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IR1/CR1 Visas are immigrant visas issued to foreign spouses of U.S. Citizens. If you follow this process, the foreign spouse will complete the visa process completely outside the US, and then arrive in the US and become a Permanent Resident immediately. Once the immigrant visa holder enters through a US Port of Entry, he or she will receive a Green Card in the mail (at their US address) within a few weeks. Additionally, sometimes the immigrant visa holder will have their passport stamped at the Port of Entry with an I-551 stamp (indicated their Legal Permanent Residency Status).
To obtain either visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be legally married. Living together does not qualify as a marriage for immigration purposes. Unmarried partners are ineligible to sponsor visas to the United States.
- You must be 18 years old before you can sign the Affidavit of Support, which is a form that will be required later in the process.
The spouse in the U.S is the Petitioner and the spouse in the foreign country is the Beneficiary. This page mainly focuses on IR1 or CR1 visa process where petitioner completes entire process most of time staying in the United States. When petitioner files for IR1 or CR1 visa at overseas consulate it is termed as Direct Consular Filing.
For statistics on the numbers of immigrant visas issued by the U.S., broken down by country, see: The U.S. Department of State Visa Statistics page. For 2007, Table VIII — Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas Issued (by Area of Birth): Fiscal Year 2007 — breaks down IR-1s and CR-1s by country.
Differences between IR1 and CR1 Visas
IR1 (IR stands for “Immediate Relative”) Visas entitle their holder to receive Permanent Residency within the United States for a period of 10 years (may be renewed)
CR1 (CR stands for “Conditional Residency”) Visas entitle their holder to receive “Conditional” Permanent Residency within the United States for a period of 2 years
The deciding factor on which visa an applicant is issued (IR1 versus CR1 visa) is the amount of time that they have been married at the time the visa is issued. If an applicant has been married to their US Citizen spouse for a period of two years or greater they will be issued an IR1 Visa. If they have been married less than two years they will be issued a CR1 Visa. A CR1 Visa will result in the applicant obtaining “conditional” permanent residency within the US and after a period of two years the applicant can apply to “Remove Conditions” 90 days before the conditional permanent resident card expires and they will be issued a regular 10 year green card.
Visas for Unmarried Children of Foreign Spouses
As long as the marriage occurred prior to the child’s 18th birthday and the child’s visa application is filed prior to the child’s 21st birthday, the child is eligible for a CR2/IR2 dependent visa.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The CR1/IR1 visa petitions are filed at one of the two USCIS Centers that between them process all of the marriage visa petitions in the U.S. The Center which will process your CR1/IR1 visa petition is determined by the state in which you reside. If there are any missing documents or incorrect paperwork, you will receive a Request for Evidence (“RFE”). Each RFE will delay the approval of your CR1/IR1 visa petition, and ultimately the approval and issuance of your CR1/IR1 visa, by 6-12 months.
National Visa Center (NVC)
When the USCIS has approved the CR1/IR1 visa petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) where original documents are reviewed, background checks are performed on both the petitioner and the beneficiary and an interview date is set. The NVC will forward the petition to the Consulate that will conduct the visa interview. The Consulate will not interview the foreign spouse until the NVC checks have been successfully completed.
U.S. EMBASSY (CONSULATE)
When the approved petition and background checks have been received by the U.S. Consulate having jurisdiction over the city in which the spouse is legally residing, the NVC will instruct the foreign spouse to undergo a medical exam at a clinic specified by the Consulate and to report for the visa interview on a specified date. If the foreign spouse passes the medical exam and the interview is successful, the CR1/IR1 spousal visa will normally be issued that day or the following day. There are many things that can delay or prevent the issuance of the CR1/IR1 visa. Listed in the order that they seem to occur:
- Failure to convince the Consular Officer that a bona fide relationship exists between the couple
- Missing documents
- Incorrect documents
- Documents completed incorrectly
- Inadequate English skills of foreign spouse
- U.S. citizen cannot meet the minimum income requirement
- Large age difference between U.S. citizen and the foreign spouse
All of the above can normally be avoided by hiring an immigration law firm with the experience that we have in handling these situations. Number 7 can be more of a problem with certain Consulates than with others, but the risk of a denial due to the age difference can certainly be reduced by adequate interview preparation for the spouse. Also, we will cover this potential problem in our initial conversation with you and advise you as to what we believe to be your chances of successfully obtaining a CR1/IR1 visa.
The timing of the CR1/IR1 spousal visa depends on the state in which the U.S. citizen petitioner resides and the country in which the foreign spouse legally resides. If you will give us a call we will be glad to compute the current processing time for your CR1/IR1 spousal visa situation.
Once your spouse receives the CR1/IR1 marriage visa, he or she has a maximum of six months to use it to enter the U.S.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
- Assessment in deep detail of applicant before starting the service.
- We do understand that some of Thai people not families in English skill. So, we will handle all application process like translation, fill application , prepare document of relationship and interview practical.
- Dealing with all government office and Embassy in Thailand to represent our client.
- Guarantee on output of visa!
We have deep experience in successfully preparing, managing and coordinating in the visa application. Please let our team help you for make the most benefit for you.