US visa interview questions and answers for CR1 to IR1 (American spouse visa)

US visa interview questions and answers for CR1 to IR1 : This interview was a husband of a Bangladeshi-origin American female (wife). CR1 to IR1 visa categories for spouse. 

  • Category; CR1 to IR1
  • PD: September 2021
  • Approval (Nebraska Center); December 2022
  • DQ: February 8, 2023
  • IL issued: September 16, 2023
  • Interview Date; November 16, 2023


US visa interview questions and answers for CR1 to IR1

There’s not much details about the interview experience to share other than what everyone else has mentioned.

Basically make sure all your documents that you have uploaded to CEAC you take original and copies of.

When he got to the Embassy his passport and interview letter were checked 3 times for confirmation.

Then he was called to a counter to submit his main documents: passport, marriage Ceritificate, nikhanama (English, Bangla), birth certificate, police clearance (Bangladesh and foreign) and passport size pic.

He was told to wait until called.

Next was the interview, they asked him basic question, who applied, and is your son a citizen ( we have 18 month old son) and then checked his photos and that was it. Then they congratulated him and gave him the white paper saying his visa was approved and next steps.

One thing I highly recommend in this process is make sure all your documents are valid and true and current. And make sure your DS260 is fully filled out with all information because the have access to everything and will find out even if you don’t put it. So if you have social media like Facebook or Instagram or have travel history just put all the information so they don’t question why you didn’t fill that information in.

My husband also joined a virtual zoom meeting the embassy emailed him about 2 weeks before his interview which is very very helpful and I recommend joining and asking questions because they explain very well what you need and what financial documents are current for the year and income limits for support which helped clear our confusion about a lot of things.

I want to thank this group for constantly sharing important information and their experience which helps many of us in this group prepare for what is to come.

I hope everyone’s interviews go smoothly and please be confident when answering questions and rest is up to Allah.

(This interview was collected) 


What Is the Difference between a CR1 and IR1 Spouse Visa?

The difference between the two types of spouse visas lies mainly in the length of time it takes for you to become a permanent resident in the U.S.

The CR1 visa allows you to enter the United States as a conditional resident, meaning that after two years, you’ll have to file for a 10-year green card. This visa is for spouses who have been married for less than two years when they arrive in the U.S.

The IR1 visa, on the other hand, grants you immediate and unrestricted permanent residency upon entering the United States. This visa is for spouses who have been married for more than two years. In 10 years, you’ll need to renew the permanent resident card.

Can I Switch from a CR1 to LR1?

Yes, you can switch from a CR1 to an IR1 visa. To do this, you’ll need to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. This form must be filed within 90 days before your two-year anniversary as a conditional resident.

How to Obtain a CR1 or IR1 Visa

For either the CR1 visa or IR1 visa, you’ll need to apply for an interview at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This is also known as consular processing.

Step 1: Gather Relevant Documents

To begin the process for a CR1 or IR1 visa, you must gather evidence that proves your marriage is authentic. This includes proof of cohabitation, financial documents showing joint ownership, and photographs from your wedding or other trips together.

Additionally, your spouse must have a principal residence in the United States and intend to keep that residence.

There are expectations for temporary foreign residences, especially for military personnel. Additionally, if your spouse is in the military and is scheduled to deploy in the near future, the USCIS will review expedited requests on a case-by-case basis.

Step 2: Submit a Petition

The U.S. citizen in your relationship will start the process with the USCIS by submitting an I-130, petition for alien relative to the USCIS.

Once the I-130 petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) where you will be assigned a case number. You will receive a welcome letter by email or physical mail containing your login information for the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC), which allows you to check the status of your application and receive messages.

Step 4: Affidavit of Support and Paying Fees

Your spouse will also need to sign Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ, an affidavit of support, and you’ll need to complete payment of any processing fees.

Step 5: Online Application

NVC will ask you to complete an online visa application Form DS-260, an application for immigrant visa and alien registration, which is the green card application where you will provide information about your background. After submitting the online form, you will print the confirmation page to bring to your interview.

