What are the visa options for a Thai spouse of a U.S. citizen to come to the United States? Depending on the length of their marriage, there are three options for the married couple.
A K3 visa is under a non-immigrant visa issued to a Thai spouse permitting her to enter the United States. There must be a pending immigrant petition filed by the U.S. citizen for the Thai spouse. The K3 visa is multiple entry two year visa. Once the K3 visa has been approved, the Thai spouse can enter the United States and apply for adjustment of status to obtain permanent residency status.
IR-1 visa or “Immediate Relative” is an immigrant visa issued to the foreign spouse of a U.S. Citizen who has been married for more than two years. The immigrant petition has to be filed in the United States with evidence of a valid marriage relationship and ability to financially support the immigrant. The process generally takes a little bit longer than the K3 visa but there is no need to file an Adjustment of Status petition. The Thai spouse will receive a full 10 year permanent residency status upon entry into the United States.
CR-1 visa or “Conditional Resident” is similar to the IR-1 visa but it is issued to a Thai spouse of an American citizen who has been married for less than two years. Upon entry into the United States, the CR-1 spouse will receive a two year conditional permanent residency status. The couple will have to jointly file for removal of the conditional status two years upon the Thai spouse’s entry into the United States. If the couple fails to apply for removal of conditional permanent residency status, the Thai spouse may be subject to removal from the United States.