The CR-1 Visa (CR stands for Conditional Residency) grants the Thai spouse legal permanent status upon entry albeit on a conditional basis. A permanent resident status is awarded only after two years following the grant of the conditional residence visa. Three months or exactly ninety days before the second year anniversary of being a conditional resident, the couple will have the conditional status lifted by filing a petition to the USCIS.
As we may all know, every petition has to undergo a due process with underlying rules and or requirements to satisfy before the Thai spouse can be eligible for the CR1 Visa Thailand. The sponsoring husband or wife also called as the Petitioner and his or her Thai spouse, also called as the Beneficiary have to make sure that they meet all the requirements for the CR1 visa to be granted. First, the length of the marriage must be at most two years by the time of the visa application. Second, they must be able to establish that their marriage is valid which means that all the legal requirements have been complied with as required in Thailand or the jurisdiction where the marriage was consummated. Third, they must be able to prove or validate that they have genuine marriage and that they have an on-going marital relationship by providing evidence like photos together, chat and phone records. Fourth, it is also necessary that the sponsoring husband or wife be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States and that the person whom the CR-1 Visa is applied for is none other than the Thai spouse. Fifth, the sponsoring husband or the petitioner must meet the income requirement as stated in the Poverty Guidelines. Sixth, the Thai spouse must not be inadmissible to the US as inadmissibility prevents a foreign national from obtaining a visa to enter the US. Inadmissibility includes the following:
-Health issues (ex. communicable disease of public health significance, inability to receive vaccinations, physical or mental disorders);
-Involvement with or use of drugs, controlled substances, or chemicals;
-A criminal record;
-Involvement in prostitution;
-Likely at any time to become a public charge (i.e. the US citizen cannot support the foreign spouse); -Violations of any immigration law (including being removed from the US, being unlawfully present in the US, entering the US illegally, and misrepresenting or omitting facts on or in connection with a visa application); or
-Seeking to enter the United States to engage in any unlawful activity.
Once qualifications and requirements are met and satisfied, an expeditious and easy petition process is on the imminent, which commence with the filing of the Petition for Alien Relative (Form 1-130) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center that covers the state where the Petitioner resides.
There are three government agencies that process the CR1 Visa Thailand. The initial process is at the USCIS Service Center, either California or Vermont where CR-1 visa documents are reviewed, and processed with $355 USCIS fee. Once petition is approved, USCIS will forward the visa application to the National Visa Center (NVC), the second government agency that handles the petition where further review and processing are done, not to mention the fees collection of the Affidavit of Support amounting to $70, Choice of Address and Agent amounting to $400 and other required government fees concerning the immigrant visa petition. The NVC retains the petition until it is ready for adjudication by a consular officer in Thailand. Once the applicant and petitioner meet all the required documents, pay all the underlying government fees, and processing is completed, the National Visa Center will coordinate with the United States Embassy in Thailand to schedule the interview. The foreign national spouse will then be informed on the interview schedule at the US Embassy in Bangkok via letter and email following the receipt of the visa application from the NVC. The final stage and the last government agency that handles the petition process is the US Embassy in Thailand where the interview is conducted and visa is either denied or granted.
Concisely, the CR-1 Visa Thailand is not only convenient for the sponsoring husband or wife but also to the Thai spouse as he/she upon entry to the United States will receive his/her conditional resident card, and Social Security Number. He/she can also start working to earn a living for his or her new family. This type of visa further saves the Thai national from adjusting his/her status from a non-immigrant K-3 visa Thailand to an immigrant visa or conditional residency. Likewise, the CR-1 Visa allows the Thai spouse to travel outside the United States, either to go on a business trip or for the long awaited honeymoon somewhere on the pristine beaches of Thailand without worrying of any hassle of coming back provided that he/she will not stay for at least six months in another country.