Home > Other Visas > A Comprehensive Guide on IR-1 Visa – Application Process

A Comprehensive Guide on IR-1 Visa – Application Process

ir 1 visa application process

United States being the richest and the most powerful country in the world it is natural to attract people from various other nations. There are millions of people trying to immigrate to US through different routes. We in here have explained many such ways where one could easily become a US green card holder. Today in here we will be discussing one such way where one could immigrate to US legally. This is an extension to our previous article- how to get greencard through marriage . So, kindly go through our previous article to get a clear view on the topic.

What is IR-1 Stamp on Passport ?

It is quite normal for a foreign citizen to marry a citizen but it comes with certain perks. As per the rule of the land spouse of any American citizen is eligible to become a greencard holder. A greencard fetches you almost all rights, i.e you will be eligible to get insurance and social security number.  IR – 1 Visa is nothing but immediate relative spouse visa which is granted to immediate spouse after a period of 2 years. This grants them permanent status in the US.

USCIS issues two type of visas when you apply for Greencard through marriage, The first type of visa is CR-1 which is a conditional visa and has got a time period of expiry while IR-1 is not and has a longer period of expiry.

Eligiblity for Obtaining IR – 1 Visa

All legally married couples where one of the spouse is an american citizen can apply for IR-1 Visa.  There are few other criterias to be satisfied for getting IR-1 Visa.

Couples Should Be Legally Married

Reports of staged marriage is quite common in the United States as people are desperate to get a greencard status. Majority of those will get caught and will result in immediate ban or other legal proceedings. So, while applying for IR-1 make sure you have all legal documents with you. The couples should be able to submit any documents asked. Normally, the visa officer asks for marriage photographs, videos and Government issued marriage certificates. Please note that live-in relationships or simply staying together are not considered legal marriages under U.S. laws and regulations.

Either of the Spouse Should be a Legal American Citizen

One of the two should be a legal american citizen who is holding a permanent residential address in any of the states. In addition to that he/she should be financially sound to sponsor the forreign spouse.

These are some of the basic eligiblity criteria to be met while applying for IR-1 Visa.

How To Apply For an IR – 1 Visa?

If you have met all the eligiblity criterias mentioned above, you are good to apply for IR-1 Visa and there is a fair chance for you to get through the visa process. Let’s now have a look at How to apply for IR-1 Visa?

It is not that difficult to apply for an IR-1 visa as it sounds. Follow the below mentioned steps for applying IR-1 Visa.

Filing the Petiton

IR -1 Visa cannot be applied directly like any other normal US Visa. Before applying for the visa, you will have to file a petiton with the department of immigration. The petiton has to be submitted by your US Spouse who is going to sponsor.

Applying for IR-1 Visa

Once your petiton is accepted you can start the application process. Since there is no cap in IR-1 Visa there won’t be any waiting time for your application. The application has to be done at the nearest US embassy.

File DS-260 Form

DS 260 is most important document which should be filed with any US Visa. We have given a detailed information on how to file DS-260 form, kindly go through the article before filing DS-260. DS-260 is the most important part of your visa application so due care should be given while filing out the form.

Get yourself Checked and Vaccinated

When it comes to health standards, US is pretty straight and strict. NVC will be providing a package which will be having a detailed list of medical checkups which has to be done prior before taking your dream flight.

IR-1 Visa Interview

Like DV lottery, IR-1 visa would also be having an interview with an embassy officer. Once the application is submitted, USCIS will be scheduling your interview at US embassy in your country. IR-1 Visa interview is much relaxed than DV lottery interview, If all the relevant documents has been filed then the chance of getting through wil be high.

Once your visa application is approved, you will be receiving a NVC package. Don’t open the package when your receive as this could jeopardize your chances. Only designated USCIS officers are allowed to open the package as the final decision on your citizenship status depends on them.

How To Convert IR-1 Visa to Greencard?

Well, it is quite easy to convert IR-1 Visa to a greencard as you have already proved the legitmacy of your marriage. For converting IR-1 Visa to a greencard you have to file a petiton with USCIS and be present in the united states for a particular period of time.  Then you can change the status by filing another application I-548 form. After verifing all the submitted documents, Visa officer would be stamping you as a greencard holder.


IR-1 Visa can be tricky at times, well I have tried to explain everything in the easiest way possible. If you are still having doubts regarding any of the above mentioned steps kindly do share your doubts under the comment section. I’ll try to solve your doubts at the earliest.

Nithin Upendran
27 years old small town guy who have spend 5+ years researching on how to immigrate to US and Canada. As an avid learner, you will find here some well researched comprehensive guides on immigration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *