Spousal Visa (CR1/IR1) Updates.
(Last Updated 20 Jan 2017)
- 0.1 How Can I Bring My Fiancée or Spouse To The USA.
- 0.2 Which One is “Better”?
- 0.3 Do it right the first time, it’s better, faster, cheaper.
- 0.4 More Questions?
- 0.5 Dave, I Hate To Read
- 0.6 What’s The Minimum Income Requirement?
- 0.7 Is Help Available?
- 0.8 Or You Can Fly Solo
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
- 3 Share this Article:
Here’s an item I have written about many times here on PhilFAQS, where you can learn how to live, earn and even retire here in the Philippines. (Hey it’s worked great for me going on 11 years now, and I am NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer, it can work for you too).
For some background on this subject: Is Getting Married a Quick Way to the USA?
How Can I Bring My Fiancée or Spouse To The USA.
A very frequent question I’ve received over the years.
Basically there are two primary methods, the US K-1 Fiancée’ Visa and the US CR1/IR1 Immediate Relative Visa.
Which One is “Better”?
That’s a question with no firm answer. It depends, mainly n your personal circumstances and desires. If you and your spouse are already man and wife then there’s no question, you must use the CR1/IR1 visa. There are a number of folks over the years who have made a serious mistake here.
They got married in the Philippines before applying for either visa and then filed for a K-1 visa hoping to go to the USA and then get married again. Bzzzt! Major Fail, folks.
The K-1 is only granted if both applicants are unmarried, both at the time of application and at the time of entry to the USA.
So (for the US citizen applicant), if you are not single (if getting a divorce, possessing the court’s final orders dissolving your marriage), DO NOT file the K-1 application. You are not single and the application will fail. Waste of time, money and technically an incidence of visa fraud.
If the Philippine applicant is not legally single (at the time of application), again DO NOT FILE. A waste of time, money and technically an incidence of visa fraud.
If the couple are both single and decide to marry while the visa is being proceed, resist the urge, becuase the Philippine fiancee can NOT enter the USA on a K-1 visa if she is already married … even to her American sponsor.
If, despite the warning, you do decide to marry before she enters the USA there is really no choice but to abandon the K-1 application process and start a new application for a CR1/IR1, which is kind of the main subject of today’s article. Again a waste of time, money.
Do it right the first time, it’s better, faster, cheaper.
OK, so you’ve decided the spousal visa is the best way for you to proceed. Here are some common questions and hopefully answers that help.
What’s the Difference Between a CR1 and an IR 1 visa.
Basically they are the same visa, distinguished only by the length of the marriage.
If you have been married less than two years at the time of the application, you file for a CR1 (Conditional Relative). The term “Conditional” refers to the spouse’s status upon entering the USA. If s/he enters as a Conditional it means s/he only gets a two year conditional stay in the USA and must apply for permanent residency before the end of those two years.
If the marriage is two years old or longer at time of application, you file for an IR1 (Immediate Relative) visa. Under an IR1 the foreigner spouse will enter the USA as a LPR (Legal Permanent Resident) and a 10 year Green Card will be mailed to the home address usually with 3 or 4 weeks. This saves a whole round of applications, interviews and wait time after entry to the USA and also allows the foreigner spouse to work (legally) within the USA almost immediately.
I’m almost certain you have them. Here’s an excellent article which covers nearly every situation betetr than any meager offerings I can come up with:
Dave, I Hate To Read
OK, I have you covered on that score as well. Here’s a great video which covers the basics if the CR1/IR1 process:
But Don’t I Have To Be Living in the USA Already To Use a CR1 or IR1?
The answer to that question is a definite NO. The requirements are that the US applicant have a “domicile” in the USA. Many times the words “domicile” and “residence” are used interchangeably, but they are not always so.
All you have to do is prove you have an income and that you intend to rent or purchase a home (or stay with family) immediately upon your arrival in the USA. In other words, proof that you have a place to live in the USA.
Is Help Available?
Yes, it certainly is. I recommend an outfit known as RapidVisa.
They are not a “scam”. They offer money back guarantees and a “price match” guarantee. Here’s what I think about RapidVisa’s services:
I have been associated with this company for some time now. (I get a small referral fee for successful visa service purchases, which does NOT affect the price you, the customer pays).
I believe them to be very reputable and helpful. Will they speed up the process?
Well nobody can actually affect the time it takes the USCIS, the National Visa Center and the US Embassy offices to do their processing. But timely, reviewed and accurate submissions and payments certainly should speed the process.
In addition to the forms review and submission and USCIS payment services, I feel they offer a great advantage in having a 4 hour form preparation and submission service, 7 day a week phone support (in Tagalog for questions a Filipino fiancee’ or spouse might have) and an office across the street from the US Embassy, Manila.
If I used them I would certainly opt for the Premium Review service, becuase this not only offers the best chance of speedy, successful visa approval, but unlike anyone else I know, a 100% refund if the visa does NOT get issued due to any reason within their control. Their record of successful issuances is something like 99.7% and they have thousands of “real people” favorable testimonials.
Or You Can Fly Solo
That being said, there is absolutely no reason that you and your intended can not do the whole process yourself. All the forms and instructions are online, start here” https://www.uscis.gov/i-130
What More Do You Need To Know About Spousal Visa (CR1/IR1) Updates?