CR1 Visa in Thailand

The US CR1 Visa in Thailand is explained as follows. For Thai spouses who have been married to an American citizen for less than two years, he or she can become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. However, the permanent residence status that the Thai spouse gets will be on a conditional basis as the US CR1 (conditional residence) visa. This is a marriage visa in Thailand to the USA. Note that this is not the IR1 visa for your Thai wife. That is covered elsewhere. There is the CR1 visa processing time also added below. 

CR1 Visa in Thailand

This type of visa is valid for two years following the time the Thai spouse entered the United States. The US citizen together with the spouse can apply to USCIS for removal of the conditional residency 90 days prior to the expiration of the 2 year conditional residence period allotted. This is if both of them are still married and living together in the United States after 2 years.

Preparing the documents for the US CR-1 visa application can be very overwhelming and complicated. Many of the intending applicants are not very flexible regarding the outcome of their application as they have exerted much effort, money and time for the whole process. See US visa for Thai wife for more information. 

CR1 Visa in Thailand

Getting a CR1 visa involves several steps. First, a U.S. citizen spouse submits a form called I-130 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After approval, the petition goes to the National Visa Center (NVC). Then, there’s a waiting period for a visa number.

Next, the applicants have to fill out forms DS-260 and DS-261. They also need to have a medical exam and get their fingerprints taken. These steps ensure they are healthy and safe to move forward with the application.

Once all the paperwork is complete, there’s an important interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign spouse’s home country. During this interview, officials assess if the applicant is eligible for the CR1 visa. If they pass, they get the CR1 visa, which allows them to live with their U.S. spouse.

Remember, this is a general overview, and the process might have unique details for each person. It’s always a good idea to seek help from USCIS or a legal expert for the most accurate and current information tailored to individual situations.

CR1 Visa Process

After filling out the form, you have to send it to USCIS (the immigration agency) and pay a fee of $535. Once they receive the form, USCIS will send a confirmation letter within two weeks. If they need more information, they might ask for it within two to three months. Usually, the whole application process takes around seven to 10 months. Speak to our US immigration lawyer in Bangkok for assistance.

Filing of the I-130 petition

Filling out the Form I-130 is the starting point to the US CR-1 visa application process. The process is also known as the Petition for Alien Relative. When filing the I-130 you have to prove that you are an American citizen. Also, attach copies of your Thai marriage certificates and passport-sized photos of you and your Thai spouse. Also needed is proof that your marriage is genuine and legal. See also the K3 spouse visa and how long to get K3 visa in Thailand for another option.

If either of you has been previously married, a divorce or death certificate is needed to show that you are free to marry once again. If you are in Thailand, you may file the I-130 at the USCIS with the US Embassy in Bangkok.

See to it that you keep copies of all the documents that you send with the I-130 petition. This because you will still need them later on in the visa application process. Once the USCIS receives your I-130 petition. They will then send you the Form I-797 to confirm that they are starting the process for your petition. Once you have filled out the application form. You have to send it to USCIS and then also pay the $535 fee. So, once they received the form, they will send a confirmation letter usually within two weeks. If USCIS needs more information they might ask for it within two to three months.

Processing at the National Visa Center (NVC)

Once your petition has been processed and approved by the USCIS, it will then be forwarded to the National Visa Center for further processing. The NVC will send you a visa instruction packet with visa application forms.

Since you are a U.S. citizen and when your Form I-130 is approved by USCIS. They will automatically give you a visa number. Note that if you are a permanent resident, you have to wait for a visa number. How long you wait depends on your home country; it could be a few months or even a few years.

Once your immigration application gets approved by USCIS, your documents go to the National Visa Center (NVC). After approval, NVC will send you a letter with important numbers. You’ll use these numbers to fill out more forms

Simply follow the instructions, and along with the completed application form you will be required to provide a copy of your spouse’s passport, two passport-sized photos, certified copies of the birth and marriage certificate, a police certificate from her home country and any military records. You will also have to file the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support as proof that you have met the minimum income requirement.

First, there’s a form called DS-261. In it, you can pick how NVC talks to you. It might take up to three weeks for them to process this form. Next, you’ll need to do Form DS-260. This is the main form for your immigrant visa application. Also, there’s another form you need to pay for, the Affidavit of Support. This form shows that you can financially support your Thai wife during the immigration process.

CR1 Medical Examination

Once your visa application is complete, the NVC will schedule you for a visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. Prior to the interview, the applicant should complete a medical check which will be conducted at designated locations either in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Before attending her US visa interview in Bangkok, there are crucial steps that must be followed. Initially, it is necessary to visit a doctor sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State for a mandatory medical examination. The U.S. consulate where the application was submitted will provide a list of these authorized doctors. Please be aware that this medical checkup incurs a cost. Following the examination, the doctor will provide a sealed packet containing your test results and vaccination record, which she must bring to her visa interview. It is imperative not to open this sealed packet.

Additionally, it’s important to note that towards the end of the process, there will be a green card interview. The National Visa Center (NVC) will issue a notice specifying the date and location of the interview. Interestingly, it is usually not required for you to attend this interview together with your Thai wife.

