How to get a "spousal visa" in Las Vegas, Nevada
IR-1 / CR-1 immigrant visas


There are two types of spousal / marriage visas in Nevada that permit foreigners to live in the United States: (1) IR-1 / CR-1 immigrant visas, which grant permanent resident status to spouses of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and (2) K-3 non-immigrant visas, that permit spouses to reside in America if their spouses are U.S. citizens. 

Below our Las Vegas spousal visa lawyers answer frequently-asked-questions about how to secure a marriage visa so that married couples may lawfully reside together in the U.S. Click on a topic below to learn the application procedures, eligibility requirements, and the time frame for getting a marriage visa in Nevada:

This article concentrates on IR-1/ CR-1 immigrant spousal visas. Learn more about K-3 non-immigrant spousal visas.

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Spousal visas allow husbands or wives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

1. What is a "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The most common marriage visa is the IR-1 / CR-1 spousal visa, which is a type of immigrant visa. IR-1/ CR-1 spousal visas allow for non-citizens who are married to U.S. citizens or green card holders (permanent residents) to live in the U.S. as green card holders themselves. The government agency that issues spousal visas is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). (For information on K-3 non-immigrant spousal visas, click here.)

U.S. citizens or green card holders may "petition" the USCIS for a spousal visa on behalf of his/her alien spouse. Note that only the spouse who is the U.S. citizen or green card holder may apply for the visa...this spouse is called "the petitioner." The other spouse who is seeking to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident may not fill out the application.1

2. How do I apply for a "marriage IR-1 / CR-1 visa" in Las Vegas, Nevada? 

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USCIS Form I-130 is the official application for a spousal visa in Nevada.

Petitioners seeking a marriage visa have to fill out and file USCIS Form I-130--petition for alien relative. (Petitioners should read instructions for USCIS Form I-130.)

If the petitioner's spouse resides outside the U.S., then no further applications are necessary other than Form I-130. If Form I-130 gets approved, it is sent for consular processing. Then the consulate or embassy will provide the spouse notification and further information.

If the petitioner's spouse is currently in the U.S. (through lawful admission or parole), the petitioner also has to complete USCIS Form I-485--application to register permanent residence or adjust status. Petitioners who are U.S. citizens should file Form I-485 at the same time as I-130. But petitioners who are green card holders should wait to file Form I-485 until after Form I-130 is approved and a visa number comes available. (Petitioners should read the instructions for USCIS Form 1-485).2

Foreigners are advised not to attempt to fill out and submit immigration forms on their own without an experienced Las Vegas, Nevada spousal visa lawyer. Everyone's situation is unique, and a skilled attorney will prevent your applications being rejected due to avoidable mistakes.  

Supporting documentation for spousal visas:

In addition to completing the proper marriage visa forms and paying the filing fee (discussed in the next question), petitioners are required to submit all of the following materials to the USCIS:

  • Two completed originals of USCIS Form G-325A--biographical information (one of for the petitioner and one for the spouse), and
  • A copy of the petitioner's civil marriage certificate, and
  • A copy of all divorce or annulment decrees and death certificates that prove any previous marriages of either the petitioner or spouse have ended, and
  • Passport style photos of both the petitioner and spouse, and
  • Any evidence of any name changes by the petitioner or spouse (such as court judgments of name change)

Petitioners who are U.S. citizens must prove their citizenship by submitting a copy of either their:

  • U.S. passport, or
  • U.S. birth certificate, or
  • Consular report of birth abroad, or
  • Naturalization certificate, or
  • Certificate of citizenship

Petitioners who are green card holders (permanent residents) must demonstrate their status with of a copy of either their:

  • green card (front and back), or
  • foreign passport bearing stamp showing temporary evidence of permanent residence

Interview for marriage visa applicants:

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Spousal visa applications in Nevada require proof of marriage.

