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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawHow Does Pregnancy Impact a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa Application?

How Does Pregnancy Impact a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa Application?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Immigrant spouse visas; specifically the IR-1 and CR-1 categories.  For those who are unaware, IR-1 refers to Immediate Relative immigrant spouse or Conditional Resident (CR-1) which also pertains to an Immigrant spouse. The difference here comes down to how long the given couple have been married at the time of entry to the United States. The Immigrant spouse visas, both the CR-1 and the IR-1 confer Immigrant status upon entry into the United States and issuance of what's called an I-551 stamp therein. 

That being said, more to the point with respect to this video, we are talking about pregnancy. This comes up a couple of times a year. I will get an email from a client. Basically we are usually midway through the processing of the marriage visa case and I get an email that says "Hey guess what? My wife's pregnant".  In most of these cases, we are dealing with a foreign female and an American male generally speaking and the foreign female has become pregnant during the processing of the case or sometimes immediately prior to the petition being filed.  My immediate response to that as is I think fairly normal, "Congratulations, that's great.  You're adding to your family."

That being said, the ramifications from that with respect to the Immigration implications are twofold or I should say somewhat bifurcated in a way. There is a kind of a dichotomy associated here. 1. On the factual side it only goes to bolster the bona fides of a given relationship.  You have become pregnant or happen to have a child during the course of the processing of a given visa case, that only goes to show that obviously the marriage is more bona fide; there is just one more piece of evidence in favor of the bona fides of a given relationship.  Further it should be noted the existence of a pregnancy or even a subsequent American citizen child born abroad to this foreign spouse, really has no bearing with respect to Legal grounds of inadmissibility in a given case and I often see situations where we have legal grounds of inadmissibility, waiveable grounds oftentimes, where I'll basically have the American spouse to say to me "well she has had an American citizen child. Doesn't that factor in to findings on legal grounds of inadmissibility?" In point of fact "NO". The adjudication by Consular Officers at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad, they're looking at that immigrant or proposed immigrant specifically. It is irrelevant whether that person is pregnant.  It is irrelevant whether that person has had a child.  They are simply looking at that person's history and whether or not they're eligible as a visa applicant to receive a visa to the United States. So if there's a prior criminal history involved in the underlying facts of that given case, the fact that there's a pregnancy or subsequently a born child associated with that marriage that will not have anything to do with mitigating those legal grounds of inadmissibility in and of itself.  It might go evidentiarily toward a later waiver or something but even that's a totally different issue. 

The thing to take away from this video is pregnancy or a child, "yes it is one more piece of evidence to support the bona fides factually of a given marriage but it doesn't have anything to do with findings of legal grounds of inadmissibility by a Consular officer at a US Consulate or Embassy outside the United States.