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Wednesday, 21 Feb 2018

Spouse Visa (IR-1)

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 The first step to file a petition for Alien Relative with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate to the United States.


In certain circumstances, a U.S. citizen living abroad can file an immigrant visa petition at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There is no minimum age for a U.S. sponsor (petitioner) to file a petition for a family based immigrant visa. However, you must be at least 18 years of age and have domicile in the U.S. before you can sign for the Affidavit of Support. This form is required for immigrant visas for spouses and other relatives of U.S. sponsors.


A child does not receive derivative status in an immediate relative petition. This is different from the family second preference (F2) petition where a child is included in his/her parent's petition. A child is not included as a derivative in his/her parent's IR petition.  


After USCIS has approved the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) and NVC will assign a case number for the petition. NVC will begin processing the applicant's case and will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate fees. NVC will also request that necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.


Fees are charged for the following services:

1. Filing an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130

2. Processing an immigrant visa application, Form DS-230

3. Reviewing an I-864, Affidavit of Support (for petitions filed in the United States)

4. Medical examination (costs vary from place to place)

5. Fingerprinting fees, if applicable

6. Other costs may include: translations; photocopying charges; fees for obtaining the documents you need for the immigrant visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.); and travel expenses to go to the embassy or consulate for the interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.


Once the NVC determines the file is complete with all the required documents, they schedule the applicant’s interview appointment. NVC then sends the file, containing the applicant’s petition and the documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the applicant will be interviewed for a visa.


Applicants should bring their valid passports, as well as any other documentation above not already provided to NVC, to their visa interviews. During the interview process, ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken. Applicants will receive their original civil documents and original translations back at the time of interview.


In preparing for your interview, you will need to schedule and complete your medical examination and any required vaccinations before your visa interview.  Before an immigrant visa can be issued, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician.


If you have been married for less than two years when your spouse enters the United States on an immigrant visa, the permanent resident status is considered conditional. The immigrant visa is a conditional resident (CR) visa not an immediate relative (IR) visa.


Your and your spouse must apply together to USCIS to remove the conditional status within the ninety days before the two year anniversary of your spouse's entry into the United States on his or her immigrant visa. The two-year anniversary date of entry is the date of expiration on the alien registration card (green card)


If you are issued an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you your passport containing the immigrant visas and a sealed packet containing the documents which you provided. It is important that you do not open the sealed packet. Only the DHS immigration official should open this packet when you enter the U.S. You are required to enter the U.S. before the expiration date printed on your visa. When traveling, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter the U.S. before or at the same time as family members holding visas.