Additionally, you’ll complete Form DS-261, which tells the State Department how to best communicate with you.

Next, you’ll collect, scan, and submit any required documents.

Step 6: Interview

You, your spouse, and any qualified children will participate in the interview. You’ll bring your appointment letter, passport, photographs, DS-260 confirmation page, and any supporting documents to the interview. You’ll also need to complete any fee payments if they are unpaid.

If you cannot appear for your interview for any reason, you should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible to reschedule. If you don’t inform the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that you will not be present at your scheduled interview, your case may be terminated and your petition canceled. Additionally, you will not receive any refunds for the fees you paid.

Step 7: Approval or Denial

If it is approved, your visa will be placed on a page in your passport. In the case of denial, the consular officer will inform you of why you are ineligible. In some cases, the consular officer does not have enough information to process your application. If you believe there was an error, you can appeal the decision.

How Long Does It Take To Get a CR1 or IR1 Spouse Visa Approved?

The timeline for your I-130 petition varies depending on whether or not your spouse is a U.S. permanent resident or a U.S. citizen. Additionally, your service center may affect the processing time which currently ranges from 12 months to 23 months.

For example, as of December 2022, if you are a permanent resident filing for a spousal visa using the California service center, you can expect it to take 25 months. For U.S. citizens, you can expect it to take 10 months.  10 months if you are a U.S. Citizen. You can use the USCIS Processing Times calculator to determine what to expect for your case.

Documents Needed to Get a CR1 or IR1 Visa

  • Birth certificate of the non-citizen spouse
  • Marriage certificate
  • Police certificates
  • Military records (if any)
  • Two passport-style photos
  • Financial evidence that the petitioner earns at least 125% above the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Photos, trips, or any other evidence of your marriage

What Is the Cost of Applying for a CR1 or IR1 Spouse Visa?

You’ll have to pay processing fees for several different forms and steps in the application process,  including:

  • Form I-130 – $535
  • DS-260 -$325
  • Form I-864 – $120
  • Biometrics Fees – $85
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee – $220
  • Medical examinations and required vaccinations (costs vary)

Other costs could include translators, photocopying, obtaining official documents like birth certificates, passports, and police certificates, and travel expenses to the interview.

Next Steps After Receiving Your CR1 Visa

Once you have received your visa, it’s time to make plans for travel! Your spouse receiving the visa will need to enter the United States within 6 months of the date that their visa was issued and they’ll need to bring all required documents with them.

Within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of your arrival, you’ll have to remove conditions from your permanent resident card. If you submit the form too early, the USCIS will return it. If you submit it too late, your application could be denied.

To do this, both spouses will need to complete Form I-751 and petition to remove conditions on residence.

You’ll need to submit similar proof as the original application to prove that your marriage is authentic. This could include evidence like joint bank accounts, utility bills, insurance policies, and more. You may also be asked to attend a follow-up interview.

Once the conditions have been removed from your permanent resident card, you’ll receive a new card without conditions. You’ll need to renew your green card every 10 years.

Because of this additional step, the LR1 costs less than a CR2 fee overall.

Processing Fee for Form I-175

Similar to the original petition, there will be fees attached to the process of removing conditions from your visa including:

  • Filing fee for Form I-175 – $595
  • Biometrics Fees – $85

Other costs could include translators, photocopying, obtaining official documents like birth certificates, passports, and police certificates, and travel expenses.

Next Steps After Receiving Your LR1 Visa

The spouse receiving the visa will need to enter the United States within 6 months of the date that their visa was issued, and they’ll need to bring all required documents with them. At the 10-year anniversary of your arrival in the United States, you’ll have to renew your green card.

The Process For Renewing Your Green Card

When your green card is within six months of expiring, you’ll need to submit a renewal application.

To do this, you’ll file Form I-90, an application to replace your permanent resident card. You can file it online or by mail.

The filing fee for Form I-90 is $455, and you’ll have to pay another $85 biometrics fee.

Other costs could include translators, photocopying, or obtaining official documents like birth certificates, passports, and police certificates.

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