THE SPOUSAL’S VISA
The spousal visa (AKA IR1 and CR1) starts with the filing of an I-130 petition for alien relative and supporting documents. 1-2 weeks after sending in the completed petition, the petitioner should receive form I-797 NOA1 (Notice of Action, receipt). About 1-3 months later, they should receive NOA2, approval notice. At this point, the petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH.
The first thing the NVC does is assign a case number. This will start with MNL, then a 10 digit number will follow. NVC will then send an affidavit of support bill to the petitioner, and once paid the petitioner can then submit the I-864 affidavit of support, and the alien will receive the visa bill ($325). The petitioner will send back the completed I-864, and the visa bill needs to be paid. Then the DS260 online visa application is completed, and once all is received by NVC and approved the NVC will set an interview date and forward the entire petition to Manila.
A week or so before the interview, the applicant will attend the medical exam at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic in Manila. At the medical, they are mostly looking for dangerous communicable diseases, such as TB or HIV, and evidence of prostitution or drug use. The medical will generally take two days, and St. Luke’s will provide a CD to the applicant to take with them to the Embassy. Next, the much-dreaded interview.
In reality, this much-dreaded interview is one of the easiest steps, provided all paperwork is in order. Most interviews last less than 5 minutes and consist of 3-7 questions, mostly about relationship and paperwork issues.
The Government based fees for spousal visa are;
Filing fee $535
Visa fee $325
AOS review fee $125
Medical exam P17,025
Visa issuance fee $200
Our fee for full service processing of a spousal visa is $500, payable in two installments if you wish, half up front, half when NOA2 approval notice is issued.
When the applicant enters the US on a spousal visa the green card and SS card are already processed and will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. If the couple has been married two years or more at the time of entry a 10 year permanent resident green card (IR1) will be granted. If the couple has been married less than two years at the time of entry a conditional resident (CR1) 2-year green card will be granted.
The spousal visa filed stateside takes 6-10 months depending on which service center you must use IF all paperwork is in order and there are no glitches along the way. Although this can be a very stressful and trying time, we strive to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for our clients.
Right now you are probably thinking this is all very confusing, and it certainly can be, especially since practices and procedures change regularly. However, we always have cases at every stage of the process, so we are the first to know about new changes and policies. This assures our clients of the minimum amount of confusion and stress, and the fastest of processing times currently available.