USA Spouse Visa
CR-1 Spouse visas are immigrant visas issued to foreign spouses of US Citizens. After the US citizen spouse files (and has approved) the proper petition with the USCIS, the foreign spouse will complete the visa process completely outside the US. Upon approval and once issued, the foreign spouse may enter the US with their visa and pass through the arrival Port of Entry, where they will become a Permanent Resident immediately. They will receive a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) in the mail at their US address within a few weeks.
US citizens legally married to a foreign national may petition for a IR-1/CR-1 visa. If the marriage is less than two years old, the consulate will issue a CR-1 Visa (and if longer than two years, it will issue a IR-1 Visa). The primary difference between these two visas is that a CR-1 Visa will result in Conditional Permanent Residency (requiring a petition to be filed later to lift this conditional status) versus a IR-1 Visa resulting in full Permanent Residency upon arrival in the US by the foreign spouse.
The interview can last for as little as 10 minutes or up to an hour depending upon your specific case. You relative will take an oath under US law to tell the truth, and it is very important that your relative answer every question as truthfully as possible. In general, it is a good idea that your relative bring documentation to prove strong ties and a relationship with you, the petitioner (i.e. phone bills, letters etc.) If the consulate officer approves your relative’s immigrant visa application, your relative will be issued an immigrant visa that allows your relative to become a US permanent resident. Your relative will become a US permanent resident only when he/she enters the U.S at a port of entry, until this time, he/she only has an immigrant visa that is valid up to six months from the interview date. If your relative cannot immigrate to the US within the six month allotted time, then his/her immigrant visa will expire, and the I-130 process must start all over again.
Difference Between CR-1 and IR-1 Visa for Your Spouse
IR-1 (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).
CR-1 (CR stands for “Conditional Residency”) visas entitle their holder to receive “Conditional” Permanent Residency within the United States for a period of two years.
The deciding factor on which visa an applicant is issued (IR-1 versus CR-1 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 IR-1 Visa. If they have been married less than two years they will be issued a CR-1 Visa. A CR-1 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.
Interactive Visa Assistance
- Professional review and examination of your case and expert advice on proceeding
- Complete filing and review of the case and required documentation for your Thai spouse
- Translation and certification of all required documentation for your case
- Timely correspondence and update on the processing of the case
- Review and preparation of all required documents and interview questions/guide prior to interview
- Specialist supervision and consultation of every step of the application process and after
IR-1 visa – 10 years
CR-1 visa – 2 years
U.S. Embassy in Bangkok – 6-8 months