Immigration Advice Service
03334149244 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

20 offices in the UK

Menu

We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 7000 applications approved
We are now open 7 days a week from 8.30 am to 6 pm.
4.7 rating 2649 reviews

Spouse Visa USA for Nigerians

A spouse visa allows foreign nationals married to US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to live and work in the US as permanent residents. As such, they are allowed to travel outside the US as well.

For more information about the different types of US spouse visa, including their respective eligibility criteria, required documentation and application processes, and to receive expert advice from a team of professional immigration lawyers, reach out to us today. We have an office in Nigeria as well as a team in the US to help you guide through the process. Call us on +23413438882 or on +44 (0) 3316300929.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Looking Forward to Joining your Spouse in the US?

    We have successfully helped numerous Nigerians get reunited with their spouses in the US. If you need assistance with your Spouse Visa application, we can guide you through the eligibility requirements and support you along the way. Let us handle all the intricacies and make your application process as stress-free as possible.

    Nigerian Emigration

    For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929

    Other Immigration and Emigration Matters

    For immigration/emigration to/from other countries, please call:

    US –  +1 844 290 6312

    Ireland –  (+353) 061 518 025

    UK –  (+44) 333 4149244

    EXCELLENT
    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 2649 reviews
    Reviews.io Logo

    What is the US Spouse Visa?

    Foreign nationals married to US citizens and LPRs (also referred to as Green Card holders) can apply to enter the US as permanent residents by applying for either a CR1 (Conditional Resident) visa or an IR1 (Immediate Relative) visa.

    Both CR1 and IR1 visas are immigrant visas, and bestow permanent resident status on the visa holders. Hence, these immigrant visa holders can live and work in the US, as well as travel outside the US.

    US citizens may also consider applying for a K3 visa for their foreign national spouses. The K3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which will allow your spouse to stay in the US while awaiting the approval for their immigrant visa (i.e. CR1 or IR1) to be approved.

    However, K3 visa processing time may be equal to or even higher than that of the CR1 or IR1 visa. Given that, most couples do not opt for it.

    Please consider seeking professional advice whether the K3 visa option is suitable in your immigration situation. We have an office in Nigeria as well as a team in the US. If you would like to speak to an immigration expert, call us on +23413438882 or on +44 (0) 3316300929.

    CR1 and IR1 Visas

    Overview

    If you are married to a US citizen or LPR for less than two years, your spouse visa (often referred to as a marriage-based Green Card) will be granted on a ‘conditional’ basis.

    You must live in the US for two years after entering the country before your permanent residency status is fully granted.

    Apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with your US citizen or LPR spouse to remove the conditional status on your spouse visa within 90 days before the two-year anniversary of your entry into the US. This is the date of expiration on your Green Card.

    Once your permanent residency status is fully granted, you will receive your updated 10-year Permanent Resident Card.

    IR1 Visa

    If you are married to a US citizen or LPR for two or more years, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency in the US immediately after entering the country.

    IR1 visa holders don’t need to remove conditions from their Green Cards since there are no conditions to remove. They will be granted permanent residency for 10 years before they need to renew their Green Card.

    Our team of immigration experts can guide you through the H2B Visa application process, Contact Us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Eligibility Criteria for US Spouse Visa

      Legal Status of Your Marriage

      To be eligible for a CR1 or IR1 visa, you need to be a legally married husband or wife to a US citizen or LPR. A valid marriage certificate will be required during the visa application process.

      From the immigration law perspective, merely living together without being legally married will not qualify for a marriage-based Green Card.

      USCIS is particularly watchful for immigration fraud, hence you may need to prove the authenticity of your marriage with further evidence such as photos or flight itineraries.

      Common-law marriages, i.e. where a man and woman agree to enter into marriage without a civil or a religious ceremony, may or may not be recognised as legal marriages for immigration purposes. This actually depends on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs.

      Finally, in case of a polygamous marriage, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration to the US.

      Minimum Age Requirement for US Citizen or LPR

      A US citizen or LPR doesn’t have to be of a certain age to file a petition for a spouse.

      However, a CR1/IR1 application requires that they pledge to financially support their spouse to come to the US, and sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ) to that effect. To sign the affidavit, the US citizen or LPR must be at least 18 years of age.

      Domicile Requirement for US Citizen or LPR

      As a US sponsor/petitioner for their spouses, US citizens or LPRs are also required to maintain their ‘domicile’ or principal residence in the US.

      If they live abroad, they may still be eligible to be a sponsor if they can prove that their residence outside the US is temporary, and that they still have domicile status in the US.