Once the documentation has been processed, a USCIS officer will conduct an interview with the applicant. This interview is meant to establish the legitimacy of the marriage and show that the applicant is not attempting to obtain the visa through misrepresentation or fraud. (Learn more about the visa interview process.)

3. What does it cost to get a "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa"?

The fee for filing Form I-130 to get a spousal visa is $535 If the petitioner also has to file Form I-485 to adjust status, he/she has to pay an additional filing fee of $1,140.

Payment can be made by a United States check or money order made out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security". Do not abbreviate.3

4. Can I drop off my "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa" application at the local USCIS field office in Las Vegas, Nevada?

No, the Las Vegas immigration office does not receive marriage visa applications. Nevada petitioners must mail spousal visa applications to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox. The address depends on which mail service is used, and whether the petitioner is also submitting an application to adjust status...

Nevada petitioners submitting only Form 1-130 to get a spousal visa should mail the application to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox.4 If the petitioner is using the U.S. Postal Service, the mailing address is:

USCIS

ATTN: 1-130

P.O. Box 21700

Phoenix, AZ 85036

The Express Mail or commercial carrier address:

USCIS

ATTN: I-1301

820 E. Skyharbor Circle S., Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Meanwhile, Nevada petitioners who are submitting both Form I-130 for a spousal visa and Form I-485 to adjust status should mail the application to USCIS Chicago Lockbox. If the petitioner is using the U.S. Postal Service, the address is:

USCIS

P.O Box 805997

Chicago, IL 60680-4120

But if the petitioner is using Express Mail or a commercial carrier, the address is:

USCIS

ATTN: FBAS131

South Dearborn - 3rd floor

Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Applicants are encouraged not to attempt to fill out and submit immigration forms on their own without experienced Las Vegas spousal visa attorneys. Everyone's situation is unique, and a skilled Las Vegas spousal visa lawyer will prevent your applications being rejected due to avoidable mistakes.  

5. How long does it take to get a "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa"?

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Spousal visas in Nevada take up to a year to process if not longer.

After the USCIS receives and approves the petition for a marriage visa, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). Here, the petition will be given a case number and NVC will begin pre-processing the petition by notifying the parties involved.

Every case is different, but this process usually takes several months to a year. Petitioners can check the status of their spousal visa application at the USCIS "My Case Status" Page.5

6. Who is eligible for "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visas"?

In general, any married U.S. citizen or green card holder is eligible to get a spousal immigrant visa for his/her alien spouse. But people may be disqualified from obtaining spousal visas if evidence shows they have a sham marriage or got married in order to expedite immigration to the U.S. Standards may be especially high for couples married in Las Vegas, which is known for quickie marriages.

Specifically, the USCIS may deny spousal visas under either of the following four circumstances:

1. The petitioner or his/her spouse were not both physically present at their marriage ceremony, and the marriage was not consummated.

OR

2. It has been legally determined that the petitioner's spouse has attempted or conspired to marry in order to evade immigration laws.

OR

3. The petitioner became a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. by a previous marriage, unless

  • At least five (5) years have elapsed since the petitioner became a lawful permanent resident; or
  • The petitioner can establish by clear and convincing evidence that this prior marriage was not entered into to evade immigration laws; or
  • The petitioner's prior marriage ended by the former spouse's death.

OR

4. The petitioner married his/her spouse while this spouse was the subject of a deportation, removal, exclusion, or rescission proceeding (or judicial review) regarding his/her right to remain in the U.S. unless:

  • The petitioner proves by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage is legally valid where it took place, and
  • The petitioner and his/her spouse married in good faith and not for immigration purposes, and
  • The petitioner was not given money to apply for a spousal visa

or

  • The petitioner's spouse has lived outside the U.S. after the marriage for at least 2 years
Hands_20ring_20money_20cash
Some people enter sham marriages in attempt to procure spousal visas so they can live in the U.S.

