk about this in the context of Thailand because that is where we are located.

So the thing to take away from this video is first of all interview preparation. I do a lot of interview preparation for clients here in Thailand and it should not be viewed as an exercise in "coaching" the prospective immigrant. That is not the case. What it is, is it an exercise in facilitating that individual to concisely, clearly and honestly explain their position, their future intentions, their situation etc. They need to be able to explain you know what issues they may have. For example with inadmissibility. Do they have a ground of inadmissibility to the United State? A criminal record for example. They need to be able to explain themselves. 

The other thing that should be taken away from this video is, the interviewing Consular Officers at US Embassies and Consulates abroad, and I will specifically speak to it within the specific context of the Thai Embassy here in Bangkok, these Officers are not in the habit nor is it their mandate to use these interviews as some sort of foil to stump the applicant or embarrass the applicant or it is not an exercise in manipulation of the applicant to get them to make a mistake and then the case can be denied. That is not what this is about.  It is an exercise in due diligence on the part of the interviewing officer to ascertain whether or not their relationship in the case of spousal visas is genuine, whether or not the individual in question may have a ground of inadmissibility against them, whether or not that individual is in general eligible to receive the Visa. The notion of "coaching" someone or in any way being what could be construed as dishonest could lead to a finding of fraud and misrepresentation which in and of itself is a ground of inadmissibility and it is a ground of inadmissibility that in my opinion is not one you want to be in. I mean you obviously don't want to have any, but now one is not only inadmissible but their credibility has been impeached. So I think as a practical matter, obviously you don't want to deal with fraud and misrepresentation because that would be unethical, but on top of that, just as a practical matter it is worse to have that and be "coached" It could lead to a situation where one could never be admitted to the United States. So again, this is not an exercise in coaching. It is an exercise in being able to rationally explain why one wishes to go the United States and concisely and honestly explain one's circumstances and one's background. 

Also a major part of interview preparation in my experience has been appraising my clients, and I am generally dealing with Thai Nationals here, and they generally find it a bit daunting to be dealing with the American system. They have never really dealt with it before. Oftentimes there are language barrier issues and in those circumstances I find that interview preparation is helpful to make them feel comfortable so they understand what they are walking into. They understand what they are going to be dealing with in terms of the protocols at the Embassy because the Embassy has a lot of people to deal with on any given day and they need to move them through in a specific way and those who know the system and how it is going to move, they are going to feel a lot less stressed when they are down there; they know what to expect. 

So the thing to take away from this video:  interview preparation is a good idea. If you are doing it should be handled by a professional who has dealt with Immigration matters previously and in the cases of Bangkok, who has at least some knowledge of dealing with the US Embassy here in Bangkok. Another major thing that should come up, anyone, any service whatever, who tells you they have a special relationship with the embassy that is the worst thing you want to hear. No one has a special relationship with the US Embassy. I maintain cordial professional relations when and where I interact with them but the notion of a special relationship that will somehow get something done down there, that is not only ridiculous, but it could lead to felony charges. That is just not something you want to hear if you are talking to somebody who is talking to you about interview preparation. Interview preparation is an exercise in honestly and concisely explaining oneself and one's background in order to hopefully get their visa issued because at the end of the day, the goal that is trying to be achieved in all this is getting into the United States.