The Basics of Obtaining a CR1 Visa for Your Wife in Thailand

If you are a US citizen looking to ensure your Thai spouse gets in the States with a green card or permanent residence, so you can start a family, you will need to use a CR1 visa for your wife in Thailand. The CR is short for Conditional Residency and the CR1 visa allows your spouse to stay in the country legally for two years. This stay is deemed conditional because during the same period, the Thai spouse has to prove that the sole purpose of the marriage to a US citizen is not to evade the relevant immigration laws.

If your wife in Thailand has a CR1 visa, she will also have a social security number and a CR card allowing her to start working in the US immediately after entry. Once your wife obtains the CR1 visa, she will be able to travel outside America for vacation or business as long as she does not stay out of the country for longer than 6 months. A derivative of the CR1 visa allows the Thai spouse’s children in Thailand to join their parents in the United States.

Within 90 days after the two-year residence period of the foreign spouse expires, the couple should apply to the USCIS so that the condition to the residence is removed.

It is easy to confuse between the K3 marriage visa and the CR1 visa especially since both application processes are quite similar. The only difference is that it takes longer to process the CR1 visa and its benefits are much better in comparison to those of the K3 visa.

You can adjust a CR1 visa for your wife in Thailand after a period of 1 year and 9 months while the K3 visa must be acted on immediately following arrival by the Thai spouse into the US. Aside from that, once the CR1 visa is obtained, the Thai spouse can begin working immediately but the K3 visa does not offer such an opportunity. The CR1 visa is ideal for individuals who can wait for some time before coming to the US while the K3 visa is the best option for those who are in a rush to come in.

What are the Requirements When Applying for the CR1 Visa?

Before getting a CR1 visa for your wife in Thailand, the couple has to be married for a period of not less than two years. Evidence such as chat records, email records, pictures, and original copies of the marriage certificate should be presented aside from other similar documents in order to prove the marriage is strong and genuine.

The petitioner of the CR1 visa should be an American citizen capable of meeting the prescribed income requirement by the United States Poverty Guidelines. This financial capacity will give assurance that the individual can petition his Thai spouse so that she will not become dependent on social security during her stay in the US.

The beneficiary of the CR1 visa should be a Thai national without any involvement in illegal drugs or prostitution, any health issues (to obtain a medical certificate), and a criminal record (to obtain a police clearance from Thai police).

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