This is about the IR1 Visa from Thailand which is covered below. You will note that there is a IR1 visa as well as the CR1 visa from Thailand and also note the difference between the two visas. The made difference is that CR1 visa married for less than two years as well as the IR1 visa married for more than two years. This has already been noted on this website.
IR1 Visa from Thailand
The conditions are the same as the CR1 visa except that the CR1 visa is for those who have been married for less than two years. The definition of a spouse is the same as it is anyone who is legally married. and not merely living together. Having a common law spouse is only accepted where it is legal and in the case of polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify for immigration purposes under this US visa. Much like other spouse visas such as the K3 spouse visa or the CR1 visa the process starts with the Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
As the petitioner from the United States you will need to be at least 18 years old in order to file this petition for the IR1 Visa from Thailand. You will need to be resident in the US and you will also need to sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ).
Note that there are a number of fees which needs to be paid with this application. The following are only the main fees and not all the fees. If you are using an immigration lawyer in Thailand then they will normally do this for you.
- Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 fees
- Form DS-260 fees
- Medical examination and required vaccinations fees in Thailand
- Other costs may include: translations; photocopying charges in Thailand you will need to pay for.
During the visa interview in Bangkok they will require other documents as well. You will need to check which these are from your lawyer as they may include her original civil documents (or certified copies) such as her birth certificate as well as the marriage certificate. This can be obtained from the amphur in Thailand where she was born. Note that these will also need to be copied and the translation certified. This makes for many documents and errors do occur which may end in a visa denial.
What you should not forget is when you arrive back in the US that the IR1 visa is not the same as the CR1 visa. The difference is that if you have been married for less than 2 years when your Thai wife enters the US on an immigrant visa she is classified as a permanent resident and her status is considered “conditional.” You will note that the immigrant visa is a conditional resident (CR) visa, not an immediate relative (IR) visa. If you are a conditional resident then you and your Thai wife will need to remove the conditional status within the 90 days before the 2 anniversary of her entry into the United States.
Some prefer to wait out the two year period while in Thailand and apply for the IR1 visa from Thailand. You will need to look at your options as well as take proper legal advice in this regard. Some prefer to use the K3 visa while other prefer the CR1 visa or the IR1 visa. Again you would need to take legal advice on this from an US immigration lawyer in Thailand for more advice.