There are many cases, in which overseas candidates try to get into the United States by getting married to a permanent citizen of the country. The process is possible only by availing a spousal visa. There are two types of Green Card based on Spousal Visa namely, IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visas, issued to foreign spouses of US Citizens who desire to enter and stay in the United States.
Green Card based on Spousal Visa CR-1 and IR-1
In this context, a U.S. citizen may file a petition for either IR-1 or CR-1 visa for his/her legally married foreign spouse. Common-law marriage legally approved by the spouse’s country and same-sex marriages also qualify for these two visas. If the marriage is less than two years old, then the U.S. consulate issues a CR-1 Visa. And if the marriage is older than two years then the immigrant spouse gets an IR-1 Visa.
Difference Between CR-1 and IR-1 Visa
The primary difference between these two is that CR-1 Visa allows a foreign spouse to enter and stay in the US on the basis of a conditional permanent residency. However, another petition is also required to be filed later to lift off this conditional status. On the contrary, IR-1 Visa enables an overseas spouse to immigrate to the US as a permanent resident upon arrival in the country.
The process of application for Green Card based on Spousal Visa
To apply for IR-1 or CR-1 Visa petition, one must properly fill out: I-130 form, G-325a form and G-1145 form (optional) which are readily available on USCIS’s official website. Before filling all these forms, the individual must also ensure that he/she has a domicile residence in the U.S. and his/her age is 18 years or above. After receiving the duly filled forms, the USCIS faculty usually sends up the spouse visa petition to the National Visa Centre (NVC).
Submission of Visa fee for Issue of Visa
Then, NVC authority contacts and asks the applicant and the petitioner to submit the appropriate processing fee. Upon fee submission, the NVC assigns a case number for the Spouse’s Green Card petition and the processing of the application for visa is initiated. The administrative steps may vary from one another in the cases of IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visas.
After the successful completion of all the required administrative steps, the administrative authorities send an appointment package to the applicant. This consists the date and details of an interview which he/she needs to appear before getting the Green Card based on Spousal Visa.
Medical Tests, completion of other formalities before issue of Green Card based on Marriage with US National
The package generally includes instructions for the required medical tests, the list of essential personal documents and visa documents which are needed to be presented on the day of the interview. Upon completion of all these formalities including the interview, a respective consular officer finally issues the Green Card based on Spousal Visa.
An estimated timeline for getting the Green Card based on marriage to US National
Foreign spouses, having either CR-1 or IR-1 Visa, can work in the U.S. immediately as they receive their Green Cards. However, it is really hard to predict the exact timeline for the processing of the Green Card based on Spousal Visa. There are numerous drawbacks heard like cases delayed due to applicant’s mistakes, the petitioner’s inability to meet Affidavit of Support and even because of administrative processing issues. Otherwise, the process takes not more than four to five months.
Also Read: How to Get a US Green Card