The final step in the process of a CR-1 visa application is the interview with a visa officer at the US Embassy in Bangkok. The visa officer will be reviewing all the documents and ensure that your spouse is eligible for a visa, and confirm that the marriage is genuine. If the visa is approved, it should be available for release within 5-7 business days from the date of the interview.

CR1 visa interview process in Bangkok

When you receive an email saying your visa case is ready for review at the U.S. Embassy Bangkok Immigrant Visa Unit. Then she can schedule an appointment for her CR1 visa interview.

As explained above the expiry date of your visa matches your medical exam date, usually six months from the checkup, or three months if you have certain health conditions. Make sure to schedule your medical exam at least 10 business days before your interview.

Remember, if the application is incomplete during the visa interview. It can cause significant delays, taking around 10-15 business days for a decision. So, she should not make any big plans like traveling or quitting her job until she physically has her Thai passport and U.S. immigrant visa in hand.

What documents does she need for the CR1 visa interview?

There are certain documents that will be needed by the Embassy for the interview. These she should already have or your lawyer in Thailand would have them for you. The first would be the confirmation page when you made an online application. Also your I-864 Affidavit of Support. If your Thai wife is divorced or widowed then the divorce decree or death certificate will also be needed. There is also the thai police clearance certificate. This will also include for countries where she had lived for at least 6 months. Finally also the seal medical exam results. Ensure those results are sealed as they had been given by the hospital. 

Lastly there is also the original birth certificate and a translated one if it is not in English. Note that this needs to be a certified translation. Also her Thai passport with at least 6 months still on it as well as 4 passport photos that is not older than 6 months. Most photoshops in Thailand know the sizes. 

Lastly, she will need to have a letter confirming her visa interview appointment. Remember, this is just a general list, and the requirements might differ. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s best to check with our US immigration lawyer or directly contact us

Common CR1 Visa Interview Questions

This is an example of what might be asked. Since you are married the interview questions will be about family as well as knowledge of your family, occupation as well as your occupation.

  • What is the complete name of your spouse?
  • When and where did both of you first meet?
  • How long have you been in touch with your spouse?
  • What activities do both of you enjoy doing together for fun?
  • What is your spouse’s occupation?
  • Can you share details about your spouse’s profession or job?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Has your spouse been previously married?
  • Could you provide information about your spouse’s children, if any?
  • What are the names of your spouse’s parents?

These are only example questions but you get the idea. Many of these questions will also come from the information you gave about how long you have been married and where you met the first time.

How long does the CR1 visa interview take?

The interview for a CR1 visa usually takes about 10 minutes, but it could be longer based on the situation. The time might depend on how busy the U.S. Embassy is at that moment. One important thing to know is that the sponsoring spouse from the U.S. doesn’t have to be there during the interview.

Once she is in the United States, there are more things you need to do to keep her status. First, if she has a CR1 visa. She will have to apply to remove certain conditions from her green card after two years by using Form I-751. On the other hand, if she has an IR1 visa, she either has to renew her green card every 10 years with Form I-90 or apply for U.S. citizenship.

CR1 Financial Requirements

First, the person applying for you (usually a family member) needs to earn at least 125% more than the poverty level in the State where he lives. This amount depends on how many people they’re financially responsible for as well.

Every year, the government updates these numbers, and in 2021, they increased by $225 for a family of two. As an example, if you and your spouse are applying, your family member’s income must be at least $21,775 per year. If you have more family members, the income requirement goes up. If your family member’s income isn’t enough, you can use money in the bank as a substitute.

For every $5 in the bank, it’s like having an extra $1 of yearly income. And if all else fails, a family friend or relative can help you out by promising that your family won’t need public help. It’s kind of like having someone co-sign a loan to buy a car. This person, known as a joint sponsor, vouches that your family won’t rely on government aid.

Can I use my spouse's assets for the financial requirements?

You can use your own money and assets to meet the financial requirements for a CR1 visa. There are some rules you must follow though. Firstly, your assets need to be easily turned into cash. This means you can sell them quickly if needed. Also, this conversion shouldn’t cause a lot of problems or financial troubles for you or your family within a year.

In addition, the person in charge must believe that the value of your assets can be used to support the person you’re sponsoring. It is also very important to know that these are general rules. Likewise the exact details might be different in specific cases. It’s a good idea to talk to an immigration expert or our lawyer to understand what applies to your situation.

Affidavit of Support for CR1 visa

So when you apply for the CR1 visa you must also complete the I-864. This form is the same as a promise from someone which is mainly a family member. They will have to state that they will use their money to support your Thai wife when she moves to the U.S. So this family member  becomes a sponsor once she becomes a permanent resident. Note that these are only very basic rules and you should not bank on this explanation.

Can a CR1 holder work in the US?

Sure, if she has a CR1 visa for the United States, so she can start working legally as soon as she arrives. She does not have to fill out extra paperwork for a work permit. Her passport will have a stamp that allows her to work temporarily until she gets her official “green card,” which takes about 2-3 months.

And here’s the good part as well. Once she has her CR1 visa, she is also free to travel in and out of the U.S. without any problems. So you can work and travel as you need to!

