The CR1/IR1 Visa, also known as the marriage green card, grants foreign spouses of US citizens to enter the US. When you leave Germany to be with your US spouse on either of these visas, they become permanent residents.

The IR1 is the Immediate Relevant Visa while the CR1 is the Conditional Resident Visa, with different timelines. The CR1 visa is for couples married for less than two years while the IR1 is for those married for longer.

If you enter the US with CR1, you can transition to IR1 after two years, provided your marriage is still ongoing. However, if your marriage ends before the two years are up, you will lose your CR1 status and return to Germany.

Below, we have provided pieces of information concerning the spousal visa, including how to apply and the requirements for applying.

General USCIS Requirements for CR1/IR1 Visa in Germany

To be eligible to apply for CR1/IR1 visa, you must be legally married, with official documents to prove it. Your marriage certificate is usually enough to prove you have a legal marriage, but the USCIS officer can request other proof. Besides the legality of your marriage, you must also prove that you have been living with your US-citizen spouse.

For the IR1 visa, you must have been married to your US spouse for at least two years. If your marriage is not up to two years, you are only eligible for the Conditional Resident Visa.

Also, your spouse must be a US citizen; green card holders cannot sponsor foreign spouses for this visa. Furthermore, your US-citizen spouse must be domiciled in the US (live there or intend to return with you). Last but not least, your US-citizen spouse must have enough to support both of you while you are in the US.

What Is the Application Process for CR1/IR1 Visa in Germany?

The application process for any type of US visa starts with the petitioner, who can be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. In the case of the CR1/IR1 visa process, only the US citizen can sponsor a foreign national spouse and file Form I-130.

He or she will file this form with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS will process this petition and make its decision whether to accept or deny it.

If the USCIS approves the petition, you can proceed to any US Embassy in Germany for consular processing. The first step in the consular processing is filing Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. In the form, you answer questions regarding your background and purpose for immigrating. After submitting the form, you will be directed to a confirmation page; print and keep it safe because you’ll need it later.

Next, you will undergo a medical examination and get vaccinated, if applicable, in the approved medical center. Then, you will compile all the documents required by the National Visa Center for the next step: the visa interview. The visa interview is the last stage and very crucial; you will convince the immigration officer that you should get the visa.

Meanwhile, visa applications in Germany are handled by US Travel Docs. US Travel Docs is the official visa service provider of the US Embassy in Germany. It is a private company, the only one, authorized by the US Embassy in Germany to render visa application services.

Supporting Documents Needed for IR1/CR1 Visa in Germany

The USCIS requires the following supporting documents to prove your eligibility for the CR1/IR1 immigrant visa:

  • Your spouse’s passport, which must be valid for at least six months after you enter the US,
  • Civil documents such as your marriage certificate, birth certificates, prison records, if any, and police certificates, among others,
  • Form I-864 filled out and signed by your US-citizen sponsor (spouse),
  • Report of the medical examination you underwent to prove you were examined and got all the required vaccines,
  • Military records if you have served in the military and two passport-size photographs.

When Do You Need Legal Assistance?

Many applicants don’t seek legal aid until it is too late; you don’t want to do that. You should contact a legal representative even before you start your application at all. Nevertheless, this is not mandatory; it is only to ensure you don’t make mistakes and also to make the process more streamlined.

Herman Legal Group is an experienced immigration law firm with highly versatile, professional, and empathetic lawyers. With a record of helping thousands of German spouses through their CR1/IR1 visas, they can help you with yours also.

Distance is no barrier, and neither is language because our lawyers are well-equipped to provide the best help possible. Therefore, reach out to us today by booking online or calling +1-216-696-6170 for a consultation.


Now, you have a good idea of how the CR1/IR1 visa application works in Germany. There are US Consulates scattered across Germany, so just find one closest to you for an easy commute. However, ensure you are eligible to apply for the visa before you begin the application; an experienced immigration attorney can help clear all doubts.

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