US IR-1 Visa in Thailand

The US IR-1 visa in Thailand allows an American citizen to sponsor his Thai wife for permanent residency in the United States. For those Thai-American couples who have been married for more than two years, you can now apply for a US IR-1 visa. Once your Thai spouse enters the United States holding the US IR1 visa, she becomes a permanent resident automatically. If your spouse is from Thailand and you both got married in Thailand, she should apply for the US IR-1 visa from Thailand.

The whole process of applying for the IR1 visa takes approximately one year. Once the US IR-1 visa is approved, your Thai spouse can then enter the United States. She is allowed to seek employment or pursue an education in the country. The green card will be mailed to your address in the US within a month or a few. Note that this is note the CR1 visa process or the K3 spouse visa. There are a number of other options as well for obtaining a US visa for your Thai wife

IR-1 Visa in Thailand

Note that in order to be eligible for the US IR-1 Visa in Thailand. You must be a US citizen and should be at least 18 years or older. This in order to be able to sponsor your Thai wife for the US IR-1 visa. Your Thai spouse should have no previous problems with immigration. She should also be able to present a criminal record check and a medical certificate. There are cases where a visa waiver is given to allow your spouse to obtain a visa even with ineligibility.
You, as the petitioner, when applying for the IR1 Visa in Thailand, you should show that you meet the financial requirements. Also that your Thai wife will not require assistance from government funds and Social Security while staying in the United States.
If you make less than the required income. You can still make up for the income difference by declaring assets that are 5 times more between the required income and your annual income. Take advice from an immigration lawyer for more information, so talk to us online. See also the US visa denial issues. Also see the US tourist visa for a Thai girlfriend

Filing of the I-130 Petition

Starting off the IR1 visa application process you would need to fill up and submit Form I-130 which is also known as Petition for Alien Relative. Then you will have to send the I-130 petition documents to the USCIS for processing. If in Thailand, you may file the I-130 petition with the US Embassy in Bangkok. See to it that you keep copies of all required document that goes with the I-130. This as you may have to use them later on in the visa application process. Once the USCIS receives your I-130 they will then send you Form I-797. This confirms that they are currently processing your petition.

Processing at the National Visa Center (NVC)

Once the USCIS approves your I-130 petition. They will then forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. The NVC will be sending you a visa instruction packet with a visa application form. You should follow the instructions carefully. You will then have to file for the Form I864 Affidavit of Support. This proves that you do not need access to government funds for your Thai spouse while she is staying in the United States.

Medical examination and interview

Once your application has been completed. The NVC will arrange a schedule for an interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. Prior to the interview, the applicant should complete a medical check at designated locations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Take advice from an immigration lawyer for more information, so speak to us online. 

The last step for the US IR-1 visa process is the interview with a visa officer at the US Embassy in Bangkok. All documents will be reviewed by the officer. This making sure that your Thai spouse is eligible for a visa, and see to it that the registered marriage you have is genuine and legit. If the visa application is approved. The visa should be available within 5-7 business days after the interview. See also the CR1 visa for your Thai wife on this website. And upon arrival in the US, you will get your green card.

IR1 Visa FAQ


No. You will first start the process to apply for a US spouse visa such as the United States IR1 visa for your Thai spouse. Once in the US you will be eligible for a US green card, which can lead to US citizenship for your spouse.


Most couple in Thailand prefer the US fiancee visa or K1 visa from Thailand. This is not only faster but also cheaper than using a CR1 visa or a IR1 visa. Take proper advice about the requirements for the fiancee visa from Thailand.


Once you are married to a US citizen you will need to register your marriage in Thailand. With this marriage registration completed you will now be able to apply for a US CR1 visa since you have been married for less than two years.


The US IR-1 Visa in Thailand is an Immediate Relative visa for those who have been legally married for longer than two years. The IR1 visa provides you with a route to the US green card. See what other options you have in this regard. See also how to compare CR1 and K3 visa on here. There is also the difference between the CR1 and IR1 on here.