Quick Facts to Know Before Applying for a CR1 Spousal Visa

CR1 spousal visa is a visa issued by the U.S. immigration department to the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter into the United States and live with him or her. CR stands for conditional residence. It means the beneficiary (foreign spouse) receives permanent residency within the United States for 2 years. You and your spouse must apply together to USCIS to remove the conditional status within ninety days before the expiration of the two years of CR1 visa.

CR1 visa is issued to an alien beneficiary if you have been married for less than two years. For marriages longer than two years; you need to apply for an IR1 visa.

So how to apply for the CR1 visa, what is the eligibility criteria, and how the application process works? Let’s discuss all the quick facts of CR1 spousal visa.

Eligibility criteria for CR1 spousal visa

The U.S. petitioner must be 18 years old so that you can sign the Affidavit of Support, which is a form that will be required later in the process.

The petitioner must be legally married to the alien beneficiary. If you are living together, it does not qualify as a marriage for immigration purposes.

The application process of CR1 spousal visa

• The first step to obtaining a CR1 spousal visa for your foreign spouse is to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After reviewing your petition, USCIS approves the petition and send it to the National Visa Center (NVC).

• Once your petition is received by NVC, a case number is assigned for the petition, and NVC instructs the applicant to complete Form DS-261. After that, NVC will start processing the applicant’s case, and you have to pay the processing fees. NVC will provide the applicant and petitioner with instructions on how to submit the appropriate fees. After you have paid the fees, the NVC will request you to submit the necessary immigrant visa documents, application forms, civil documents, Affidavit of Support, and other documents required for processing the application.

• 3. After the applicant successfully submitted or mailed the documents, NVC determines whether the file is complete with all the required documents. Once your file is marked complete, they schedule the applicant’s interview appointment. NVC will contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the applicant will be interviewed for a visa and sends the file containing the applicant’s petition and the documents listed above. The applicant, petitioner, attorney or third-party agent will receive all the details of the appointment, including the date and time of the applicant’s visa interview along with instructions on emails or via letters. Applicants need to bring their valid passports and documents mentioned to their visa interviews. Applicants will receive their original civil documents back at the time of the interview.

• If you are issued an immigrant visa, you will be given your passport containing the CR1 immigrant visa by the consular officer in a sealed packet. It also contains the documents which you provided. You are not allowed to open the sealed packet as it can only be done by the U.S. immigration officials when you enter the United States. You are supposed to enter the United States before the expiration date printed on your visa.

Final check by DHS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials

One thing you need to remember is that a visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the U.S., but it does not guarantee entry into the U.S. The DHS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials can deny permit or deny admission to the U.S if they found something, not within the laws. Therefore, the applicant should review important information about admissions and entry requirements on the CBP website to avoid any last-minute surprises.

So these are few facts you need to know before applying for a CR1 spousal visa.

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