US 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

CR1 Process

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 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.

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.

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.

Medical examination and interview

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.

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.

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. 

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 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. 


CR1 Visa FAQ


Yes it can be denied. They will however tell you why it has been denied and give you a year to correct this. Most times this is where there are errors in the application for the CR1 visa. You can speak to an immigration lawyer in Bangkok about correcting the errors which caused the visa denial. See the US visa denial page.


In Thailand it currently takes about 8-10 months to obtain the CR1 visa. This timeline does change. The CR1 as well as the IR1 visas do depend on the country that you are in. Some visa applications do take longer than a year to obtain, so be aware of this.


Yes, under the CR1 visa from Thailand your wife can work in the US when she arrives. Her passport will be stamped and this will then act as a temporary green card. About 2-3 months later a permanent green card will be issued.


The CR1 visa is a Conditional Residency visa for the US. The CR-1 is only valid for a period of two years once entering the United States. You will however have to have the condition removed at least 90 days before the two year period expires.