You should consider a US IR-1 Visa for Thai national being your Thai wife. It is pretty common for US citizens to marry a person from a foreign country, and these couples will be facing a choice on whether to stay in the foreign country or move permanently to the United States. For the latter, the foreign spouse will have to obtain a Green Card or a permanent immigrant visa.
US IR-1 Visa for Thai
For couples who have just been married and the foreign spouse wants to apply for a Green Card, then the proper visa for this case would be the CR-1 Visa, or Conditional Residence Spouse Visa. This type of visa allows the foreign spouse to move to the United States with a conditional status wherein the couple must stay married for at least two years. And after the 2 year anniversary of her conditional status, this will be taken out and would be filed as a permanent status in the US.
For couples who have been married for more than two years, the foreign spouse can apply for the Immediate Relative Spouse Visa or the US IR-1 Visa. This type of visa grants the foreign spouse a more permanent status to reside in the United States.
How to apply for the US IR-1 Visa:
- The application process for the IR-1 visa is similar with the other family-based visas, which is divided into two parts:
- The US national petitions for their foreign spouses at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
- Once the petition is approved, the foreign spouse is required to apply at the US Embassy or Consulate at her home country;
- The application procedure should start within the United States, with the US national filing a petition for the foreign spouse. Once the petition is approved, the spouse can then start the application process for the spouse visa and will be finalized at the US Embassy in her home country.
There are various document requirements for couples who want to apply for the US IR-1 visa, these are as follows:
- The couple should be legally married; There should be evidence to prove that the marriage is genuine, such as a marriage certificate and other supporting documents, wedding photos, etc.;
- One of the spouses should be a US national with a valid residence in the United States, and should be able to support himself and the foreign spouse;
- Financial requirements should be strictly met based on the poverty guideline set up by the US immigration.
Always take proper legal advice when it comes to international migration. There would also be the issue of child custody if there is a child that is not yours as well as your Thai wife’s divorce in Thailand that might have been way before you. These things need to be considered as well as the children who will also be leaving for the US. Also to consider is child adoption if the child is a minor and not yours. Speak to a lawyer in Thailand about these issues.