Quick Facts to Know Before Applying for a CR1 Spouse Visa

The CR1 spousal visa can be difficult to understand for potential immigrants to the United States, however, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the meaning of the CR1 spousal visa and the process by which to acquire it if you are looking to apply for residency in the United States.

What is the CR1 Spousal Visa?

The CR1 spousal visa is an immigrant visa issued to applicants who wish to live in the United States with their spouse, who is a United States resident. The CR indicates that it is a “conditional resident” visa, which applies to couples who have been married less than two years. If you have been married two years or more, you will need a similar visa, the IR1 spousal visa.

Qualifications Needed

To be eligible for the CR1 spousal visa, you must meet three basic requirements.

First, your spouse must be a legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident. They must be able to show proof that they are a citizen or hold a green card.

Second, you must be legally married to your spouse. If your marriage was religious, you must make sure that it has also been legally registered.

Third, you will have to meet certain income brackets. These can vary with factors such as a number of household members and aliens, as well as the state you are applying to live in. You will have to prove that you meet the requirements through documents such as Federal tax returns. If you don’t meet income requirements, there are other ways you can meet them, such as securing a financial sponsor.

How Long it Takes

Timelines for granting CR1 spousal visas were much shorter last year, however, due to new immigrant policies and administration, the timelines this year are much longer. You can expect to wait an average of about seven to ten months, though the waiting time varies by circumstances.

Your timeline can be impacted by your home country, the current workload of the USCIS and NVC, natural or human disasters, and issues with your petition for the CR1 spousal visa.


Visas can be costly, with the government fees typically costing around $1200 total and the addition of many variable costs. These government fees include USCIS and NVC fees of about $535 and $445 respectively and immigrant fees of about $365. For additional expenses, you can expect to pay for your travel to the United States, a medical examination, which usually costs $340, and any legal assistance with your CR1 spousal visa application process.

There’s an Embassy Interview

You will be required to do an embassy interview at the end of your application process, which intends to ensure there is no immigration fraud. Likely in your home country, you will be required to do an embassy interview with a consular officer at either a United States embassy or consulate that processes visas. There are a few questions that will be asked in the interview, and if you pass, you will be granted your visa within a few days.

Overall, the CR1 spousal visa will grant you conditional residency in the United States provided you meet all of the eligibility requirements, costs, pass the embassy interview and have time to wait for the approval of your application.