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Difference between CR1 VISA and K3 Visa

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What is the CR-1 Visa?

The CR-1 (Conditional Resident) visa allows applicants to receive conditional permanent residence upon arrival in the US. Recipients of the CR-1 are able to work immediately upon arrival in the US. Conditional Residents usually receive their green card in the mail 2 - 3 months after arrival. Permanent resident status is considered conditional, because the immigrant must prove that they did not get married merely to circumvent the immigration laws of the United States.

The conditional resident and the US citizen spouse must apply together to remove the conditional status of permanent residence. It is advisable to apply 90 days before the end of the spouse’s second year as a conditional resident. If the application to remove conditional status is not filed in time, the immigrant spouse could lose her conditional resident status and be subject to removal from the country.

What is an IR-1 Visa?

An IR-1 (Immigrant Resident) visa is for a spouse of a US citizen that has been married to the US citizen for two (2) or more years. The IR-1 is basically the same as the CR-1 except that upon arrival in the United States the holder of an IR-1 visa is an unconditional permanent resident with the immediate right to work. There is no conditional period of residence and the IR-1 holder does not need to file to have his/her residence made permanent. IR-1 holders usually receive their green card in the mail 2 - 3 months after arrival.

K-3 Visa & CR-1 Visa Process

The K-3 visa vs. the Immigrant (CR-1, IR-1) visas:

The K-3 visa was created with one intention: to allow spouses of U.S. citizens to swiftly get a visa to the U.S. without waiting for an immigrant visa (CR-1, IR-1) to become available. However, for spouses of U.S. citizens, there is no annual limit to the number CR-1 or IR-1 visas that can be issued each year, so an these visas are always immediately available.

The only difference between the K-3 and the immigrant visas (CR-1 and IR-1) is processing time. The USCIS must apply the exact same standards to both the CR-1 and IR-1 petitions for spouses of US Citizens as it does for K-3 visa petitions for spouses of US Citizens. It usually takes 2-3 months longer for the CR-1 and IR-1 Visa’s to be processed because the National Visa Center takes more time to process these visas.

The K-3 visa is faster up front, but a spouse who enters the country on a K-3 visa must adjust his or her status to conditional residency after he or she enters the United States. The time and money saved by getting the K-3 visa is made up because the adjustment of status demands an additional investment of time and money.

The bottom line: If you are looking to get your spouse into the United States as soon as possible then the K-3 visa is the way to go. However, if speed is not essential and if it is important that your spouse is a permanent resident from the moment he/she enters the US and will be able to work upon entry into the country, then the Immigrant (CR-1 and IR-1) visas are a better fit.

I preferred CR1 Visa as it is less headache when you come in the USA.. It is longer but you can immediately work without adjusting your status and/or EAD..

Goodluck everyone!


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Wow thank you so much for the detailed information. This is very helpful :)

What is the CR-1 Visa?

The CR-1 (Conditional Resident) visa allows applicants to receive conditional permanent residence upon arrival in the US. Recipients of the CR-1 are able to work immediately upon arrival in the US. Conditional Residents usually receive their green card in the mail 2 - 3 months after arrival. Permanent resident status is considered conditional, because the immigrant must prove that they did not get married merely to circumvent the immigration laws of the United States.

The conditional resident and the US citizen spouse must apply together to remove the conditional status of permanent residence. It is advisable to apply 90 days before the end of the spouse’s second year as a conditional resident. If the application to remove conditional status is not filed in time, the immigrant spouse could lose her conditional resident status and be subject to removal from the country.

What is an IR-1 Visa?

An IR-1 (Immigrant Resident) visa is for a spouse of a US citizen that has been married to the US citizen for two (2) or more years. The IR-1 is basically the same as the CR-1 except that upon arrival in the United States the holder of an IR-1 visa is an unconditional permanent resident with the immediate right to work. There is no conditional period of residence and the IR-1 holder does not need to file to have his/her residence made permanent. IR-1 holders usually receive their green card in the mail 2 - 3 months after arrival.

K-3 Visa & CR-1 Visa Process

The K-3 visa vs. the Immigrant (CR-1, IR-1) visas:

The K-3 visa was created with one intention: to allow spouses of U.S. citizens to swiftly get a visa to the U.S. without waiting for an immigrant visa (CR-1, IR-1) to become available. However, for spouses of U.S. citizens, there is no annual limit to the number CR-1 or IR-1 visas that can be issued each year, so an these visas are always immediately available.

The only difference between the K-3 and the immigrant visas (CR-1 and IR-1) is processing time. The USCIS must apply the exact same standards to both the CR-1 and IR-1 petitions for spouses of US Citizens as it does for K-3 visa petitions for spouses of US Citizens. It usually takes 2-3 months longer for the CR-1 and IR-1 Visa’s to be processed because the National Visa Center takes more time to process these visas.

The K-3 visa is faster up front, but a spouse who enters the country on a K-3 visa must adjust his or her status to conditional residency after he or she enters the United States. The time and money saved by getting the K-3 visa is made up because the adjustment of status demands an additional investment of time and money.

The bottom line: If you are looking to get your spouse into the United States as soon as possible then the K-3 visa is the way to go. However, if speed is not essential and if it is important that your spouse is a permanent resident from the moment he/she enters the US and will be able to work upon entry into the country, then the Immigrant (CR-1 and IR-1) visas are a better fit.

I preferred CR1 Visa as it is less headache when you come in the USA.. It is longer but you can immediately work without adjusting your status and/or EAD..

Goodluck everyone!


HubbyWife.jpg

Our Timeline:

Feb 19 2008 - sent I - 129 F application (California Service Center) K1 Application

Feb 22 2008 - CSC returned application re: check lost ( actually when he changed new envelope, the check was left in the old envelope :P)

Feb 23 2008 - re sent I 129 application

March 6 2008 - NOA1 by Postal Mail

July 23 2008 - Touched and Petition Approved / sent to NVC

Aug 19 & 20 - Medical Tests @ St Lukes Extension Clinic - PASSED!!!

Aug 26 - Visa Interview ..... PINK SLIP oh GOD thank you so much!

Sept 2 - VISA Packet Delivered !!!

Sept 26 - Cebu - Manila - (POE) San Francisco - St Paul/ Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nov 15 - Our Wedding Day!

-------------

AOS ...

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