A common question that immigration attorneys receive is the processing time for a CR1 visa. The following review discusses the expected processing time for the CR1 visa along with the factors that can affect the processing time and how to avoid mistakes during the application process.
The CR1 Visa Program Defined
The CR1 visa, or the conditional resident visa, is an immigrant visa issued to the spouse of a United States citizen. This visa grants the spouse the opportunity to legally enter the country, live with their spouse, and take steps toward permanent residency. The CR1 is specifically for foreign spouses that have not been married for more than two years. For foreign spouses married for more than two years, they should apply for an IR1 visa which is valid for 10 years. A CR1 visa is only valid for two years.
How Long Is The Processing Time For The CR1 Visa?
The CR1 visa processing time takes on average, between 7 and 10 months after the initial application. Some factors can impact the processing time. Notably, these factors include but are not limited to:
- The foreign spouse’s country of origin
- The current workload of the USCIS and the NVC
- Unpredictable events such as natural disasters
- The petition’s accuracy and completion
It is important to ensure the accuracy and completion of your initial application to avoid any major setbacks in the visa process. The best way to help ensure the speed and approval of your application is to work directly with an immigration attorney that understands the CR1 visa process.
Who Qualifies For A CR1 Visa?
The CR1 visa program is for foreign nationals that are already married to a U.S. citizen. The U.S. citizen must also meet certain income requirements established by the USCIS to ensure the petitioner can support their spouse (and their children, if applicable) in the United States. The marriage between the two must also be legal with proper documentation. The U.S. citizen, rather than the foreign national spouse, must initiate the CR1 visa process, and they serve as a sponsor for their spouse.
What Document Do Me And My Spouse Need For A CR1 Visa?
One of the primary reasons for a failed CR1 visa petition is a lack of documents that can be provided. Subsequently, it is important to understand ahead of time what you will need and arrange the documents in an organized fashion before submitting your application. Specifically, the documents you will likely need for a CR1 visa application include:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- DS-260, Immigration Visa Electronic Application
- Cover letter
- Proof of marriage
- Passport photos
- Proof of permanent residency
You may also need additional forms depending on the specific details of your situation. For example, you may need to provide proof that any previous marriages you had have officially ended. The best way to ensure you do not forget any essential documents in your application is to work with an immigration attorney. They can explain exactly what you will need to submit and help you gather the proper documents if you do not already have them in your possession.
What Is The CR1 Application Process?
You can start the CR1 application process by filing a petition. To do so, you will need to submit Form I-130 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). You and your spouse will then need to wait for the approval of your application, which can take multiple months. Your case is sent from the USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) after approval.
Along with the approval, you will be provided a case number and asked to complete DS-261, which involves providing your choice of address to the NVC consular assigned to your case. After you provide the requested documents and pay the fees associated with the CR1 visa, then processing begins.
As discussed, the CR1 visa processing time is between seven and ten months in total. After processing, the foreign spouse is provided their visa and they may enter the country.
Pride Immigration Can Help You And Your Spouse With The CR1 Visa Process
If you and your spouse are considering moving to the United States through the CR1 visa program, call our immigration attorneys at Pride Immigration today. We can help you and your spouse through every step of the process. You can get started with a consultation visit, during which we can explain your options in greater detail and answer any questions you may have.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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