Brief Guide to IR-1 Visa Applications for Foreign Spouses

To a great number of people around the world, the United States seems to offer the possibility of obtaining a better income and life quality. And it is no wonder that many dreamt of moving to the US to look for a greener pasture. Luckily to those who have relatives in this country, they can have the opportunity to experience living the American dream through the IR visa petitions.

A US citizen or a lawful resident in the US can file a petition to an immediate relative who can be one of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Children below 21 years old and are unmarried
  • Parents

Once their application for the IR visa is approved, the beneficiaries of this petition will be granted resident status in the US. Eventually, the IR visa holder can also work in the US once they receive their Social Security number and Green Card.

Qualifications for the IR Petitioners

Any local citizen or legal resident in the US can sponsor a visa petition when they meet the following criteria:

  • With financial capacity as required in the Poverty Guidelines
  • Age of at least 18 years old
  • Domiciled in the US

Qualifications for the IR Beneficiaries

In order for the immediate relative to be eligible for the IR petition, they must meet the following qualifications:

  • Spouse (IR-1)
    • Must have a legal marriage certificate
    • With proof of on-going long term marital relationship with the petitioner, like having a child, conjugal properties, etc.
  • Children (IR-3)
    • Must be below 21 years of age
    • Single or unmarried
  • Parents (IR-5)
    • The petitioner must be at least 21 years old or above to be able to petition the parents.

IR Application Process

In most cases, it takes an average of 6 months to a year before the IR petition is approved from the filing date, provided that all required documents are immediately provided. An overview of the process for IR applications is listed below:

  • The US citizen petitioner initially files the IR petition with the USCIS.
  • The National Visa Center receives notification once the petition is approved.
  • The National Visa Center then instructs both the petitioner and the IR applicant to submit processing fees.
  • Once the fees are settled, the petitioner and the IR applicant are informed of the required documents to be submitted.

After all the required documents are submitted, the applicant and the petitioner will then wait for the completion of the petition process. To avoid delays, you need to ensure that all biographical data is accurate and complete and that you respond timely to additional document requests if there’s any.


Category: US Spouse Visa

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Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.


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