IR-1 Visa Category
Another way to sponsor the immigration of a foreign spouse is through the IR-1 visa petitions. Under the IR visa category, other immediate relatives of the qualified sponsor can be petitioned to immigrate to the US.
Who can qualify for an IR visa petition?
A US citizen or a legal permanent resident can file a petition for IR visa to an immediate relative who can be one of the following:
- Legally wedded more than two years
- Children below 21 years old
The qualifications are as follows to become a sponsor for IR-1 visa:
- Must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident in the US
- Must meet the financial requirements following the Poverty Guidelines
- Must be at least 18 years old for IR-1 and IR-3; at least 21 years old for IR-5 petitions.
- Must have permanent residence (domicile) in the US
The immediate relative/s can be eligible for the IR-1 visa petition when they meet the following requirements:
- Spouse (IR-1)
- A legal marriage certificate is required to be presented
- Must be able to show proof of on-going long term marital relationship with the US citizen petitioner.
- Children (IR-3)
- Must be below 21 years old
- Single or unmarried
- Parents (IR-5)
- Must be the legitimate parent of a qualified IR sponsor who is 21 years old and above.
IR Application Process
It takes roughly 6 months to a year, on average, before the IR petition is approved from the filing date until the issuance, given that all required documents are timely provided. Here is an overview of the process for IR applications:
- The US citizen sponsor initially files the IR petition with the USCIS.
- The National Visa Center receives notification of approval of the petition.
- The National Visa Center then instructs both the petitioner and the IR applicant to submit the processing fees.
- After the processing fees are settled, the petitioner and the IR applicant are informed by the NVC about the required documents to be prepared and submitted.
- The applicant and the petitioner needs to provide all the required documents in a timely manner to avoid any delay on the application.
In addition, all biographical data that will be obtain during the process must be accurate and complete. There are occasions when the NVC will request for additional documents, and make sure to respond in a timely manner.