Integrity Legal

5th January 2010

For more information about how the IR-1 visa process works please see: IR1 visa Thailand. For further information about United States Immigration, United States Visas, and United States Immigration attorneys please see: US Visa Thailand.

The IR-1 visa in 2010

As with many of the other types of American visas, the IR-1 visa process seems poised to remain largely unchanged in the year 2010. However, the dawning of a new year, and a new decade, provides this author with an opportunity to discuss the IR-1 visa and how the IR1 visa process works.

For those who are not familiar with the IR1 visa, this is an immigrant visa, sought pursuant to a filing of an I-130 application, for those who wish to travel to the United States of America in order to take up lawful permanent residence. It is a travel document similar to the CR-1 visa. That being said, there is a major difference in the type of status each document confers upon entry in the United States. An IR-1 visa provides the bearer with unconditional lawful permanent residence upon entry. Whereas the CR-1 visa only provides the bearer with conditional lawful permanent residence upon admission to the USA. This can be a crucial difference as conditional residence requires that the couple file for a lift of conditions in order for the foreign spouse to be considered an unconditional lawful permanent resident. This is a critical difference because it means that a foreign spouse who enters in CR-1 status is considered a permanent resident only so long as her marriage remains intact. A divorce or death could lead to a situation where the foreign spouse is forced to depart the United States.

Fortunately for some couples, the conditionality of permanent residence is adjudicated at admission to the United States. Therefore, those who were married less than two years when they applied may be married more than 2 years at admission. In many cases, these couples will have the foreign spouse enter in IR-1 status rather than CR-1 status in order to facilitate later convenience.

CR-1 and IR-1 visas are currently taking approximately 5 months to process through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the United States. This figure presupposes that the foreign beneficiary is a child or spouse of a United States Citizen. The process is very similar to the CR-1 visa process. That being said, there are those in Thailand who opt to submit a local filing at the USCIS office in Bangkok which can greatly reduce the processing time because USCIS: Bangkok has a much lower case load of such petitions when compared to the Service Centers in the United States of America. Also, a local filing does not process through the National Visa Center which can decrease the overall processing time as well.

In order to submit a local filing the couple must meet some fairly strict criteria, but should these requirements be met, the expedited processing time could be a virtual boon to those wishing to move quickly.


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