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How is “Spouse” Defined for a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa?

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What is a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa?

CR-1 and IR-1 visas enable spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to travel and move to the United States. If you apply for either visa type and it is approved, you can apply for a marriage green card to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). However, the two visas have some notable differences.

Since they’re both meant for spouses, a skilled immigration attorney in San Jose explains what that means. They will also take you through the requirements for each visa type. If you need legal assistance with your visa application, a lawyer can also step in to hasten the process.

Who Is a Spouse?

A spouse is a legally wedded wife or husband, and merely living together doesn’t qualify you for immigration on a CR-1 or IR-1 visa. If you married through common-law, you might be eligible as a spouse depending on the laws of your country where common-law marriages happen.

If you’re in a polygamous union consult a skilled CR-1 and IR-1 Visa attorney in San Jose if you would like more clarification and would like help in applying for the visas.

Requirements for CR-1 and IR-1 Visas

In addition to fitting into the definition of a spouse, you also must meet the following conditions when applying for a CR-1 or IR-1 visa:

  • Your sponsoring spouse must be a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
  • Your spouse must be at least 18 years.
  • They must have a household income of 125% of the federal poverty level. If not, they can use a joint sponsor to meet this requirement.
  • The sponsoring spouse must agree through a legal arrangement to support you financially, including filing an affidavit of support.
  • Your spouse must have a domicile or residence in the United States, meaning they must primarily live in the U.S. and plan to live there for an extended time.
  • Alternatively, they must prove they intend to return to the country with you.
  • You must provide proof that you’re legally married, for example, through a marriage certificate,

What is a CR-1 Visa?

A CR-1 visa, also known as a conditional resident visa, is for immigrant spouses who had been married for less than two years when they entered the U.S. with their visa. If this is your status, you can move to the U.S. on a “conditional” basis and must stay married for at least two years before applying to remove the conditions from your permanent resident card.

Once this period elapses, you will receive an IR-1 visa valid for ten years. If you divorce your spouse in two years, the visa ceases to be valid. You could face deportation if you don’t return to your home country. An experienced CR-1 and IR-1 visa lawyer in San Jose can provide legal counsel and representation to help you avoid deportation.

What is an IR-1 Visa?

An IR-1 visa, also known as a relative visa, is for spouses who have been married for more than two years when they enter the United States on an immigrant visa.

Since the couple has been married for a considerable time, the IR-1 visa doesn’t have additional conditions. However, the recipient must wait ten years before renewing their green card.

The Difference Between the CR-1 and IR-1 Visa

The primary distinction between the CR-1 and IR-1 visas is the time it takes to become a permanent U.S. resident. With the CR-1 visa, you can be married to your spouse for less than two years when you arrive in the U.S. You move to the U.S. as a conditional resident, meaning you have to file for a 10-year green card after two years.

With the IR-1 visa, you get immediate and unrestricted permanent residency upon entering the United States. It is a visa for couples married for more than two years. They only need to renew their permanent resident card after ten years.

Depending on your situation, you can switch from a CR-1 visa to an R-1 visa. You must file a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence by completing Form 1-751. Complete and file the form within 90 days before you mark two years as a conditional resident. An experienced San Jose immigration lawyer can help you apply within the time limits.

How Can I Apply for a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa?

Applying for these immigrant spouse visas involves filling out multiple documents, but the general steps you must complete are as follows:

  • Gathering the relevant documents to prove your marriage is authentic
  • Submission of a petition by your spouse who is a U.S. citizen by submitting Form 1-130
  • The signing of Form 1-864 or Form 1-864EZ, which is an affidavit of support
  • Online application of Form DS-260 for an immigrant visa and alien registration and DS-260 that tells the State Department how to best communicate with you
  • Approval or denial of your application

Working with a CR-1 and IR-1 visa lawyer in San Jose enhances your chances of success in your visa application. They can also help you appeal the decision if your visa application is denied and you believe there was an error.

An Experienced Immigration Attorney Walking With You Every Step of the Way

Moving to the United States with your spouse can be exciting, but applying for a CR-1 or IR-1 spouse visa can be complex and tedious. The paperwork is involving, and the requirements are stringent. A small mistake in your petition could make the USCIS deny your petition. That’s why you should work with a skilled immigration attorney in San Jose to help you navigate the process.

Our CR-1 and IR-1 visa lawyers can assess your documents to ensure you’ve filled them out correctly. They can also help you file your petition within the required deadlines by providing all the supporting documents to avoid delays. We’re dedicated to helping you at every stage of the process. Contact Sadri Law PC at 408-402-4967 to get started.

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