Note that spousal visas are not available to couples who are living together without being married. But common law spouses can qualify for spousal visas depending on the laws of the country where the common law marriage occurred. Also note that only the first legal spouse in a polygamous marriage can qualify for a spousal visa.

Finally, note that there is no limit to the amount of spousal visas extended to spouses of U.S. citizens, but there is a limit to the number of spousal visas extended to spouses of permanent residents.6

7. Can newlyweds get "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visas"?

Yes, but special rules apply. The petitioner's spouse will get permanent resident status on a conditional basis if they were married less than two (2) years by the time the spousal visa is issued...

In order to remove this conditional status, both the petitioner and spouse must submit UCSIC Form I-751--Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence prior to the 90-day expiration date on the conditional resident card. Otherwise, the spouse will lose his/her resident status and could be removed from the U.S.7

8. Can military spouses get "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visas"?

Spouses of U.S. military members may be eligible not only for marriage visas but also for expedited naturalization as full-fledged U.S. citizens. Military spouses can be naturalized even if they live overseas. Learn more about naturalization.8

9. Can people in same-sex marriages get "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visas"?

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Gay spouses are equally as entitled to spousal visas as are straight spouses in Nevada.

Yes. Spousal visas are available to people in both gay or straight marriages. There is no additional application paperwork or different review standards. See our article on same-sex marriage visas.9

10. Can my spouse live in the U.S. while the "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa" petition is pending?

Yes, but only under the following conditions:

  • The petitioner is a U.S. citizen, and
  • The petitioner's spouse applies for a "non-immigrant K-3 visa" after filing the spousal visa application. 

The application for a "non-immigrant K-3 visa" is USCIS Form I-129F. There is no extra filing fee while the spousal visa application is pending. (It is recommended that petitioners read the Instructions for USCIS Form I-129F.)

Note that it is not required that petitioners' spouses apply for a K-3 visa and live in the U.S. Foreigner spouses may wait abroad while the spousal visa application is processing.10

11. Can I appeal if my "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa" application is rejected?

Yes. The denial letter will outline how and when to file an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.11

12. If my spouse gets a "spousal IR-1 / CR-1 visa," can our children live in the U.S. as well?

Probably, but there are exceptions...

Ideally, petitioners should simultaneously file separate I-130 forms for every relative they want to bring to the U.S., including children. (Note that U.S. citizens can petition for both their unmarried and married children to get visas. But permanent residents can petition only for their unmarried children to get visas.)

But if a spouse obtains permanent residency through a spousal visa and his/her children still do not have permanent residency, these children may still be able to obtain green cards themselves without filing separate I-130 applications. This is called "follow-to-join" benefits.12 Contact the National Visa Center (NVC) for more information at NVCInquiry@state.gov or by mail to:

National Visa Center

ATTN: WC

32 Rochester Ave.

Portsmouth, NH 03801-2909.

While a I-130 form is pending, children of non-citizen spouses may be able to reside in the U.S. under a K-4 visa. Learn more about K-4 visa applications. (For information on the children of fiancé(e)s immigrating to America, see our article on K-2 visas in Nevada.)

Note that in some circumstances, the Child Status Protection Act may allow children with pending visas to stay in the U.S. even if they turn 21 while the visa is pending.

13. Can my overseas fiancé(e) become a permanent resident?

Possibly. See our article on fiancé(e) visa laws.13

14. When can my spouse become a U.S. citizen?

See our article on Naturalization laws.14

Seeking a "spousal visa" in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas immigration attorneys...

Help-support-call-us
Call 702-333-3673 for a Nevada immigration law attorney.

If you are married to someone who is not a U.S. citizen, our experienced Las Vegas NV immigration attorneys may be able to pave his/her way to permanent residence. Applying for a spousal visa can be very confusing, but we make the process as quick and painless as possible. Please call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to schedule a FREE consultation to discuss how we can fight to bring your spouse home to you.

Go to our Nevada visa law main page and our article on spousal visas in California?


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