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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawShould the American Citizen Spouse Appear at the Visa Interview?

Should the American Citizen Spouse Appear at the Visa Interview?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title to this video suggests, we are going to be discussing the marriage visa and specifically the marriage visa interview at the US Embassy here in Bangkok or anywhere else around the world, but I'm going to keep this narrowly focused on the US Embassy here in Thailand as there are certain protocols that they have here that may not exist in other posts and there may be other protocols that exist at other posts that may not necessarily exist here in Thailand. 

Basically not infrequent, but at the same time not an overly frequent question but a question that I get occasionally here in the Kingdom from clients who are trying to get their Thai spouse back to the United States on a marriage visa such as a CR-1, IR-1 or K-3 is,  "should I be ready to attend the visa interview?" Now some folks take this from the tack of,  "are they going to want to see me at that interview?" Other folks look at it like "I want to go there to make sure that everything goes smoothly". In either case, really the motives of the American spouse are irrelevant because the security protocols at the Embassy here in Thailand stipulate that no one can be at the Embassy interview other than the applicant themselves. Now the Consular Officer, the adjudicating officer, may have issues with respect to the underlying facts of the given marriage. They may want to see more evidence proving up the existence of the relationship, they may want to see, in fact in some cases, especially those cases involving what is called the Fraud Prevention Unit, they may call the American citizen spouse and question that individual about the history of the relationship. Not particularly frequent, it can happen, but not overly frequently. That being said for the most part, all issues surrounding sort of the issue of underlying credibility of the marriage or the history of the relationship can generally be dealt with through paper documentation through correspondence directly with the embassy. Meanwhile and in many cases that question may not even come up, it is more an issue of vetting the applicant who is the foreign national spouse; in this case the Thai spouse. The reason that generally speaking an American citizen isn't going to need to be present at the interview is because the adjudication with respect to that individual has fundamentally already occurred by Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security agents are the ones that are going to go ahead and adjudicate the underlying petition, the petition for immigration benefits and they are going to make the determinations with respect to the American citizen involved in the given marriage and whether or not that individual is in a position to go ahead and petition for those benefits and whether the couple is in fact eligible. So one of the reasons that you are not going to generally see an American citizen present at the visa interview is because they are not really relevant to it; their part of the case has already been adjudicated. The adjudication officers at the US Embassy's function is simply to go ahead and vet the applicant, do a quick examination as to whether or not the  primer fascia points of the underlying case are met and make their determination accordingly.

As has been noted in other videos on this channel, things that can occur at an interview do include denial. If there is sighting of a legal ground of inadmissibility, approval can happen at the time of interview and then subsequent to that within a short period of time thereafter the actual visa will be issued or if there is what is called a 221-g refusal which is a refusal to grant a visa pending further documentation. Generally speaking, so long as that documentation is provided the adjudicating officer will go ahead and issue the visa and basically the case will be at its conclusion.