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Spousal Visa (officially known as a CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa)

Below are a number of frequently asked Spousal Visa, I-130 questions and K3 Visa questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed below, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

What is the difference between the CR1 Visa and IR1 Visa?

CR1 Visa

The CR1 Visa is issued to a Foreign Spouse who has  been married to a U.S. Citizen for less than two years. The “CR” stands for “Conditional Resident.” A Conditional Resident must file for a removal of the condition within 90 days of the two year anniversary of their conditional residence.

IR1 Visa

The IR1 Visa is issued to a Foreign Spouse who has been married to a U.S. Citizen for greater than 2 years. The “IR” stands for “Immediate Relative.” An IR Visa holder is automatically considered a Permanent Resident with no conditions and therefore does not have to file for any removal of the conditions at any time.

Once the CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa is issued, how long does the spouse have to enter the United States?

A CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa  is valid for a period of six months and, generally, may be used for multiple entries into the United States until its expiration.

Will the spouse be able to work once they enter the United States on a CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa?

Yes. And, within a few months after entering the U.S. they will receive their Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) which entitles them to work in the U.S.

Is the CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa issued immediately following the embassy interview?

Each embassy has its own unique procedures. Some issue the Spousal Visa the same day and others process it within a few weeks and have it mailed by courier. See our Spousal Visa Processing Times for more embassy-specific procedures.

Can a Permanent Resident file a petition for a CR1 Visa or IR1 Visa?

Yes. However, it is worth noting that they may not file for a K3 Visa to speed up the time in which the Spouse may enter the United States.

Are there any international marriage requirements to be concerned about?

There are several issues that you should be concerned about. For more on International Marriage Requirements see International Marriage Requirements for an overview of issues to look out for and see Spousal Visa Processing Times for country-specific information on U.S. Citizens getting married in foreign countries.


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