High Priority? CR1 Spousal Petitions

K1 fiancé visas have been designated as high priority. What about CR1 spouse visas, are they high priority too? Are they being ignored? What’s going on with my CR1 visa application?

The CR1 is the spouse visa for individuals who are married to United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. The K1 fiancé visa is for individuals who are engaged to a United States citizen.

Earlier in 2020, there was a presidential proclamation suspending the entry of certain individuals from entering into the United States. That proclamation had certain exceptions and among those exceptions were exceptions for individuals who are married to a United States citizen and going through the CR1 process.

The issue with the proclamation was that it didn’t actually provide any clarity or specifications for the K1 fiancé visa. There was a lot of uncertainty at US embassies and consulates about whether or not fiancé visas were allowed to be scheduled for interviews. But they weren’t scheduling interviews anyway because of COVID.

The presidential proclamation didn’t provide any clarity about whether or not the K1 visa was an exception to be allowed for individuals to be scheduled for interviews and to enter the United States. There was an announcement in August 2020 that clarified fiancé visas are also an exception. They can still be scheduled for interviews.

Read: Important Notice for K Visa Applicants

There was so much confusion over the original proclamation about whether or not CR1s were included. The Department of State made the announcement that US embassies and consulates can schedule K1 visas for interviews and they should be considered high priority.

Because that special announcement was made for fiancé visas and not for CR1s, there’s a lot of confusion that individuals who are going through the I-130 process that they are somehow not considered a priority. The reality is that they are too even though there hasn’t been a specific announcement saying that CR1 spousal petitions are a high priority.

They’re not prioritizing fiancé visas over marriage petitions and they’re not prioritizing marriage-based cases CR1s over K1s. The US embassies and consulates are trying to prioritize everyone and the first priority is individuals who had interviews that were canceled and then they will go down the line.

Unfortunately, a lot of US embassies and consulates are closed or they have limited interviews. The pain point is that even though CR1s and K1s can be scheduled for an interview, there’s just limited interview availability.

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