A CR1 visa is for aliens married to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Since they desire to live with their spouse, the U.S. government grants them the status of conditional residents. They’re only given to couples – same or different sex – who haven’t been married for more than 2 years.
On the other hand, the K3 visa, is for non-immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens/residents. They may enter and then later, change their status, and obtain a conditional green card in the U.S.
The former option is quicker, less expensive, and turns the recipients into green card holders even before they enter the country.
Do CR1 Visas Have The Same Rights as Permanent Green Cards?
With a Conditional Green Card, you will have the same rights as those with permanent ones do. In short, working within the U.S. and leaving the country are both permissible. Moreover, you can count the time you spend as a conditional permanent resident towards your U.S. citizenship – and complete the duration of 3-5 years.
CR1 Visa Restrictions
Along with many benefits comes a catch. Since your green card is conditioned on your marriage, spending time outside the U.S. – and away from your spouse – may claim your green card! That’s because the authorities can consider the long separations authorities as proof that your marriage is not a real thing.
CR1 Visa Requirements
The eligibility, in this case, depends on the following conditions:
- Proof of legal marriage, which is not the same as living together
- The immigrant must be 18 years old, or they cannot sign the Affidavit of Support – happens later on in the application process
- Satisfaction of visa income requirements, such as submission of tax returns, etc.
How Much Does it Cost?
The CR1 Visa Cost is significant as compared to other spousal visas. For instance, out of the $1,200 you pay in total, the USCIS filing fee claims $535, NVC fee $445, and $220 goes to the USCIS as your immigrant fee. If you’re required to submit medical exam reports, you may spend an additional $200.
CR1 Visa Application Process
The CR1 Visa Process will start when you file Form I-130 and send it to the USCIS. Pending the petition’s approval, your case gets forwarded to the NVC. The latter agency will give your file a case number. That’s when you send in your DS-261. Besides the copies of the Form I-130 and DS-261, the fee comes next along with the following proof of paperwork:
- Cover letter
- Proofs of marriage, including marriage certificate, joint bank account, previously terminated marriages, etc.
- Passport photos.
- Permanent residency papers
- Medical examination forms.
- Affidavit of support
On completion of the file, the NVC will give you the green light for an interview. So, head to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for it and bring along the documents mentioned above. The petitioner – your spouse – doesn’t need to be there for it, but they can choose to do so. Once there, you will face questions that test how solid your relationship is, so try to prepare answers for them.
CR1 Visa Processing Time
A marriage based green card can take 8-10 months for processing. You may shorten it as much as you can by submitting the right and complete forms/information. It is equally important to follow all instructions for every form, or you risk rejection. Also, keep an eye out for any REFs that the USCIS sends your way. Those are extra evidential documents that you might have to submit.
Additionally, the following factors can influence your processing time:
- Which country you belong to
- How swamped the USCIS/NVC are at that time
- Natural disasters and other unforeseen events
Reasons You Might Get Denied
Typically, the following can get your case denied:
- Late applications minus proof of extenuating circumstances that account for the tardiness
- Insufficient/fraudulent proofs of married life
- USCIS’s suspicions about a fraudulent marriage
- Drug trafficking
- Overstaying while on a previous visa
- Practice of polygamy
Why These Conditions Exist
The strict conditions governing the CR1 Spousal Visa approval exist for a reason. Back in 1986, the authority predating the USCIS found out that 1 in every 3 marriages were shams. And even though, the figure was a gross exaggeration, it still led to the creations of the rules you see today. Thus, the better you – and your spouse – can prove how stable your marriage is, the stronger will be your case for the CR1 visa.
What Happens if the Conditions Are Not Removed?
Failure to get removal can result in your being labeled out of status after the expiration of your conditional green card. That makes placement in the deportation proceedings highly likely. Even if you don’t end up there, the accruement of unlawful presence can result in a 3-10 year-long bar on entering the United States. The latter happens when you leave and try to gain entry back into the country.
What if We Get Divorced?
An application for condition removal is still possible for you – provided you add a request for a waiver of the requirement. It ensures that your spouse will file the form with you. Aside from that, include proof of a bona fide marriage, how the divorce wasn’t your fault/idea, any relationship-saving attempts, such as marriage counseling. Also, throw in the copy of the final divorce decree when you send in the application packet.
Moreover, don’t wait to file Form I-751 if your marriage ended before you could do so. In such situations, your deportation from the United States is a very real danger. Thus, waiting for the 90-day window before your conditional green card expires isn’t a good idea.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
Whether you’re about to apply for a CR1 Green Card or need help removing the conditions on yours, you should contact LA’s best immigration lawyer. Because, in the former case, a small seemingly insignificant mistake can result in denial of the CR1 green card. And for the latter, you may be facing deportation proceedings soon if you don’t hurry!