K3 and CR1 visas are both marriage-based immigration visas in the United States. The main difference between the two boils down to the fact that the K3 visa allows an immigrant spouse to obtain a visa at a U.S. embassy and then come to the U.S. to start processing their Adjustment Of Status in order to obtain permanent residency. On the other hand, the CR1 visa is for spouses who are physically apart and who have been married for less than two years.

What’s more, obtaining a K3 visa is extremely difficult and time-consuming. Because of this, in most cases, applicants are better off applying for either the CR1 or IR1 visa.

If you need help deciding which visa to pursue and how to do so effectively, contact Attorney Eric Price today. Attorney Price and his team of skilled and experienced immigration attorneys are committed to fighting for our clients to stay together and start their new life together in the United States. Contact us at 1-855-662-2772 to learn more.

K3 Spousal Visa

K-3 visas allow foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. with temporary legal status while awaiting their green card.

Who It’s For

The K-3 visa is intended for couples who were legally married outside of the United States.


To be eligible for a K-3 spousal visa, you must:
• Be the legal spouse of a U.S. citizen.
• Currently live outside of the U.S.
• File Form I-130.
• The U.S. citizen spouse must meet certain income requirements.
• If you have children who also plan to come to the U.S., they must be unmarried and under the age of 21.

Application Process

The K-3 application process is:
1. Have the U.S. citizen spouse file Form I-129F and attach all required documents.
2. File the DS-160 application and attach all required documents.
3. Attend visa interview.

CR1 Visa

CR stands for “conditional resident,” which means the CR1 visa is only valid for two years.

Who It’s For

CR1 visas are given to foreign spouses who have been married to an American citizen for less than two years.


To be eligible for a CR1 visa, you must:

• Be married to a U.S. citizen. The marriage must be valid in the country/jurisdiction where you got married.
• Have a pending immigration petition on file with the USCIS that names the foreign spouse as a beneficiary.

Application Process

To apply for the CR1 visa, follow these steps:

1. The U.S. citizen spouse is required to file an immigration petition on behalf of their foreign spouse.
2. Once the USCIS sends you confirmation they have received your application, you must file a CR-1 visa petition with USCIS’ National Benefits Center (NBC).
3. Once the NBC approves and processes your CR-1 visa petition, it will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will forward it to the relevant consulate.
4. Attend the visa interview.

Similarities Between The K3 & CR1 Visas

• Both the K3 and CR1 visas are for foreigners who have married U.S. citizens.
• Neither visa requires travel documentation.

Differences Between The K3 & CR1 Visas

• The cost of a K3 visa is $1705, while the CR1 costs about $903.
• It takes about 20.5 months to get a K3 green card and about 18.5 months to get a CR1 green card.
• After entering the U.S. on a K3 visa, the recipient may file for Adjustment of Status within two years or wait for their I-130 to be approved and pursue a CR1 visa.
• CR1 visa holders automatically become Legal Permanent Residents after they enter the United States — meaning they can work and travel as they please.

How To Choose

These days, the CR1 visa is the recommended path because the K3 visa takes much longer and is much more expensive. What’s more, where K3 visa holders have to apply for work permits after they enter the U.S., the CR1 visa allows recipients to work and travel freely.

Next Steps

Deciding which marriage decision is not an easy decision or one that should be taken lightly. If you are ready to take the next step in the process to bring your loved one(s) to the United States, it’s important to find an experienced and trustworthy immigration attorney. Attorneys know the ins and outs of immigration laws and can help you choose the best path for your unique situation.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you’re ready to apply for a marriage-based visa, contact Attorney Eric Price today! Eric Price is nationally known as a “green card lawyer.” What’s more, our law firm exclusively practices immigration law, and we are dedicated to fighting for our clients. This dedication and hard work help us consistently rank as among the best attorneys in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston.

Let us help you realize your American Dream when you call us today for a free consultation at 855-662-2772 or by email.

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