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

US IR-1 Visa in Thailand

IR1 Visa Application Process

First, you need to fill out a form called the I-130 and send it to a government agency called USCIS. This form helps your Thai spouse to apply to live in the United States. Once the form is approved, you can move on to the next step. First, the NVC (National Visa Center) will give a unique case number for the application. Then, the next important step is filling out a form called DS-260 or DS-261 which is needed for the visa application process.

To initiate the immigrant application process, it is essential to complete the Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) and pay the associated fee charged by USCIS. Additionally, you must process an immigrant visa application (Form DS-260) and undergo a mandatory medical examination, including necessary vaccinations. It is crucial to fulfill all fee requirements and retain all government receipts throughout the application procedure.

To commence the immigrant application process, you must first submit an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, which incurs a fee charged by USCIS. Following this step, processing an immigrant visa application, Form DS-260, and undergoing a mandatory medical examination, including necessary vaccinations, are crucial stages in the application journey. It is imperative to pay all the required fees and maintain meticulous records of all government receipts throughout this process.

IR1 Visa Requirements

When you in the United States wants to bring your Thai spouse from Thailand, there are some important rules they need to follow. First of all, you as the American, who is sponsoring their spouse must be a U.S. citizen or someone with a green card (lawful permanent resident). Also, you must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. most of the time.

For the marriage to be recognized, the couple must be legally married and provide a valid Thai marriage certificate. It’s not just about having the paperwork; they also need to prove that their marriage is real and not just for show. This proof can include things like dated-photos of the couple together and travel plans they’ve made.

Additionally, have to promise to financially support her. This means they need to fill out a form called an affidavit of support. To do this, you must either have a certain amount of money based on your income, or you can get someone else to promise financial support too. See more of this added below under the financial requirements for the IR1 visa.

These rules are in place to make sure that marriages are genuine, and that the person moving to the U.S. will be taken care of properly. The process is the same as that of the CR1 visa.

IR1 Document Requirements

When you’re applying for an IR1 visa, there are specific documents you need to provide. First, you must have a valid passport that allows you to travel to the United States, and it should be valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in the U.S. You also need to fill out a form called DS-160 and submit two recent color photos.

Apart from these, you’ll need to show your birth certificate and the results of a medical examination. To prove that you have enough financial support, you’ll need to fill out a form called I-864, Affidavit of Support. Additionally, you should provide evidence of your relationship, like a marriage certificate, photos, or messages between you and your spouse.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and the exact requirements might vary depending on your situation. It’s always a good idea to talk to someone who knows about immigration, like a lawyer or an immigration expert, to understand exactly what you need for your specific case

IR 1 Financial Requirements

When someone wants to move to the U.S. with their family through an IR1 visa, there are specific rules about money. The person in the family who is responsible for financially supporting everyone (usually a family member) needs to earn enough money. This amount depends on the number of people in the family and the state they live in. For example, in 2021, a family of two needed to earn at least $21,775 per year.

If your income is not enough, you can use money in the bank to meet the requirement. For every $5 in the bank, it’s like having an extra $1 of yearly income. Another option is to have a family friend or relative promise that the family won’t need government help. This person, called a joint sponsor, ensures the family won’t rely on public assistance.

If the family wants to use their own belongings and money to meet the financial requirements, there are some rules. The things they own must be easy to sell quickly if they need cash. Also, someone in charge, like a visa officer, must believe these belongings can be used to support the person they’re sponsoring.

When applying for the IR1 visa, a form called I-864 needs to be completed. This form is like a promise from someone (usually a family member) saying they will use their money to support the family when they move to the U.S.

It’s important to remember that these rules are basic, and they might be a bit different in special cases. It’s a good idea for the family to talk to an immigration expert or lawyer to understand exactly what they need to do for their situation. Likewise see the US visa Thailand page for more information. 

IR 1 Compared

An IR1 visa, or Immediate Relative Spouse visa, is a special visa for the husband or wife of a U.S. citizen who lives in another country. This visa allows your Thai wife to come to the United States and become a permanent resident (get a green card) as soon as she arrives. The visa is valid for 10 years.

To start the process, you are the U.S. citizen needs to fill out a form called the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) and send it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There’s no specific age requirement for you. However you must be at least 18 years old and have a home in the U.S. This before they can support your Thai spouse’s immigration application.

It’s important for you to show that you plan to live in the U.S. for a long time. If you applied for the visa when you were a permanent resident (green card holder) and later became a U.S. citizen. You will need to update the application to reflect your new status. This helps the process move forward smoothly.


CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa

Imagine you’re marrying someone from another country who is not a U.S. citizen. There are two types of visas for this situation:

CR1 Visa (Conditional Resident Visa):

  • If you’ve been married for less than 2 years, you get this visa.
  • It’s like a “trial period” visa for the first two years of your marriage.
  • It lasts for 2 years. After that, if your marriage is still going strong, you can get a regular visa without any conditions.

IR1 Visa (Immediate Relative Visa):

  • If you’ve been married for 2 years or more, you qualify for this visa.
  • It’s a more stable and long-term visa.
  • It gives you permanent resident status for 10 years. You can renew it after the 10 years are up.

So, if you’ve been married for a short time, you get a conditional visa that lasts for 2 years. If your marriage is strong and lasts for 2 years or more, you can get a long-term visa that lasts for 10 years, and you can renew it when it expires.


IR 1 Overview

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.

US Embassy in Thailand

In terms of official documents in Thailand, certain alternatives exist for essential certificates. Birth certificates, typically obtained from the District Registrar, have an alternative known as “Bai Rub Rong Kan Kerd.” Similarly, for death certificates, the alternative is the “Bai Rub Rong Kan Tai.”

Marriage certificates, crucial for legal recognition, come in two forms: “Tabien Somros” and “Bai Samkhan Kan Somros.” On the other hand, divorce certificates are referred to as the “Tabien Yah” and “Bai Samkhan Kan Yah.” In the case of adopted children, there is the specific document called “Tabien Rab Bud Boontham.” Additionally, for Thai citizens, the national identification card is known as the “Bat Prachachon.”

Moreover, concerning nonimmigrant visas in Thailand, Chiang Mai handles applications for specific provinces, while Bangkok processes applications for the remaining regions.


Chiang MaiChiang RaiKamphaeng PhetLampang
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IR1 Visa FAQ

Are You Automatically a US Citizen if You Marry One?

No, marrying a US citizen does not automatically grant you US citizenship. You need to initiate the process by applying for a US spouse visa, such as the IR1 visa for your Thai spouse. Once in the US, your spouse will be eligible for a US green card, and eventually, US citizenship can be pursued.

Which Is Better: Fiancé or Spouse Visa?

Many couples in Thailand prefer the US fiancée visa or K1 visa. It’s not only faster but also more cost-effective compared to the CR1 visa or IR1 visas. It’s crucial to seek proper advice regarding the requirements for the fiancée visa from Thailand to make an informed decision.

What Is the Next Step After Marrying a US Citizen?

After marrying a US citizen, you need to register your marriage in Thailand. Once the marriage is registered, you can apply for a US CR1 visa if you have been married for less than two years. This visa allows you to join your spouse in the US.

What Is an IR1 Visa?

The US IR1 Visa in Thailand is an Immediate Relative visa designed for couples who have been legally married for longer than two years. This visa provides a pathway to obtaining a US green card. It’s essential to explore your options and understand the differences between CR1, IR1, and other visa types to choose the most suitable one for your situation.