Student Visa (F1, M1, J1)
from Thailand often travel to the United States to study.
Many high school age Thai students participate in exchange
programs with high schools in the USA. Other citizens of Thailand
apply to US universities and graduate schools. Whether it's
for a semester, a year, or a four year program, Thai citizens
require visas to study in the United States. An F visa, M
visa, or J visa is required prior to leaving for study in
the United States
are the differences between the types of student visas available
to Thai citizens?
Students may apply for an F, M, or J non-immigrant visa. An
F visa is for academic students, an M visa is for non-academic
and vocational students, and the J visa is for student exchanges.
long is a student visa valid for?
An M or F visa is valid for one year, or for 30 days beyond
the length of time required for completion of your studies,
whichever is shorter. J visas may vary depending on conditions
of the exchange.
soon before my trip should I apply?
Applications for non-immigrant visas should be submitted one
to two months before intended date of travel. Applications
can normally be processed within one business day, but there
are occasional delays, particularly due to the large number
of applications received by the Embassy.
do I apply for a visa?
An applicant may apply for a US visa, in person or through
a representative, at any visa issuing post. However, there
are fewer complications for applications submitted in the
applicant's country of origin or permanent residence. The
Consular Section at the US Embassy in Bangkok accepts applications
Monday through Friday, between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m., except
on US and Thai holidays. The Consular Section is at 95 Wireless
road, across the street from the main Embassy. The Consulate
General in Chiang Mai accepts visa applications on Monday
and Wednesday mornings from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
much does a US visa cost?
All visa applications require a non-refundable fee of $65
(US), or the Thai Baht equivalent, payable at any post office
in the Bangkok area. Certain visas require an additional fee
depending on the visa type and the nationality of the applicant.
It is important to retain the receipt of payment from the
post office to submit with your application.
documents do I need to provide for a non-immigrant visa?
Along with your completed and signed application Form DS-156,
a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of
arrival in the US and two recent passport size(37x37 mm) photos
are required. Male applicants ages 16 to 45 must also complete
and submit Form DS-157. All applicants must also show that
they have a residence outside the US to which they intend
to return. In most cases documents are required to support
the claims made on an application, and applications should
be issued one to two months prior in order to allow time to
submit such documents as are required.
do I know what other documents may be required?
By providing information proving your intent to return to
your home country you can increase your likelihood of a quicker
approval process. If you are employed, a letter from your
employer explaining your position, salary, and terms of employment,
including length of vacation time can be used to show you
intend to return to Thailand. Original documents from your
bank showing account information can prove you have the necessary
funds to cover the costs of your trip. In addition, a lease
on an apartment, home and car registration, marriage certificates,
proof of business ownership and any other proof that you intend
to return to Thailand will lessen the likelihood of delay
or denial of your application.
do I need to bring when I submit my student visa application?
All visa applications require a passport valid for at least
6 months beyond the date of the application as well as a recent
passport size black and white photograph. Students are also
required to submit an I-20 form (from a school in the US),
evidence of prior education (transcripts), proof of financial
assets (i.e. bank statements, to show that you have sufficient
funds to cover the costs of tuition and living expenses),
and proof of residence outside the United States.
can I make sure my application will be approved?
Although there is no way to guarantee approval, there are
things you can do to make the process easier. The first step
is to request an I-20 form from a school in the US. The school
must be an accredited institution and your study should generally
be full time. It is also advisable to bring any information
proving your intent to return to Thailand. This can include
proof of ownership of property or a business, or proof of
an employment position in Thailand guaranteed upon completion
of your studies. Proof of finances, recent and past, including
bank statements, securities, and liquid assets are also necessary
to bring. While all of these are required for application,
the more prepared and thorough you are the lower the likelihood
of complications or delay.
In addition, if you have violated any past visas (overstayed
in the US on a past visit) legal counsel may be required to
ascertain and deal with any orders of removal instituted against
I work while I am studying in the US?
A student visa does not allow either yourself, or any of your
family members to work while you are studying in the United
States. The only exception to this rule is made for Practical
Training. If it is determined that practical training is applicable
for your course of study then you would be allowed to work
for one month of training for each four months of study, up
to but not exceeding six months of actual Practical Training.
can I get an application?
Application forms can be downloaded from the US embassy in
Thailand website (www.usa.or.th) or by visiting the Consular
Section of the Embassy itself. . The Consular Section at the
US Embassy in Bangkok provides applications Monday through
Friday, between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m., except on US and Thai
holidays. The Consular Section is at 95 Wireless Road, across
the street from the main Embassy building. The Consulate General
in Chiang Mai is open Monday and Wednesday mornings from 7:30
to 10:30 a.m. Applications are available in both Thai and
English but must be completed in English only.
Want to know more? Read our introductory Fiancee Visa FAQ or check out our Marriage Visa FAQ, K1 vs K3 Visa Comparision FAQ or Immediate Relative Visa FAQ.