The US IR-1 and CR-1 Visa in Thailand are the available types of visa that would get your Thai spouse into the United States. This types of visa are the so-called “heavy weights” of all the immigration processes that your Thai spouse should accomplish in order for her to be granted entry into the United States.
US IR-1 or CR-1 Visa
US CR-1 Visa – is a permanent resident visa which allows the Thai spouse to enter the United States as a conditional permanent resident.
The US CR-1 visa is a conditional resident visa, which lets your Thai wife enter the United States with a Conditional Permanent Resident status. Your Thai spouse will have a green card which allows him or her to seek employment in the United States and to live in the country indefinitely. However, this visa is conditional, and the condition for remaining in the country is that the marriage should last for two years. The US citizen would then file for a lift of conditionality within 90 days from the 2nd year anniversary of the Thai spouse‘s entry to the United States.
This visa is applicable for those marriage within the 2 years period.
US IR-1 Visa – is a permanent resident visa which allows the Thai spouse to enter the United States as an unconditional permanent resident. The US IR-1 Visa is basically similar to the US CR-1 visa except for the conditionality of being a permanent resident. The Thai spouse who is entering the United States using a US IR-1 Visa is not considered as a conditional permanent resident, and therefor is capable of seeking employment and stay in the country indefinitely from the time he or she is allowed entry to the United States by the US Immigration. To become eligible for the US IR-1 visa, the Thai spouse should be married to the US citizen for 2 years and above.
In Thailand, it usually takes around 12 months to complete the whole process of obtaining a US IR-1 / CR-1 Visa. It the American national has been a resident of Thailand for more than a year and has proof of such, then the application can be filed at the USCIS office in Bangkok and the process would more likely be trimmed down to just 8 months.
The spouse in the United States serves as the Petitioner and the spouse in the foreign country is the Beneficiary.
The US IR-1 / CR-1 Visas are immigrant visas that are issued to foreign (Thai) spouses of American citizens. As stated under this process, the Thai spouse would have to complete the whole visa process outside the United States, and then later on arrive in the United States as a Permanent Resident. Once the immigrant visa holder arrives at the US Port of Entry, he or she will be sent a Green Card through the mail within a few weeks, addressed to their US residence. Sometimes he immigrant visa holder’s passport will be stamped with an I-551 stamp, which indicates that the passport holder has a Legal Permanent Residency Status.
The following requirements to obtain the US CR-1 / IR-1 Visa in Thailand:
- Both of you should be legally married. Cohabitation does not qualify as marriage for immigration processes. Unmarried partners are not eligible to be a sponsor for any US visa application.
- Applicant should be 18 years or older when signing up for the Affidavit of Support, which will be required for a later process.