Spouse VISA USA | Western Overseas

The United States of America is home to thousands of immigrants than any other nation. Over the years, the graph of immigrants has been on the rise. And the country has topped the list of most popular countries for immigration. Many reasons are involved in increasing the ratio of immigrants. One of them is the immigrants residing in the U.S. as permanent residents, green card holders, or U.S. citizens who try to bring their foreign national family members into the country. The family-based immigration serves the purpose of these interested U.S. residents. Under the family stream, the U.S. spouse visa is the most sought-after visa category that allows foreign spouses to join their partners in the U.S. Here; we provide a complete guide to interested candidates seeking assistance for U.S. spouse visas. Let's start learning more about this visa category!

U.S. Spouse VISA - Immigrant and Non-immigrant Categories

The immigrant visa is for applicants who intend to stay in the USA permanently. Similarly, the non-immigrant visa is for candidates who want to visit the USA temporarily for tourism, medical treatment, business, work, or other personal reasons.  

1) Immigrant Spouse VISA (IR1 or CR1)

As we explained above, an immigrant visa leads to permanent residency in the USA; a dedicated pathway is also designed by the U.S. immigration authorities to be followed by the candidates. Two phases are involved in the process of U.S. spouse VISA. Let's elaborate on this to understand better how to apply for the visa.

Phase 1

File the petition for Alien Relative: It starts with filing the petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). The U.S. permanent resident or citizen lodges the file for his or his spouse to immigrate to the country. One can apply while inside or outside the USA.

Eligibility of Sponsor/Petitioner - No minimum age criteria exist to file the petition. However, one must be 18 or older and reside in the USA to sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). The proof of residence includes a domicile that validates the permanent residency in the country.  

When to upgrade a petition - In case an LPR (lawful permanent resident) filed the petition in the past and now has become a U.S. citizen, it is mandatory to upgrade the file. The status of the petition changes from family second preference (F2) to immediate relative (IR). Documents required are:

  • Scanned copy of Biodata page of USA passport

  • A copy of the naturalization certificate

Phase 2

The petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) on approval from USCIS. After that, NVC assigns a case number to the petition, and further instructions are sent to the application, including completing Form DS-261 (for choosing the preferable address & agent). Applicants need to pay application fees, and once transferred, NVC starts processing the case. Meanwhile, an applicant must also submit the required documents, such as an Affidavit of Support, civil documents with application forms, and other supporting documents.

Immigrant Spouse VISA fees

  • Form I-130 application fees ($535.00) paid to USCIS

  • Processing fees for Form DS-260 application ($325)

  • Medical examination fees

Documents Checklist

  • Passport Valid up to 6 months

  • Affidavit of Support

  • Form DS-260

  • Two photographs

  • Civil documents (Birth certificate, marriage certificate, petitioner documents, front photocopy of passport having personal detail of applicant, police clearance certificate)

  • Medical test reports

VISA Interview - On successfully submitting your spouse's visa application, the NVC schedules an interview for the applicant. Also, the visa file with the petition papers and documents is sent to the U.S. embassy, where the interview is conducted. The necessary information for the interview's date, place, and time is mailed to the corresponding applicant, petitioner, attorney, and third-party member (if hired). During the interview, digital fingerprints are also taken. Once the interview is over, the applicant receives the original document if submitted.

Conditional Residence - Conditional resident (C.R.) VISA is insured to the spouse having the marriage less than two years old. Apply for an immediate relative (I.R.) visa within 90 days before your 2nd anniversary.

VISA outcome - The counselor issues you an immigrant visa and receives your passport containing your visa and a sealed packet of documents that must be opened by the USA immigration officials when you enter the country.

2) Non-immigrant visa for spouses (K-3)

  • The process of obtaining a K-3 visa starts with filing the petition Form I-130 with the USCIS office. You get an Immediate notification on the successful submission of your petition.

  • After that, Form I-129 needs to be filed by an applicant.

  • NVC gets the notification to process the case from the USCIS if they find everything satisfactory.

  • If NVC receives the approved petition for I-130 and I-129 simultaneously or receives the approved I-130 before I-129, the further processing of non-immigrants ends, and applicants don't need to have a K-3 VISA. Further instructions are sent to the sponsor and applicant for IR-1 VISA.

  • The I-129 file is processed if the NVC receives it before I-130. Further, the petition is sent to the USA embassy, where the marriage took place. The applicant applies for the visa at the same embassy and gets the instructions for medical examination and visa interview.

Document Checklist

  • Completed Form DS-160, apply online, and bring the scanned copy to the interview

  • Current passport

  • Civil documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, PCC)

  • Medical examination reports

  • Financial proofs (Form I-134)

  • Photographs

  • Evidence of genuine and ongoing relationship

  • Payment receipts

Non-immigrant Spouse VISA fees

  • Form I-130 application fees ($535.00) paid to USCIS

  • Form I-129F application fees

  • Processing fees of non-immigrant visa Form DS-160

  • Medical examination fees

VISA Outcome - Applicants are issued K-3 visas on clearing the visa interview. The official provides the passport containing your visa and a sealed packet of documents that must be opened by USA immigration offices when you enter the state.

Further Questions - Meet our certified US VISA consultants for more information about the spouse visa. We are located across different cities in India. Choose your nearby location, and let us serve you to fulfill your immigration needs.