At the Law Office of Adrian Murati, we work with many individuals who want to bring their fiancé(é) or spouse to live in the US as a permanent resident (green card holder) and eventually gain
their citizenship. Since the US government suspects that many marriages are fake and only for immigration purposes, I strongly recommend consulting with an immigration lawyer before proceeding
with your marriage-based petition.
You can call me for a free phone consultation at (815) 289-3209. In the meantime, you can continue reading below for an overview of US immigration law on marriage.
The spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an “immediate relative” under immigration law meaning there are no limits on the number of people per year that can obtain a green card through
marriage. There are three main ways of getting married in the US to an immigrant:
(1) K-1 Visa – Get engaged to an immigrant that lives in a foreign country and bring him or her to the US on a K-1 Visa and get married within 90 days.
(2) IR-1 Visa/CR-1 Visa – Travel to the foreign country, get married, and then apply for a IR-1 or CR-1 Visa to bring your spouse to the United States.
(3) Adjustment of Status – Get married with someone who is already in the US on a different visa, such as a visitor visa or employment visa, and then adjust their status to legal permanent
If you are a U.S. citizen and you want to marry someone from another country and bring them to the United States to become your spouse, then a K-1 fiancé(é) visa allows you to bring your
fiancé(é) here to get married. Once your fiancé(é) arrives in the U.S. on the K-1 visa, you guys have 90 days to get married. After the wedding, you must apply to the USCIS for a Green Card
before the 90 days expires. Therefore, you have 90 days both to get married and apply for your spouse’s Green Card. Another option is to travel to the native country of your fiancé(é) and get
married there and apply for a CR-1 visa to come to the United States.
Difference Between IR-1 Visa and CR-1 Visa
IR1 Visa – IR stand for “Immediate Relative” and allows your spouse to receive a permanent residency card.
- CR1 Visa – CR stands for “Conditional Residency” and your spouse can receive conditional permanent residency within the United States for 2 years. After the 2 year period is done, you can
apply to “remove conditions” 90 days before the card expires so that your spouse can receive a regular 10 year green card.
Should I apply for an IR1 Visa or a CR1 Visa?
The US will issue a IR1 visa or CR1 visa depending on how long you have been married at the time the visa is issued. If you have been married for over two years, then the US will issue an IR1
Visa. If you have been married for less than two years, then the US will issue a CR1 visa.
Even if someone is in the United States on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or on a visa waiver program, that person can get married to a US citizen. However, coming to the US on a visitor visa with
“preconceived intent” of getting married for immigration papers is considered visa fraud. In order to successfully obtain a green card, the couple needs to prove “non-immigrant intent” meaning
that the individual entered the US with honest visitor intentions and the decision to get married and stay permanently was made after entry.
To prove non-immigrant intent, the individual must prove that he or she:
(1) Has a residence abroad.
(2) Has no immediate intention of abandoning that residence; and
(3) Intends to depart the US upon the termination of the visa.
The 30/60 Day Rule
The US State Department created the “30/60 Day Rule” to help immigration officers determine if someone has committed visa fraud.
Married Day 1-30 – The US government will presume that the immigrant misrepresented his or her intentions when entering the US and will likely deny a
- Married Day 31-60 – The US government will view the marriage-based petition with a strong suspicion.
- After 60 Days – The US government will presume the petition is in good faith but can still investigate the marriage.
At the Law Office of Adrian Murati, I recommend that you hire an attorney for a number of reasons:
USCIS and the State Department suspect that many marriages are fake and only for immigration purposes. You do not want your case delayed for months or a visa
denial. I can help you convince the U.S. government that your marriage is genuine and that they should grant your K-1 visa or CR-1/IR-1 visa.
- There are a lot of forms that you fill out and even if you read and reread the instructions, the smallest errors could delay your case for many months. During the delay, you will most likely
be separated from your fiancé(é) or spouse which can create anxiety and uncertainty about the future
- When you hire me as your attorney, you will have peace-of-mind from knowing that your case is in the hands of an attorney who focuses on these types of cases day-in and day-out.
I am here to help and answer your immigration questions about bringing your significant other to the US. Call me at (815)
289-3209 for a free phone consultation.