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Spousal Visas to the United States

A U.S. citizen can bring his or her foreign spouse to live in America, and the foreign spouse can eventually gain citizenship in the United States. The amount of time that the couple has been married has an impact on the appropriate type of petition and visa for the foreign spouse.

The Conditional Residency or CR-1 Visa is the immigrant visa applied to a foreign national who has been married for less than two years to his or her U.S. citizen partner. With this visa type, the foreign spouse, together with his or her U.S. citizen partner, may apply to USCIS for the conversion of his or her conditional permanent resident status toLegal Permanent Resident (LPR) status ninety days prior to expiration of the foreign spouse’s green card. This expiration is typically the two-year anniversary of the foreign spouse’s entry to the United States.

The Immediate Relative or IR-1 Visa is an immigrant visa issued to a foreign national who has more than two years marriage to an American citizen. Approved applicants of this visa are granted an unconditional Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, valid for 10 years, along with a permanent green card.

Required documentation for a Spousal Visa

A foreign national from any country can be a beneficiary of a spousal visa petition if he or she is lawfully married to an American citizen and is able to submit all correct and necessary documents required.

  • Birth certificate of the petitioner and the foreign applicant
  • 2×2 photos of the petitioner and the foreign applicant
  • Passports
  • Affidavit of Support from petitioner
  • Marriage certificates
  • Proof of legally terminated previous marriages

In every case, accuracy is a major factor determining whether an IR-1 or CR-1 petition is approved. Couples may benefit from the help of a U.S. immigration attorney in avoiding delays.

For more information on Spousal Visa, please refer to one of the following topics: