U.S. Immigration Advisor

U.S. Immigration Advisor


Question: My name is Usmaan, I live in New Jersey U.S and I am green card holder, residing in the U.S. and got married two months ago at my native place in Pakistan, my wife is in Pakistan and I want to sponsor her so that we can live together in the United States. There are so many visa options mentioned online related to the spouse, but I am confused which one will be applicable for my wife and thought to ask an expert, as this is one of the most important decision of our life and we just don’t want to take any risk. Kindly guide and do let me know , what would be the right visa for my spouse? How it works, what will be the fee and how long it will take?


The Immigration Advisor - Samar: Dear Usman, as you mentioned that you are a green card holder and you got married recently, thus you can petition your wife, you have to file I-130. Your wife will get a CR -1 Visa, though every case is different, correct analysis can be provided only after accessing your and your spouse’s information  and documents. Here you will find complete information about the CR1 Visa like, what is a CR1 visa? who can Get it? What are the documents required? What is the difference between a k3 visa and a CR1 visa?  What could be the reason behind the denial of a CR1 visa? How much it will cost you and what is the processing time for CR 1 Visa?


A CR1 Visa also called IR1. Spousal visa is an immigrant visa issued to an alien who is married to a US citizen or permanent resident and wishes to live in the US with their spouse. The CR in CR1 stands for conditional resident that is because this visa is only provided to couples who are married

 for less than two years similarly IR in IR1 stands for immediate relative and this visa is granted to couples who are married for precisely more than two years. 


What is the difference between a k3 visa and a CR1 visa?  

The k3 visa used to serve the same purpose as the CR1 does now but this visa is obsolete and no longer serves a purpose the k3 visa used to be the non-immigrant visa that allowed spouses of US citizens to enter the US and give them the opportunity to change their status to obtain a conditional

green card all these objectives are now fulfilled by the CR1 spouse visa at a lower cost and in fewer steps. The CR1 visa allows spouses to have a conditional green card immediately.


Who is eligible for a CR1 visa? It is important to mention that the CR1 visa can only be initiated by your US petitioner thus it is essential that the petitioner is a US citizen or in possession of a green card must be legally married to the person this process is initiated for must meet the visa income requirements, it is also important to mention that the most common reason behind the denial of a CR1 visa is the unavailability of enough documents like tax returns and pay stubs documents required for a CR1 visa as with any visa your success rate depends on the availability of the correct documents to help you put the right foot forward here is a list of major documents needed form i-130 which is used to petition for your spouse. Form g-1145 which is an e notification of application, DS 260 which is an electronic application for an immigrant visa, cover letter, proof of marriage, essentially a marriage certificate, additional proofs of marriage like a joint bank account. passport photos, proof of permanent residency, evidence of the end of any previous marriages, medical examination forms, affidavit of support like a form i-864. 

How to apply for a CR 1 visa the first step to getting a CR 1 visa is to file a petition you need to fill form i-130 and send it to the USCIS or US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once your petition gets approved by the USCIS it is sent to the NVC or National Visa Center. You will then be provided with a case number for the petition and will be asked to complete form DS 261 and provide your choice of address, you need to pay them the required fee along with the requested documents after which processing will be started once your file is declared completed by the NVC. You will be scheduled for an interview. 

How much does the CR1 visa cost? The cost involved with the CR1 visa is significant in addition to the fixed government costs you might also have to incur additional costs which vary depending on your situation the total government fee comes out close to $1,200 including 535 dollars for a USCIS filing fee 445 dollars for an NVC fee and 220 dollars for a USCIS immigrant fee add to this you might have to take care of travel costs and take a medical exam which might be close to $200 and if you choose to hire an attorney to streamline things you will have to pay for the attorney services as well however the good news is that once your visa is approved you won't need to apply for a green card which will definitely be a relief for your wallet. 

CR1 visa processing time : The processing time of a CR1 visa was much faster prior to 2018 than it is now after new rules introduced recently the processing of all visa types takes a considerable amount of time as of now it takes between seven and ten months from the initial application to the time the visa is granted it is important to mention here that the processing time varies depending on certain factors like the country the alien belongs to the current workload of the USCIS and the NVC unforeseen events like natural disasters, and the accuracy and completeness of the petition that you've submitted.


Can a CR one visa spouse work? Yes the CR one visa spouse can work upon entering the u.s. under a CR one visa your passport is stamped and acts as a temporary green card a permanent green card is then issued two to three months later.

Can a CR one visa spouse travel outside the US? Yes a CR one visa spouse can travel outside the US, essentially you enjoy all the rights and responsibilities as a U.S. permanent resident, however there is a catch if you tend to spend too much time outside the US you might end up losing your green card especially when you've obtained your conditional residence based on the grounds of marriage long separations with your spouse might signal to the authorities that your marriage is not a real thing getting a CR 1 visa will not only enable you to stay with your spouse but it can also help you in entering the US and attaining a green car however obtaining a conditional residence visa is not as simple as it sounds thus take the right steps in the correct way and seek the help of an attorney if needed we hope our Question and answer section has been helpful to you.