US IR-1 Visa or US CR-1 Visa as the comparison below will show the difference. Compare the IR-1 or the Immediate Relative Visa entitles the holder to have a Permanent Residency Status within the United States for a span of 10 years, which is also renewable. CR-1 visa or the Conditional Residency Visa entitles the holder to have a Conditional Permanent Residency Status within the United States for a span of 2 years.
The decision-making factor on whether the applicant will be issued an IR-1 or the CR-1 visa would be the amount of time that both of them have been married during the time of visa issuance. Those who have been married to their American spouses for 2 years or more will be issued the US IR-1 visa. If they have been married less than 2 years, they will be issued the US CR1 visa.
The US CR-1 visa, as mentioned earlier, is a conditional visa such that permanent residency is waived for 2 years, and if the couple stays married after that time the applicant can then apply to remove conditions 90 days prior to the expiry of the CR-1 card. They will then be issued a 10 year green card.
As for the unmarried children of the foreign spouse, as long as the marriage happened before the child turned 18, and provided that the visa application for the child has been files before e or she turned 21, then the child is deemed eligible for the CR-2 / IR-2 dependent visa.
The US IR-1 visa / CR-1 visa petitions are filed at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and they are the ones who will process all the marriage visa petitions in the United States. The center that will process your IR-1 / CR-1 visa petition is determined on which state you reside. You will receive an RFE (Request for Evidence) every time there is any lacking documents or paperwork, and each RFE will delay the approval of your IR-1 / CR-1 visa petition, including the approval and issuance or your IR-1 / CR-1 visa.
The National Visa Center (NVC) is where an approved IR-1/CR-1 petition is forwarded to. It is where all documents are reviewed wherein background checks are performed on both the petitioner and the beneficiary. After that an interview date will be set, and the NVC will be forwarding the petition to the Consulate who will be conducting the interview. Until the NVC checks have been completed, the embassy will not be doing an interview for the foreign spouse.
The next step in the process is the US Embassy. When the approved petition have been received by the embassy who has jurisdiction over the city where the foreign spouse lives, the NVC will then instruct the foreign spouse to do a medical check at a designated clinic, and report for an interview at a specified date. Once the foreign spouse passes the medical check together with the interview, he or she will be given the US CR-1 / IR-1 visa within 5-7 business days. Below you will note the US visa denial reasons that you might encounter.
Circumstances that would delay or prevent the issuance of the US CR-1 / IR-1 visa in Thailand:
There is a certain timing for the US IR-1 / CR-1 spousal visa, but this all depends on which state in the United States the US citizen is residing and also the country in which the foreign spouse resides. Once your foreign spouse receives the US CR-1 / IR-1 marriage visa, he or she has a span of six months to use the visa to enter the United States.