      Financial Means Requirement for US Citizen or LPR

      A US citizen or LPR sponsoring their spouses for a CR1/IR1 visa must show that their household income is equal to or higher than 125% of the US poverty level for their respective household size. Typically, your household size includes you, your dependents, any relatives living with you, and the immigrants you are sponsoring.

      The requirement is 100% if the concerned US citizen or LPR is on active duty in the US Armed Forces.

      Cash value of the sponsor’s assets (e.g. money in savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and property) may also be considered if they fail to meet the above prescribed levels of earned income.

      If the sponsor cannot meet the minimum income requirements, they must seek a ‘joint sponsor’, or a ‘substitute sponsor’ in case of a deceased visa petitioner.

      Sponsoring your spouse seeking immigrant visa to the US comes with its own complex clauses as well as their exemptions. The Affidavit of Support is a legally enforceable contract, and you may need professional advice to understand the various aspects of this sponsoring requirement.

      Do reach out to our Nigeria team on +23413438882 today or call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 if you would like to consult with an experienced immigration expert before signing the Affidavit of Support.

      US Spouse Visa Application Process

      File the Petition

      Although CR1 or IR1 visas are sought for foreign nationals, the visa application process starts with a petition filed by their US citizen or LPR spouse to USCIS.

      If you are a US citizen whose Nigerian national spouse is already living in the US on a valid visa, you need to simultaneously file Form I-130 i.e. Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-485 i.e. Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.

      If you are an LPR and your Nigerian national spouse is already living in the US on a valid visa, please file Form I-130 first. Once a visa number is available, you can file Form I-485.

      The above process is called Adjustment of Status through Marriage.

      US citizens or LPRs with foreign national spouses living outside the US will need to file Form I-130. Post approval, it will be sent to their concerned US consulate or embassy for consular processing.

      If your status changes from LPR to US citizen after filing Form I-130, please upgrade the petition from Family Second preference (F2) to Immediate Relative (IR).

      Approval and Processing of the Petition

      If Form I-130 is approved by USCIS, it will go to the US Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.

      NVC will inform the foreign national spouse regarding the fees and required documentation. Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application) and Form DS-261 (Online Choice of Address and Agent) will need to be filled in and submitted online at this stage by the immigration applicant.

      Please note that Form DS-260 is the actual Green Card application while NVC asks you to fill Form DS-261 for your current contact details.

      After receiving your paperwork from the NVC, your concerned US embassy or consulate will inform you about the date, time and place of your visa interview. Consular services are offered at the US Embassy at Abuja and the US Consulate General Lagos Office.

      Pay the Visa Fees

      There are various fees and costs associated with the CR1/IR1 visa application process. As of June 2023, the fee for filing Form I-130 is $535 while the visa processing fee is $325.

      Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirement

      The immigrant visa applicant needs to undergo a medical examination and fulfil certain vaccination requirements before appearing for the visa interview.

      US embassies and consulates have their authorised panel physicians who will conduct the medical examination and also verify that the applicant has met the vaccination requirements.

      The visa applicant will need to bear the medical examination and vaccination costs which will vary from country to country.

      Arrange Required Documentation

      Please carry the necessary documents with you while going for the visa interview. You may need to show or submit them to the consular officer.

      Please consider seeking advice from an immigration specialist before attending your visa interview to ensure your paperwork is in order.

      Arranging for required documents can be made easier if an immigration specialist is there to guide you through the process. IAS has an application checking service where we check every detail of your application, ensuring all the required documentation and evidence is present. Call us today on +23413438882 or on +44 (0) 3316300929 to find out more.

      Timeline

      As of June 2023, the total wait time for a spouse visa averages about 15-17 months. If you are married to a US citizen, chances are you will get your Green Card faster than if you are married to an LPR.

      However, no one can predict how long it will take for your CR1/IR1 to be processed and approved. The timeline varies on a case-to-case basis and, at times, from country to country.

      To avoid any unnecessary delay caused by incomplete or incorrect paperwork on your part, it is very important to read through and follow instructions carefully.

      Our team is ready to provide the support you need throughout this journey. Contact Us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        Required Documents for US Spouse Visa

        Documents required during your visa interview include:

        • Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry in the US, unless longer validity is specifically requested by the concerned US embassy or consulate
        • Affidavit of Support from your US citizen or LPR spouse
        • Form DS-260
        • Two photos in prescribed format
        • Civil documents such as birth and marriage certificates, criminal records or conviction records (if any), police certificate and so on (both originals and photocopies)
        • Certified translations of all civil documents if they are not in English
        • Completed medical examination forms provided by the panel physician

        The above list is not exhaustive, and the consular officer may ask for more information during your visa interview.

