The IR-1/CR-1 visa is a type of immigrant visa for spouses of U.S. citizens. The IR-1 visa is issued to spouses who have been married for more than two years, while the CR-1 visa is for spouses married for less than two years. The application process typically involves the following steps:
- Filing a Petition: The U.S. citizen spouse must first file a petition on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary (the spouse seeking the visa).
- Approval of the Petition: Once USCIS approves the I-130 petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
- NVC Processing: The NVC will send instructions and forms to both the petitioner and the beneficiary. The beneficiary will need to submit certain documents, including forms, civil documents (such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.), and financial documents, to the NVC.
- Affidavit of Support: The petitioner (U.S. citizen spouse) will need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate their ability to financially support the beneficiary.
- Immigrant Visa Application: The beneficiary will need to complete the DS-260 form, which is the Immigrant Visa Application, and submit it to the NVC.
- Medical Examination: The beneficiary will also need to undergo a medical examination by a designated physician. The results of this examination are submitted directly to the consulate.
- Interview: Once all required documents and forms are submitted and the fees are paid, the beneficiary will attend an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. The petitioner may or may not be required to attend the interview.
- Visa Issuance: If the interview goes well and all requirements are met, the immigrant visa will be issued to the beneficiary. They can then travel to the United States and receive their green card shortly after arrival.
It’s important to note that the exact process and required documents may vary slightly depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the policies of the consulate or embassy where the interview takes place. Additionally, processing times can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications and the efficiency of the relevant government agencies.
Which visa is better – IR-1 or CR-1?
The choice between the IR-1 and CR-1 visas depends on the specific circumstances of each couple. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:
IR-1 Visa (Immediate Relative):
- Issued to spouses who have been married for more than two years at the time of the visa application.
- Upon entry into the United States, the immigrant spouse receives a permanent resident green card.
- No need to file a separate petition to remove conditions on residence; the immigrant spouse receives a permanent green card immediately and is a lawful permanent resident upon entry.
CR-1 Visa (Conditional Resident):
- Issued to spouses who have been married for less than two years at the time of the visa application.
- Upon entry into the United States, the immigrant spouse receives a conditional green card, valid for two years.
- Within the 90-day period before the two-year anniversary of receiving the conditional green card, the couple must jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, to remove the conditions on the immigrant spouse’s residence. This petition demonstrates that the marriage is bona fide (genuine). Once approved, the immigrant spouse receives a permanent green card.
In terms of which is “better,” it really depends on individual circumstances and preferences:
- If you have been married for more than two years at the time of application and want to avoid the additional step of filing to remove conditions on residence, the IR-1 visa may be preferable.
- If you have been married for less than two years, the CR-1 visa allows you to enter the United States with a green card immediately, but it comes with the requirement of filing to remove conditions on residence within two years of entry.
Ultimately, both visas lead to permanent residency in the United States, but the process and timing differ based on the duration of the marriage at the time of application. It’s important to consider your specific circumstances and consult with an immigration attorney if you’re unsure which option is best for you.