This is an EXCLUSIVE look at the Spouse Visa USA.
I wanted to try and make things as easy as possible by creating this Spouse Visa Success Menu.
About the Author: I’m AJ Bordac Since early 2003 I have been deeply involved with reuniting couples between the USA and the Philippines. It all started when I joined a pen pal program where I later met my Filipina wife. With the help of a former INS officer mentoring me on bringing my fiancee to the United States and later adjusting her status, I felt a burning desire to assist so many thousands of other men who also met a woman from another country.
We specialize in understanding the rules for Americans to get married in the Philippines. Other countries may have similar or different rules that apply?
USCIS offers three Visa types for spouse partners. If the couple is married two years or longer you need an IR1 Visa. Newlyweds can select the CR1 or K3 Visa.
The cost of a spouse visa for US citizens is not cheap. Government fees come to the US Sponsor in increments which helps tremendously. You will have time to save.
If your spouse has children that are not yours, you may include them as long as you meet the poverty guidelines? They must be younger than age 21.
For the US sponsor applying for a spouse visa, the poverty guidelines must be observed through tax and income records. Joint sponsors are allowed.
Getting a spouse visa can lead to many questions. The most common are income requirements, government fees, and how long it takes? Read our most common questions.
Spouse visas can take two to three times longer thank the K1 Visa. The main reason is you have more immediate relatives applying thank you do fiancees.
One of the toughest things is when couples receive an RFE letter in the mail after months of waiting and realize that they forgot something important.
For the do-it-yourselfers, you may go to the USCIS website and download the required form for free. They are not for sale. Need I-130 / I-130A or any other forms go here.
Congratulations to the Husbands and Wives!
Success in obtaining the Spouse Visa can be yours!
One of the most rewarding experiences in life is when two people find each other, fall in love, and because they are madly passionately in love with each other it all leads to marriage. Together like the rest of us they had to go through the daily routines of nurturing an LDR and missing one another only to rely on the world wide web to keep them alive.
Anyone who has been through this process will tell you there’s nothing simple about it.
The challenge of conquering the distance that separates them is to have a long patience and endure the United States government which keeps them apart up to a year and a half. Applying for a CR1 or K3 Spouse visa doesn’t seem to be moving any faster than the IR1 Spouse Visa process? With our over the phone FREE Consultation, we can determine the best visa for you?
Our years of experience continue to reunited husbands and wives together, the correct way and to insure that you both don’t forget important documents to avoid an RFE. We offer a one time fee to assist you in getting the spouse visa for just $525.00
What is the difference between K3 and CR1 Spouse Visa?
The K3 Visa:
Even though the K3 and CR1 Visa are designed to bring your foreign spouse to America they do have some differences? The application process does have some differences as well as the “rights and benefits”?
The U.S., Port of Entry: If you are a K3 Visa holder, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will stamp the inside of your passport with the I-551 which means you now have multiple entry rights. That will serve as your proof of permanent residence until your green card arrives in the mail.
Warning: Be careful to not let this happen to you or else your American spouse would have to start all over again by filing for a new spouse visa.
One of the nice benefits the K3 Spouse Visa offers is it allows you “multiple entries” for as long as it is valid, unlike the K1 Fiancee visa which is only a one-time entry visa. Though your K3 Spouse Visa is a multiple entry visa, if it expires while you are out of the U.S., you will have to file for the “re-entry permit” to get back in only if you already have a pending application for legal permanent residence?
Applying for the K3 Spouse Visa: Consider these choices before deciding if you want a K3 spouse visa? K3 Visa basically starts out as a non-immigrant visa. Once in the U.S., you should apply for “Adjustment of Status” so that you can become a legal permanent resident.
If you for any reason come to the U.S.A., for the wrong reasons and decide to terminate your marriage, your K3 Visa will expire after 30 days and you would have to return to your country. The only thing that can change this rule is if you become a permanent resident first?
Processing times: If you consider which is faster the K3 or the CR1 spouse visa then based on our knowledge we would say the K3 visa is faster by a few months, because there is no processing time for an (LPR) legal permanent residence card which also includes an (EAD) employment authorization and a (SS) social security card. Your spouse would apply for those after arriving in the U.S.
Does K3 Souse Visa still exist? The K3 has been obsolete for several years, though you still have the option to submit for a K3 nonimmigrant visa petition. People who try to get the K3 will likely be changed to the CR1 Immigrant visa instead. Today, USCIS doesn’t have a backlog of I-130 petitions so there is no real need for the K3 Visa in most cases.
Let’s take a look at the CR1 Spouse Visa:
Considering a CR1 Spouse Visa? For many that applied for the K3 Visa, they were given a CR1 instead based on USCIS decision. It takes much longer to get a CR1 visa because of the many rights and benefits you get? Because of this, it is called an immigrant visa. To get this visa you must wait in your own home country and attend an interview at the US Consulate.
