Are you an Egyptian married to a US citizen or permanent resident card holder? You may be eligible to apply for a spousal immigrant visa, which allows you to live and work in the US. Meanwhile, the processing of US immigrant visas for citizens and residents of the US is at the US Embassy, Cairo. The Embassy is open for almost all visa activities, although there is quite the backlog of cases due to pandemic-related closures.

If you are applying for a spousal visa to the US, you must be legally married to a US citizen or resident. They will open the process by petitioning the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on your behalf. They will file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, after which you can carry on with something known as consular processing if approved.

Who Can Apply for CR-1 Visa?

The CR1 Visa (Conditional Resident Visa) is created for foreign national and US-citizen couples to enable them to live together in the US. “Conditional Resident” means the visa comes with a two-year condition where the couple must stay together to remove the conditions on the card.

If the marriage ends before the two years are up, the foreign national spouse has to return to his or her country. If it doesn’t, you can apply to remove the conditions on the card and get a ten-year-valid permanent resident card.

Meanwhile, you should only apply for this visa if your marriage is not up to two years. You are eligible to apply for the Conditional Resident Visa if:

  • You are legally and genuinely married to a US citizen or green card holder, in which case they become the sponsor;
  • The US sponsor meets the federal income requirements or Poverty Guidelines. The US sponsor will have to fill out and submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, where they attest they can support you financially. This form is a legally binding contract and not something to be taken lightly; breaching the contract has serious consequences.

Who Can Apply for IR-1 Visa?

Like the CR-1, the IR-1 visa is also created to close the distance between foreign national and US-citizen/green-card-holder spouses. The difference is that this visa is only meant for spouses of United States Citizens; they are referred to as “Immediate Relatives.”

Thus, the “IR” in IR-1 means “Immediate Relative,” which is how the USCIS views spouses of US citizens. Unlike the CR-1, there are no conditions on this visa, but your marriage must be at least two years old to apply. This card is valid for ten years after which you can either renew it or apply for naturalization (US citizenship).

The requirements for obtaining the IR-1 visa are pretty much the same as if you are applying for the CR-1 visa. The only difference is that a green card holder cannot sponsor you for it; your spouse must be a US citizen.

How Do You Submit a Petition for the CR1/IR1 Visa?

Applying for any US immigration visa involves a bureaucratic process, but it is a process worth going through. Painstakingly allowing yourself to go through the process ensures you can freely stay in the US with your spouse.

The first step involved in getting this visa is for your US sponsor to file Form I-130 with the USCIS. If you and your spouse meet the requirements and your US spouse submits the right documents, the petition should be approved. However, the USCIS approves and denies applications at its discretion – meaning, there is no guarantee. If the USCIS is pleased with your petition and approves it, your case goes to the National Visa Center (NVC).

The NVC will give your petition a case number and send you a mail informing you to complete Form DS-261. You will not need to complete this form if you already have a legal representative (an immigration attorney).

In the mail, you will also get instructions on other forms to fill out and supporting documents to submit. It is important that you submit the exact files required of you and in the way you are instructed to submit them.

Before the NVC starts the actual processing of your case, you will need to pay certain fees. When you’ve paid and your file is complete, the NVC will schedule your visa interview at the US Embassy in Cairo.

Why Do You Need Herman Legal Group for CR1/IR1 Visa Application?

While you are not obligated to hire a lawyer for this process as you can represent yourself. It is however highly recommended that you have legal representation to ensure an error-free application process.

Herman Legal Group is a thorough, dedicated, multicultural, diversified, and multilingual law firm that deals with immigration matters such as this. Our services run throughout the United States and internationally, and that includes Egypt.

Therefore, if you need legal assistance for your CR1/IR1 visa application process, you can book online or call us at +1-216-696-6170.

Conclusion

A CR1/IR1 visa is issued to a foreign national individual married to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. The CR1 is for those not yet married for up to two years, while the IR1 is for those married for longer. Both visas give you similar benefits: to live with your spouse and work in the US permanently.

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