If you are engaged or married to someone from a different country, we know how important it is to you to get them to the United States so you can start your lives together. This can be done with the help of an IR1 Spousal Visa.
What is an IR1 Spousal Immigration Visa?
The IR1 visa is a type of immigrant visa that’s issued to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens. The IR1 is granted to the immigrant spouse after a two-year period. They are then granted permanent status for 10 years.
Immigration law is constantly changing. All of the changes and requirements can be overwhelming. At Andrew T. Thomas law, our goal is to help clients successfully move through the complicated immigration system and obtain legal status. We do this by taking the time to build long-lasting relationships with our clients and tailoring unique, well-thought out legal strategies designed to meet each individual client’s goals. Contact us today, and let’s start building a strong immigration case.
Differences Between the IR1 & CR1 Visas
The IRI and CR1 are both spousal visas, but they have a few key differences. For one, CR1 visas are given to foreign spouses married for less than two years. If you’ve been married longer than two years, you are eligible for an IR1 visa.
Recipients of the IR1 visa also receive an unconditional P.R. status when they arrive in the U.S. On the other hand, CR1 visa holders must have the conditional status removed before their visa expires. One last major difference is, with the CR1 visa, if the couple gets divorced, the spouse must return to their native country.
IR1 Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an IR1 visa, the foreign spouse must meet the following criteria:
- Must be legally married: When applying for the IR1 visa, the couple must provide sufficient evidence to confirm their marriage. This evidence can come in the form of government-issued marriage certificates and pictures of the wedding. It’s important to remember that under U.S. law, live-in relationships are not considered a legal marriage.
- Must be married to a U.S. citizen: The second requirement is that the foreign partner must be married to a U.S.-based citizen who possesses a valid U.S. address and the documentation to prove it. Additionally, the person should be able to support their foreign spouse financially.
When Should IR1 Visa be Filed?
The good news is that there is no cap on how many IR1 visas the U.S. government issues per year. For applicants, that means there’s no priority date you must wait for in order to start your process. As soon as the USCIS approves your petition, you should visit your U.S. Embassy and begin.
How to Apply for an IR1 Visa?
File Form DS-260
All applicants for immigrant visas must submit the DS-260 form. You will use the case number the National Visa Center (NVC) provides to access this form. You should fill out the entire form before you submit it. When your submission is successful, you will see a confirmation page and a number. Keep those for your records.
Complete Medical Exam & Vaccination
After your immigrant visa petition is approved, the NVC will send you a package that contains details on the health requirements established by the U.S. government that all visa applicants must meet. You should find a licensed doctor and complete the required medical procedures, and then submit the test results for verification.
Collect Required Documents
There are a lot of documents involved with the immigration process, and it’s vital that you keep up with all of them. For your IR1 visa application, you will need the required documentation to prove your marriage is authentic. You should send in the original paperwork.
Next, the USCIS will schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy for you. Your spouse can come with you. Do your best to answer all questions truthfully.
Receive NVC Packet
When USCIS approves your IR1 visa, you will receive a package from the NVC. You must bring this with you (unopened) when you come to the united states. Tampering with it can jeopardize your entire visa status, so you must ensure that the U.S. immigration officials are the only ones who open it.
Travel to the U.S.
It’s time to start your journey to the U.S.! Don’t forget your NVC packet, passport, visa, and documents.
IR1 Application Fees
The fee for the petition of the spousal visa application is $535, and the fee for Form DS-260 is $325. If you need to translate or photocopy your supporting documents, you may pay a few extra dollars.
IR1 Processing Time
Since there’s no annual cap on IR1 visas, the processing time is quite speedy compared to other immigration options. Every circumstance is different, but on average, it takes about 8-10 months for the visa to process.
What Happens if I’m Denied?
Getting denied for a spousal visa is a heartbreaking process, especially if you’ve met all of the requirements. This is where an experienced attorney will help you sort through the options on how to respond and find the best one for your case. You can either:
- File the legal motion for reconsideration or reopening of your case. You will need new evidence for this.
- You appeal for re-evaluation from a third party like the Administrative Appeals Office. It’s important to note that the AAO typically files in favor of the evaluating immigration officer.
Contact ATT Law Today!
If you feel as if the cards are stacked against you when it comes to getting a spousal visa approved, contact Andrew T. Thomas Law. As you can tell from the article, even the smallest error or omission can ruin your chances of having your spousal visa approved. Don’t take that risk and work with our team of immigration experts. We have been helping clients live their American Dream since ( ).
Frequently Asked Questions About Form N-600
What Does IR1 Visa Mean?
Marriage-based green cards work in a two-step system. First, you are issued the IR1 visa, which is followed by a CR1 visa after the proper requirements have been met. The IR1 visa is valid for ten years.
What is conditional IR1 Spouse of U.S. Citizen?
If a couple has been married shorter than two years when the foreign citizen spouse enters the U.S. on an immigrant visa, their permanent resident status is considered conditional.
What’s the Difference Between IR1 and IR2?
The IR1 visa is for a spouse of a U.S. citizen. The IR-2 visa is for a U.S. citizen’s unmarried child under the age of 21.
Can a Spousal Visa be Denied?
Yes, if all of the requirements are not met, documentation is missing, or the officer finds the marriage to be inauthentic, your spousal visa application will be denied.
How Much Does a Spousal Visa Cost?
The fee for the petition of the spousal visa application is $535, and the fee for Form DS-260 is $325. Other costs to consider are travel, translation, and photocopies.