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IR1 Visa Thailand: Will We Need to Live Separately?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the IR-1 Visa specifically from the Kingdom of Thailand and we are discussing whether or not a couple will need to live separately during the pendency of the case. So while the case is processing will it be required that the couple live apart? 

Well first of all, this hinges on the definition the word "require". So the factual situation of the couple will be determinative on whether or not they will need to be separated while the case is processing. So different clients are going to have different factual circumstances in their case, for example, we see retirees who have to go back to the United States for urgent health reasons and for that reason they may have to process one of these cases rather quickly. It may be possible to request an expedite but in my experience requesting an expedite still results in a rather prolonged period of time in which the case needs to be processed.

The thing to take away from however is compared to times past, we used to have a local USCIS office here in Bangkok and Bangkok USCIS closed back in October of 2019. When USCIS was still open here in Bangkok, it was possible to file an I-130, a petition for an IR-1 Visa and deal with the entire process here in Thailand. That process, in my experience generally took 4- 6 months. Now due to the case load back in the United States, because all these cases have to be moved back to the US since USCIS has closed, we are looking at about 12 months usually in my experience give or take, to get one of these cases done. So it is definitely a longer period of time associated with a Spouse Visa in this case an IR-1 Visa, and for that reason I think it is more likely again depending on the given couples case, that the couple may have to spend some period of time away from one another. "Separated" may be the wrong word because "separated" sometimes has legal connotations but the Thai Spouse is going to have to remain in Thailand until the Visa is processed out and the American spouse may be required to go back to the United States for various reasons. So the thing to take away from this video is it is certainly possible that if you are seeking an IR-1 Visa now from Thailand as opposed to prior to the USCIS local office closure, these days a prolonged separation may be in the cards with respect to your specific case.