This is a basic overview of the CR1 Visa process from Thailand be this from Pattaya, Bangkok, or Chiang Mai. There are always changes in the laws so speak to us online or in person.

Once in the US

Once your Thai spouse has arrived in the United States using the US CR1 visa, he or she will get a conditional green card which has a validity of two years. Always remember to apply for removal of conditions within 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional green card.

Note that failure to do so would mean that your Thai spouse would have to leave the United States and start the process all over again. The US CR-1 Visa from Thailand takes a few months to complete.

The US CR-1 Visa in Thailand allows an American citizen to bring his Thai wife to the United States to start building a family. This type of visa is a conditional residency status. The holder is given two years to stay legally in the United States. Your Thai wife should prove that she did not marry you just to evade immigration laws, as such is provided as the condition for the US CR-1 visa. Note the CR1 visa processing time below.

CR1 advantage 

One advantage of the US CR-1 Visa is that your Thai wife is given a CR card and a Social Security Number. This will allow her to work immediately upon arriving in the United States. This visa also allows your Thai spouse to travel outside the United States. Be this for business or leisure purposes. On condition that she returns to the United States within six months.

The US CR-1 Visa also has a derivative intended for the children of the Thai spouse. Those left in Thailand to be together with their parents in the United States. See also the IR1 visa from Thailand. Always take advice when it comes to marriage visa in Thailand to the USA. Note that the US CR1 Visa from Thailand is similar to the IR1 visa.

If your Thai wife is the CR1 visa applicant then you will also need to file a CR2 visa application for your step-child. There are conditions that will need to be met and these can become complicated if she is divorced and there is a child custody agreement. Take proper legal advice when taking children across international borders. 

CR1 Visa Checklist

Check with our immigration staff online or in person for assistance and guidance with your situation. You can also read online on taking a child across international borders on this website. The child will also need the following documents:

  • They must have their original Thai birth certificate;
  • If the child is over 16 the child also need a police clearance certificate;
  • Must be able to pass a medical examination;
  • Must attend the US Embassy interview as well.

Much like the mother, when they enter the US the child will also receive a conditional residency card. then wait 2 years to remove the conditions from his/her then green card. The process does take a while but you are best starting the process together with the CR1 visa applicant. Ask us about the CR1 visa processing time as well as the CR1 visa process if you did not understand this. Take legal advice and speak to our immigration lawyer in Bangkok for more assistance. 

CR1 visa processing time

The CR1  visa processing time will depend on where the application is handed in. The CR1 processing time for the I-130 will vary as it could take anywhere from 4 months (Nebraska Service Center) to up to over 4 years (Texas Service Center) to process the Form I-130. Following the approval of the I-130, the timeline for obtaining a CR1 or IR1 visa is approximately 4 to 6 months.

November 2022 visa processing time (Average)

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative + US Citizen filing for spouse, parent or child under 21

  • California Service Center – 10 months
  • Nebraska Service Center – 10 months
  • Potomac Service Center – 10 months
  • Texas Service Center – 11 months
  • Vermont Service Center – 16 months

Note that these are the average times for November 2022. This is only an indication. If you are not a US citizen and you are a US permanent resident. Then the times are on average even longer. As an example for a US permanent resident filing for the I-130 at the Vermont service center takes on average 30 months. 

CR2 Process

If you have step children under the age of 21 who are unmarried then you will need to apply for a CR2 visa from Thailand. This is added onto the visa process for your Thai wife. The CR2 visa requirements for your minor stepchildren are as follows

  • As the sponsor you need to meet your States poverty guidelines;
  • Your stepchild must be under the age of 21 when entering the US;
  • The child must be unmarried, also have no children of their own;
  • Your Thai wife has to prove that it is her biological child;
  • The child must have an unexpired passport when entering the US;

If your Thai wife is divorced and there is a divorce agreement then the other parent may need to consent for the child to travel abroad. There needs to be certified approval from the other parent.

CR1 Visa FAQ

Can a CR1 Visa Be Denied?

Yes, a CR1 visa can be denied. If this happens, the authorities will inform you of the reasons for the denial and provide a year for you to rectify the issues. Denials often occur due to errors in the visa application. It’s advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer in Bangkok to address the errors that led to the visa denial. You can find more information on the US visa denial page.

How Long Does It Take to Get a CR1 Visa?

In Thailand, it currently takes about 8-10 months to obtain a CR1 visa. However, it’s important to note that this timeline is subject to change. The processing times for CR1 and IR1 visas vary based on the country you are in. Some visa applications may take longer than a year, so it’s essential to be aware of potential delays.

Can She Work with a CR1 Visa?

Yes, under the CR1 visa from Thailand, your wife can work in the US upon her arrival. Her passport will be stamped, serving as a temporary green card. Approximately 2-3 months later, a permanent green card will be issued, allowing her to continue working in the US.

US CR-1 Visa in Thailand

The CR1 visa is a Conditional Residency visa for the US, valid for two years upon entering the United States. However, the conditions on the visa must be removed at least 90 days before the two-year period expires to ensure continued residency in the United States.