The U.S., Port of Entry: CR1 Visa holder, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will stamp the inside of your passport with the I-551 which means you now have multiple entry rights. That will serve as your proof of permanent residence until your two-year conditional green card arrives in the mail. After the I-551 date expires you’ll need to be sure to apply for the I-131 Advance Parole re-entry permit and allow up to 3 months for it to be delivered before leaving the United States again.
So what are those CR1 “Rights and Benefits”? Well, first of all, you do not have to file for adjustment of status upon arriving in the U.S.A., you will receive a two-year Conditional Residence card. Also, you will receive your Social Security card and (EAD) employment authorization after arriving in the U.S.A., this can take between 2 to 3 weeks to arrive in the mail at the address you’ll be staying at.
Don’t have Advance Parole? If you for any reason at all decide to travel outside of the U.S.A., and your I-551 expired and don’t hap the AP, you will be denied entry back in and will have to file all over again the I-130 / I-130A Application. Some people leave the U.S. because of an emergency in their country and when they come back to the U.S.A. they realize that their I-551 multiple entry stamp is expired which can lead to a denied entry depending on if you have a pending LPR and AP?
The other thing about the CR1 Visa is you will have to file 90 days in advance before your two-year conditional resident card expires. You will be required to have the “Condition Removed”. Once you have reached this point, you would be granted a ten-year permanent residence card.
What is IR1 Spouse Visa and how is it different from CR1 Visa?
Every day I have somebody asking me what does a CR1 stand for and what does the IR1 stand for?
CR1 meaning (Conditional Residence).
IR1 meaning (Immediate Relative).
IR1 Versus the CR1: When it comes to the USCIS paperwork, filing fees, other government fees, and the waiting process there isn’t any difference? However, the IR1 Spouse Visa does hold better “rights and benefits” than the CR1 Spouse Visa for this one reason?
Couples who apply and are married up to two years or longer are considered “immediate relatives” giving the IR1 Spouse the right to receive a ten-year permanent resident card also known as a (10-year green card) which allows them to be able to get a social security card and work without an (EAD) employment authorization card.
The U.S., Port of Entry: If you are an IR1 Visa holder, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will stamp the inside of your passport with the I-551 which means you now have multiple entry rights. That will serve as your proof of permanent residence until your green card arrives in the mail.
Are children of the foreign spouse treated the same way?
Your spouse’s children will be able to get a visa that follows under the same visa category as their parents. But it is going to be very important to make sure that you can meet the poverty guidelines or use the help of a co-sponsor.
K3 Spouse – (K4 Children) They are separate filings fees with USCIS and have the same rights, same benefits as their parent.
CR1 Spouse – (CR2 Children) They are separate filings fees with USCIS and have the same rights, same benefits as their parent.
IR1 Spouse – (IR2 Children) They are separate filings fees with USCIS and have the same rights, same benefits as their parent.
Do I need a one-way ticket or roundtrip?
Regardless if you hold a CR1, IR1, or K3 spouse visa, you are not required to have a roundtrip ticket? You only need a one-way ticket when coming to the United States. This could also be forced on you to buy a roundtrip ticket depending on who you buy the ticket from?
For example, if you are a Filipino citizen and buy your tickets from the Philippines or other South East Asian airlines, they will tell you that you have to have a roundtrip. We recommend that you buy your tickets from a U.S. airline because they only require a one-way-ticket.
Some in the past have told me that getting a roundtrip ticket was actually cheaper than buying a one-way ticket. If this is the case then sure why not get the roundtrip? The bottom line is, from a U.S. immigration standpoint you are not required to have a roundtrip ticket to enter the United States.
Does holding a CR1/IR1 or K3 spouse visa GUARANTEE U.S. Entry?
There is no visa granted by the United States Immigration that gives anyone a guaranteed entry! Just because you have a visa and all of your supporting documents are in order still doesn’t guarantee you entry? The (CBP) Customs and Border Patrol Agents that are waiting for you at all ports of entry whether you flew in, rode a bus, car, or ship they are trained and constantly on the lookout for any suspicious profiles.
They don’t entertain you with small talk or joking and I would urge you to behave yourself avoid joking with words such as bombs, weapons, drugs, terrorists, making bad conversations about the president of the United States. It’s normal to be nervous but try to hold yourself together because too much obvious nervousness can get you pulled aside for further questioning and inspection.
You could also undergo a second inspection depending on what country you came from and the way you dress, act, and conduct yourself, any of these gives (CBP) the right to inspect you and possibly deny you entry? Please remember that (CPB) has the final say-so about whether to allow you in or bar you?