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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawUS Marriage Visa Processing Times CR-1, IR-1, K-3

US Marriage Visa Processing Times CR-1, IR-1, K-3

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we're going to be discussing marriage visas specifically the CR-1, IR-1 and the K-3 in the context of processing times.

Now the thing to take away from this video is I'm not going to tell you exactly how long a case is going to take; I am not even going to provide estimates. Those estimates can vary wildly. In the 90’s,  you had really seriously long lines with respect to US marriage visas, in the early 2000’s that was even the case. Even in the teens we've seen issues where you can see long processing times. I am not going to go into that.

What I want people to take away from this video is to understand that the various aspects of the process have their own inherent processing times so what I often see is people get the mistaken impression that when they go online and look at the processing time for an I-130 petition, which is the underlying petition for a CR-1 or an IR-1 visa, they seem to think that that visa is basically going to take 6 months because it says online “oh well currently the estimated processing time of an underlying petition is 6 months”, but DHS is not the end of the road in cases where you have a foreign spouse overseas, specifically here in Bangkok, Thailand, which is basically sort of where we do most of our case work although throughout the region we deal with cases, but here in Bangkok is where we deal with the Embassy first-hand the most or with the most frequency.

But the thing to take away from this is, okay, you have got Department of Homeland Security, you have got your petition approved; it happened in five months. The visa doesn't just magically appear out of the air. In fact that is far more to it. Unlike the K-1 fiancée visa process, the National Visa Center is a significant portion of the overall process for getting a spouse into the United States in marriage visa status. National Visa Center is essentially in a lot of ways, I won’t call them redundant, but they have a similar function in terms of document gathering but it is for Department of State rather than for the Department of Homeland Security. It can take a number of weeks to go ahead and process through National Visa Center and finally get the case moved over for interview at the US Embassy abroad. Once the case does go to interview at a US Embassy abroad, let's take for example Bangkok, Thailand, it is possible that further documentation may be required from the adjudicating Consular Officer after the interview. In that case, what is called a 221(g) Request for Further Documentation can be issued by that Officer and it can take a number of more weeks to go ahead and fully process the case on through.

So the thing I want folks to go ahead and take away from this video is you can't look at simply one aspect of the process. There's various government agencies involved in this and each one has their own inherent internal processing time or estimated processing guidelines but you have to put it all together in the aggregate to understand how long it is going to take from initial visa filing until final visa decision at the US Embassy abroad.