What’s the time difference for processing between a green card holder and a US citizen [sponsor] for a CR1 spousal visa?
On average, you’re looking at about eight to ten months if you’re a US citizen applying for a CR1 visa. If you’re a lawful permanent resident or a green card holder, you’re looking at somewhere around two years or longer. One reason estimating an accurate timeline is difficult is because, if you look on the USCIS website at their processing centers, and they have multiple processing centers which all list different time frames.
They also have a website and a spreadsheet with different family categories and you can go down through the categories and see where the priority dates are. But right now, I’m just giving our average, which is subject to change, and frequently does. The one consistent fact is that if you’re a legal permanent resident sponsoring an alien spouse, your timeline will be significantly longer.
Because of this timeline disparity if you’re close to getting your citizenship, it may be to your advantage to naturalize before sponsoring your alien spouse to avoid the extended timeline.