US Spouse Visa Options

US Spouse Visa Options

US citizens who marry foreign nationals and want to bring their foreign spouse to the United States, may think of obtaining a K3 Visa first. But considering the limitations of a K3 visa, the US citizen may opt to apply for an IR-1 visa or the CR-1 visa. This article will give an overview of the three types of spousal visas, namely; the K3, CR-1 and the IR-1 visa.


The K3 visa is a non-immigrant visa that gives the foreign-spouse the chance to enter the United States while waiting for the approval of the immigrant petition. The US citizen spouse must file an immigrant petition for the foreign-spouse. Meanwhile, the foreign-spouse must apply for a K3 visa in the country where the marriage occurred. If the foreign-spouse passes the consular interview, he/she will then be issued a K3 visa which can be used for multiple entries and is valid for 24 months. The K3 visa allows the foreign-spouse to enter the United States before being granted permanent resident status. Subsequently, the K3 visa holder must apply for adjustment of status to a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services.


The CR-1 visa or the so-called “Conditional Resident” visa gives the foreign-spouse of the US citizen, the chance to become a conditional permanent resident upon entry to the United States. The conditions are set to ensure that the marriage is not fictitious or used to violate US immigration laws. Once granted a CR1 visa, the foreign-spouse of the US citizen can work upon arrival in the United States and live there for a period of 2 years. Since the foreign-spouse’s residence in the United State is conditional, both the US citizen and the foreign-spouse must apply together to remove the conditional status of the foreign-spouse’s permanent residence. The application must be made 90 days before the end of the foreign-spouse’s second year as a conditional resident. Failure to do so will subject the the foreign-spouse to removal or deportation.


The IR-1 or the Immediate Relative visa is available not only to the foreign-spouse of a US citizen but also to the parents and children of the US citizen. It is an immigrant visa which authorized the foreign-spouse to receive a green card which is valid for 10 years and work upon arriving in the United States. To be eligible for an IR-1 visa the marriage between the US citizen and the foreign-spouse must not be less than 2 years old, otherwise a CR1 visa will be issued instead. The seasoned professionals at Siam-Legal will make the application process for these visas as quick as possible.


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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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