If you are a U.S. Citizen, you have two ways of bringing your loved one(s) back to the United States to live with you. They are:
There used to be a K-3 type visa spousal process which was intended for a spouse was able to come to the United States sooner with a non-immigrant visa, like the K-1 fiance(e)visa, but this process is being done away with because it was taking as long as the IR-1/CR-1 process.
K-1 Fiance(e) Visa
The K-1 Fiance(e) Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to a foreign citizen (beneficiary) that is a fiance(e) of a U.S. Citizen (Petitioner). The purpose of the fiance visa is to allow the foreign fiance(e) entry into the United States to marry his or her U.S. Citizen petitioner.
There are five requirements for filing a US Fiance Visa application.
- You must be a US citizen. Only US citizens may petition for a fiance visa.
- There is an . You both must prove that you intend to marry your fiance within 90 days of their arrival to the United States.
- The both are free and legal to marry by each of your country’s laws.
- You and your fiance have met in person at least one time within the last 2 years.
- You meet the .
The couple has 90 days from the date of entry to marry within the United States. Once the couple marries, the foreign citizen can go through the immigration process by adjusting his or her status to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The foreign citizen can then receive a green card. If the couple does not marry within the 90 day period, the foreign partner must leave the United States within the same 90 day period or risk being barred from returning to the United States.
Unmarried children, who are under the age of 21, of the beneficiary may also apply for a visa (K-2) at the same time with the U.S. Citizen as the Petitioner.
Please see the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa section of our site which explains the aspects of the K-1 Fiance(e) Visa process in much more detail.
IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa
The IR-1 or CR-1 Spousal Visa are immigrant type visas issued to a foreign citizen (beneficiary) that is a spouse of a U.S. Citizen (Petitioner). The purpose of the spousal visa is to allow the foreign citizen entry into the United States to live and stay with his or her U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. The IR and CR visas come with a permanent residency card (green card), unlike the K visas.
The IR-1 (Immediate Relative) type of spousal visa is for a couple that has been married for two years or longer. The IR-1 visa entitles the foreign spouse to receive a green card within the United States for a period of ten years. The green card can be renewed ninety days before the ten year period is up.
The CR-1 (Conditional Relative) type of spousal visa is for a couple that has been married for two years or less. The CR-1 visa entitles the foreign spouse to receive a conditional green card within the United States for a period of two years. Ninety days before the conditional green card expires, the foreign spouse can, through an adjustment of status process, apply to remove conditions and he or she will be issued a new ten year regular green card.
Unmarried children, who are under the age of 21, of the beneficiary may also apply for a visa (IR-2/CR-2) at the same time with the U.S. Citizen as the Petitioner.
Please see the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa section of our site which explains the aspects of the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa process in much more detail.