        US Spouse Visa Denial or Refusal

        A spouse visa application runs the risk of visa refusal or denial due to various reasons including (but not limited to):

        • Insufficient or incorrect documentation
        • Failure to prove authenticity of marriage
        • Civil or criminal legal obstacles

        In case of missing or incorrect paperwork, the visa applicant is typically given 30-60 days to rectify the same. It is advised to take steps as soon as possible to avoid further delay in processing.

        Your CR1 or IR1 visa may still be denied even after rectifying the paperwork issue. The notice of denial sent to the applicant will mention the reason for denial.

        What If My Spouse Visa Is Denied or Refused?

        If your CR1 or IR1 visa has been denied, you can either appeal the denial decision through Form EOIR-29, or reapply for the I-130 visa, or file the visa request based on another alien category class. In any case, you need to take steps within 30 days of getting the denial.

        The appeal procedure is considered to be more challenging than the other two options. However, your specific case will be the ultimate guide of which route to take.

        If you miss the 30-day deadline, your case will be closed. This may have adverse effects on future petitions, so please consider engaging a professional immigration lawyer as soon as possible once you get the denial notice.

        Allow our team of legal experts to help you with the process of Spouse Visa USA for Nigerians Contact Us

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          How Can IAS Help?

          The US Spouse visa application is a complex and time-consuming process. It is of utmost importance to get the application filing process and required documentation right at the first try. A visa denial or refusal may have long-lasting consequences and act as a warning sign for any future visa applications to enter the US.

          Speak to IAS.

          We have an office in Nigeria as well as a team of lawyers in the US. Several Nigerian nationals have benefited so far from our expert assistance with their different types of US visa applications and immigration advice.

          Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers have the required expertise to assist you, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case.

          Whether you’re looking for assistance with the CR1 or IR1 visa, unsure of how to go through the application process, need more advice on how to arrange for the necessary documents to support your visa application, seeking professional help with regard to Adjustment of Status through Marriage, or simply need overall advice regarding your immigration case, we are ready to help you.

          We can also help if you need to apply for another similar type of visa based on your circumstances, such as a K3 visa, a K1 or what is commonly known as a Fiancé Visa, visa for your children, any other US visa on the basis of your personal or family life, or if you are looking for professional help with removal of conditions from a CR1 visa.

          To know more about the services we provide and how our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help you with your immigration case, please reach out to us today. Call our Nigeria team on +23413438882 or contact us on +44 (0) 3316300929.

          Advice Package icon

          Advice Package

          Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.

          Application Package icon

          Application Package

          We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.

          Fast Track Package icon

          Fast Track Package

          Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.

          Appeal Package icon

          Appeal Package

          Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.

          Advice Package image

          The Advice Package

          With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Advice Package
            Application Package image

            The Application Package

            Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Application Package
              Fast Track Package image

              The Fast Track Package

              Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Fast Track Package
                Appeal Package image

                The Appeal Package

                Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Request the Appeal Package

                  We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone. Learn more

                    Request a call back from our immigration experts

                    Related pages for your continued reading.

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    No, they cannot. There is a provision in the US immigration law for nonimmigrant (V) visas for spouses and children of Green Card holders. However, US embassies and consulates have not issued any V visas for several years since applicants with priority dates on or before 21 December 2000 were eligible to apply for immigrant visas.

                    Applying for an IR1 or CR1 visa to bring your foreign national spouse to the US is recommended instead if you are a Green Card holder.

                    Same-sex spouses of US citizens and LPRs are eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses.

                    If you are on an IR1 visa, a divorce should typically not have any impact on your Green Card renewal process.

                    In case of CR1 visa holders, having a divorce can lead to many complex issues. This is so because to remove the conditions from your Green Card after two years, you need to prove that you and your spouse are still married.

                    A waiver is available for CR1 visa holders who are getting a divorce or are already divorced, but you will have to satisfy USCIS that your marriage prior to the divorce was genuine and not the result of immigration fraud.

                    If the divorce resulted from your spouse’s actions (e.g. domestic abuse), you need to furnish evidence in support of that claim. Conversely, if the divorce was in consequence of your actions, please consider engaging an experienced immigration lawyer to represent your case.

                    A divorce during the application process for a spouse visa will stop the application process.

                    An analysis of current USCIS processing times data shows Fiancé Visa (K1 visa) processing time is greater than that of a spouse visa.

                    However, the timeline may vary based on your specific situation. Please consider seeking professional immigration advice before finalising on the visa type most suitable to your circumstances.

                    X