What is an IR-1/CR-1 visa?
The IR-1/CR-1 visas are types of immigrant visas issued by the United States government to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens. These visas are intended to facilitate the immigration process for spouses of U.S. citizens who wish to live permanently in the United States. The primary difference between the IR-1 and CR-1 visas lies in the timing of the application process and the conditions of entry for the foreign spouse.
- IR-1 Visa (Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa): The IR-1 visa is issued to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens who have been married for more than two years at the time of the visa application. This visa category is for spouses in marriages that are considered to be of a more established and enduring nature. Once granted, the IR-1 visa provides the foreign spouse with immediate permanent resident status upon entry into the United States. This means the foreign spouse becomes a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) as soon as they arrive in the U.S.
- CR-1 Visa (Conditional Resident Immigrant Visa): The CR-1 visa is intended for foreign spouses of U.S. citizens who have been married for less than two years at the time of the visa application. Similar to the IR-1 visa, the CR-1 visa also grants the foreign spouse permanent resident status upon entry into the United States. However, unlike the IR-1 visa, the CR-1 visa holder initially receives a conditional green card that is valid for two years. To remove the conditions and obtain a regular permanent green card, the couple must jointly file a petition to remove conditions within the 90-day period leading up to the expiration of the conditional green card.
In both cases, the U.S. citizen spouse serves as the sponsor for the immigrant spouse, and the immigration process involves submitting various forms, documents, and undergoing interviews to establish the legitimacy of the marital relationship and the eligibility of the foreign spouse for immigration benefits.
It’s important to note that immigration policies and procedures can change over time, so it’s advisable to consult official U.S. government sources or legal experts for the most up-to-date information when considering the IR-1 or CR-1 visa process.
How to apply for an IR-1/CR-1 visa?
Applying for an IR-1 or CR-1 visa involves a multi-step process that requires careful attention to detail and adherence to U.S. immigration regulations. Below is a general outline of the steps involved in applying for an IR-1 or CR-1 visa:
- File a Petition (Form I-130): The U.S. citizen spouse must initiate the process by filing a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign spouse.
- Approval of the Petition: Once the I-130 petition is approved by the USCIS, they will issue a Notice of Approval. The case will then be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
- NVC Processing: The NVC will notify the U.S. citizen sponsor and provide instructions on how to proceed. This may involve submitting additional documentation, completing forms, and paying fees. Required documents may include the DS-260 form (Online Immigrant Visa Application), Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), and supporting civil documents.
- Affidavit of Support: The U.S. citizen spouse will need to demonstrate their ability to financially support the foreign spouse in the United States. This is typically done by submitting the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), along with supporting financial documents.
- Civil Documents: The foreign spouse will need to gather and submit certain civil documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), and police certificates. These documents help verify the identity and background of the applicant.
- Medical Examination: The foreign spouse will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. The results of this examination are submitted to the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will take place.
- DS-260 Form: The foreign spouse must complete the DS-260 form online. This form provides detailed information about the spouse’s background, education, work history, and other relevant information.
- Visa Interview: The U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign spouse’s home country will schedule a visa interview. During the interview, the applicant will be asked about their background, relationship with the U.S. citizen spouse, and other pertinent details. It’s crucial to provide honest and accurate information.
- Medical Examination Results: The medical examination results are submitted to the U.S. embassy or consulate directly by the panel physician.
- Visa Issuance: If the visa is approved, the foreign spouse will receive the IR-1 or CR-1 visa in their passport. The visa will include an entry stamp that indicates the date by which they must enter the United States.
- Entry to the U.S.: Once the foreign spouse enters the United States, they will become a permanent resident. If issued a CR-1 visa, they will receive a conditional green card, which must be renewed by jointly filing Form I-751 to remove the conditions within the 90-day period leading up to the card’s expiration. Put Your Mood Nguyen Duy Tri • Acid Madness • 2023
Please note that this is a general overview, and the specific steps and requirements can vary based on individual circumstances and changes in immigration regulations. It’s highly recommended to consult the official U.S. government website or seek advice from an immigration attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information pertaining to the IR-1 and CR-1 visa application process.
IR-1/CR-1 visa filing fees
The filing fees for IR-1 and CR-1 visas were as follows:
- Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) Filing Fee: $535
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Fee: $325
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) Fee: There is no specific fee for submitting Form I-864. However, the U.S. citizen sponsor must meet certain income requirements to demonstrate their ability to financially support the immigrant spouse.
- Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee: $325
Please note that these fees can change over time, and it’s important to check the official U.S. government websites for the most up-to-date fee information before beginning the application process.
Additionally, there might be other costs associated with the visa application process, such as medical examination fees, translation fees for documents not in English, travel expenses for attending the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate, and potential fees for obtaining required civil documents (e.g., obtaining copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.).
It’s always recommended to consult the official U.S. government sources, such as the U.S. Department of State’s website, for accurate and current fee information.
IR-1/CR-1 checklist of required documents
The required documents for an IR-1 or CR-1 visa application can vary based on individual circumstances, changes in immigration policies, and the specific U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will take place. However, here’s a general checklist of common documents that are often required for the IR-1 and CR-1 visa application process:
- Form I-130 Documents (Petition for Alien Relative):
- Copy of the U.S. citizen sponsor’s valid passport or birth certificate
- Proof of the marital relationship (marriage certificate)
- Proof of any previous marriages and divorces (if applicable)
- Evidence of ongoing relationship, such as photos, communication records, joint financial accounts, etc.
- National Visa Center (NVC) Documents:
- NVC Case Number
- DS-260 Confirmation Page (Immigrant Visa Application)
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and supporting financial documents
- Civil documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), police certificates, and any other requested documents
- Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee Receipt:
- Receipt showing payment of the visa application fee
- Valid passport for the foreign spouse
- Two Passport Photos:
- Passport-sized color photos that meet the U.S. visa photo requirements
- Medical Examination Results:
- Results of the medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician
- Police Clearance Certificates:
- Police certificates or clearances from all countries where the foreign spouse has lived for a certain period (requirements may vary)
- Proof of Relationship:
- Additional evidence of the bona fide marital relationship, such as joint property ownership, joint bank accounts, affidavits from friends and family, etc.
- Payment of Fees:
- Proof of payment for any required fees, such as NVC processing fee and visa application fee
- Photocopies of all documents submitted, including the passport’s biographic page and any visa stamps
- If any of the documents are not in English, include certified translations.
Remember that the requirements can change, and the specific documents needed may vary based on your situation and the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will be applying for the visa. Always refer to the official U.S. embassy or consulate website for the most current and accurate information regarding required documents and procedures. It’s also a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney or a legal expert to ensure that you have all the necessary documents for a successful visa application.