Generally, if you wish to move to the United States based on marriage, you must be legally married. That is, you must have a valid marriage with a United States citizen or green card holder (lawful permanent resident). Your citizen spouse will then file a petition, which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services must approve. The citizen or green card holder spouse is responsible for filing the petition, and in a USCIS office in the US.
If you are a US citizen or green card holder with a wife in the Philippines and want to bring her to the US. There is a USCIS office in the United States Embassy in Manila; it caters to immigration petitions filed by Philippine residents, among others.
Differentiating between CR1 and IR1 Visas
The Filipino spouse will apply for a CR1 visa if her marriage to the US resident is less than two years old. This visa classifies the spouse as a conditional immigrant at the time the visa is issued. If there is a child between them, the child belongs to the CR2 visa category.
On the other hand, the IR1 visa category covers the spouse of a United States citizen. The USCIS considers the spouse of a US resident to be an immediate relative and gets priority when applying for an immigrant visa. The US-citizen spouse must have petitioned the USCIS on behalf of the Filipino wife with Form I-130 in the US. Once approved, the NVC in the US will notify the petitioner and provide instructions on how the Filipino wife will proceed.
What Documents Are Required for Visa Applications in the Philippines?
If your wife is eligible to apply for a spousal visa (CR1 or IR1), there are requirements she must follow. For your wife to be eligible, it means a priority date is available and she has met all the pre-processing requirements. If her petition has passed through the USCIS and NVC and been approved by the USCIS, the NVC will schedule her for an interview. When coming for the visa interview, below are important supporting documents she must come with:
A Valid Passport
Her passport must be valid for at least six months from the time the visa is issued. She can apply for a passport at the DFA-OCA (Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of Consular Affairs) in Paranaque City.
This form has two parts, Part I and II; they are Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Forms. She will receive this form along with her appointment letter; she is required to complete it and come with it to the interview.
There are a few certificates the USCIS will require her to come with, including her birth certificate. The birth certificate must be issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO), of which it must also have a copy. If the NSO does not have a copy, she should obtain a statement about why the certificate is not available.
Also, she will bring police certificates for the city in which she has lived for more than one year from when she turned sixteen. She must also bring proof of her marital relationship with you – in other words, the marriage certificate. If she was married before and divorced, she will need to bring evidence of that as well.
Proof of Identity
She will also bring at least six photographs she has with you to prove your relationship over some time. The USCIS will use these photographs, alongside the marriage certificate and other documents, to establish that there’s an existing relationship. Other documents the USCIS may require include personal correspondence, bank records, original baptismal records, home telephone records, and adoption decrees if applicable.
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is required to establish that you have financial support if you come to the United States. The USCIS will only grant the petition once it is sure that you will not become a public charge. That is, you will not rely on the government’s “freebies” to survive in the United States.
Hiring Legal Help from Herman Legal Group
The US immigration rules are constantly changing, and this is why you need the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Herman Legal Group is the best when it comes to navigating immigration law for spousal visas, including IR1 and CR1. Getting the assistance of one of our well-versed lawyers will help make the process less stressful.
We are a group of diversified, multicultural, and multilingual lawyers, with lawyers fluent in Filipino, thus eliminating the language barrier. If you would like to turn the odds in your favor, reach out to us by booking online or calling us at +1-800-808-4013.
Being married to a US citizen does not automatically make a Filipino spouse a US resident or citizen. Their citizen or resident spouse must have petitioned the USCIS on their behalf. The Filipino wife of a US citizen or resident can enter the United States on a CR1 or IR1 visa. Meanwhile, only spouses petitioned for by US-citizen spouses qualify for the CR and IR visas.