Both the CR1 visa and the U.S. K3 visas are available to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens. But these two visa kinds differ significantly from one another. The K3 visa and the CR1 visa are contrasted here:
1. In order to allow the spouse of a citizen of the United States to visit the country temporarily while their immigrant visa application (Form I-130) is being processed, the K3 visa was created.
2. The U.S. citizen spouse submits the I-129F petition for the K3 visa together with the I-130 petition to prove their marital status. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS)
3. Timeline: Following approval of the I-129F petition, it is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for additional processing before being delivered to the American embassy or consulate in the spouse’s country of origin. The spouse can then submit an application for the K3 visa, which, if granted, enables them to enter the country.
4. Adjustment of Status: After arriving in the nation on a K3 visa, the spouse must apply for adjustment of status (Form I-485) in order to receive a green card and continue living there.
5. Validity: The K3 visa normally has a two-year validity period.
a CR1 visa
1. The CR1 visa, commonly known as an immigrant visa, is designed for spouses of U.S. citizens who want to travel to the country and instantly become lawful permanent residents.
2. To establish the spousal relationship, the U.S. citizen spouse submits an I-130 petition to the USCIS. After being authorized, the petition is forwarded to the NVC for processing and scheduling the interview for an immigrant visa at the American embassy or consulate in the spouse’s place of origin.
3. Timeline: After the interview, the spouse can enter the country as a lawful permanent resident if the CR1 visa is granted. The spouse will get the permanent residence card (green card) in the mail once they arrive in the US.
4. Adjustment of Status: Upon entrance into the country, the spouse of a CR1 visa is automatically granted legal permanent resident status, in contrast to the K3 visa. Therefore, there is no need to submit a request for a status modification.
5. Validity: The initial CR1 visa usually has a six-month validity period. The spouse will be granted a conditional green card after arriving in the country, good for two years. By submitting a joint petition (Form I-751) to remove restrictions 90 days before the card expires, the conditional status may be lifted.
In conclusion, the CR1 visa is an immigrant visa that offers instant lawful permanent resident status, whereas the K3 visa is a temporary visa that allows spouses to enter the country while their immigrant visa is being processed. The couple’s choices for the time and method of their immigration to the United States will determine which of the two visas they choose.