How long does it take to get a CR1 visa?


Currently, as of 2021, the average timeline from the initial application to the time the visa is granted is 10 months or more.

The time can be shorter or longer depending on your situation. Please keep in mind all our timelines are rearward looking, meaning we can only give an estimate of approvals we see currently. We cannot guarantee your timeline, and only provide this as a general estimate based on averages.

Some of the factors that can affect your timeline are:

  • The foreign spouse’s home country
  • Whether the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder
  • The current USCIS and NVC workload
  • The quality of the petition you submit
  • Policy changes
  • Natural disasters/war/terrorism

1. Notice of Action 1: 1-2 Weeks

After you file Form I-130 (“Petition for Alien Relative”), you will get notification that USCIS has received it (NOA1/Notice of Action 1).

2. Notice of Action 2: 6-8 Months

Quite likely the most frustrating wait. This is the time between USCIS receipt and approval.

3. National Visa Center Notice: 3-6 Weeks

When your case moves to the National Visa Center.

4. Embassy Phase: 1-3 Months

When your case moves to the local U.S. Embassy.

5. Visa Granted: 2-10 Days

The time after approval until you get the visa in-hand.

6. Green Card: 2-6 Weeks

The time it takes for your green card to arrive, after you've entered the U.S.

Factors That Can Affect Your Timeline

Originating Country

Some countries have longer processes that can be brought on by the local embassy workload, conflicts in the area, or other unexpected delays.

Requests for Evidence (RFE)

The most common delays are brought on by RFEs. The vast majority of these can be avoided if your petition is assembled professionally.

USCIS Workload

In the past, influxes of USCIS workload have affected overall timelines. This could be brought on by changes in immigration processes or policies.

Quality of Your Petition

Petitions that are easy to move through and approve tend to get approved faster.

Natural Disasters, War, Terrorism

Events such as these are out of your control and can cause unexpected delays.