IR1 versus CR1 Spouse Visa

What is the difference between a CR1 and an IR1?

Many individuals are led to believe that these are two separate paths and that they need to pick. For many couples who are starting out in their immigration journey, you might have a few different options available to you and it becomes overwhelming. Don’t worry, you don’t have to choose one of these paths.

The IR1 and CR1 visas are the same things. For individuals who are married to a lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen, they’re eligible to complete a process called a spouse visa.


For individuals who are married less than two years at the time they receive their green card, their green card will say CR1, which means conditional resident. Immigration will put conditional resident for individuals who’ve been married less than two years at the time they received their green card because immigration wants to check in with these individuals around two years later to collect additional relationship evidence and make sure that that couple is still in a relationship still in love.

They just see it as a red flag if an individual completes the process in less than that time. Don’t worry, it’s not something bad if your green card says CR1. It just means you finished your process in less than two years of being married. Later on, three months before your two-year mark, you have to check in with immigration and they’ll send you a notification letting you know this.


The IR1 is the category immigration puts on the green card for individuals who have been married more than two years at the time they receive their green card. An IR1 essentially means immediate relative and that green card is a 10-year green card.

There is not a separate process for these two different types of categories. It’s just a matter of how long you’ve been married at the time you received your green card. If you receive your green card less than two years of marriage, you’ll receive that notation on your card that says CR1, conditional resident, and your green card will be valid for two years because you need to do that check-in.

If you’ve been married for more than two years, your green card will say IR1 and it will be a 10-year green card and you will not have to do that check-in with immigration.

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