US Citizen’s Guide to Immigrating a Brazilian Spouse

This post will discuss the Spousal Immigrant Visas available for a Brazilian Spouse, know as the:

  • CR-1 Conditional Immediate Relative based on a marriage less than 2 years old
  • IR-1 Immediate Relative based on a marriage more than 2 years old

This Post will not cover the K-3 Immigrant Visa, due to the low approval rating (i.e. less than a dozen worldwide). A Related Post can be found here.

If you have not yet married your Brazilian Fiance/Girlfriend/Boyfriend, then our guide for Brazilian Fiances may be helpful: K-1 Fiance Visa: Brazilian Fiance

In order to make navigation easier, the following items can be clicked for a drop-down to occur:

– What Documents are required?

Our office has an Immigration Checklist here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration-checklist/

– Are there any Consular Interview instructions?

The Consulate in Rio de Janeiro provides the following instructions for consular interviews: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Supplements/Supplements_by_Post/RDJ-Rio-de-Janeiro.html

– Why can’t I have the Immigrant Interview in Brazilia, Porto Alegre, Recife, or Sao Paulo?

Only the US Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has an Immigrant Visa Division. Green Card Visas or Spousal Visas, even Fiance Visas, are Immigrant Visas that MUST be done in Rio de Janeiro. The other locations can assist with other services like tourist visas.

Brazil Birth Certificate Guidance:

Brazilian Birth Certificate for US Immigration Purposes

 

– What if a filing is already submitted, and taking too long, how can the average processing time be checked?

The below blog post helps locate the USCIS Tool to see up-to-date processing times. If a filing is taking too long, it is best to see if it is processing at the same pace as others.

How do I check USCIS processing times?

– What if there is a baby, child, newborn of a US Citizen?

Many believe the baby or newborn would need a visa to enter the US. However, any children of US Citizens may already be US Citizens and should use a US Passport for travel.

The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) Process (More info found here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/children-born-abroad-how-to-get-citizenship-from-parents/) registers the birth at the US Embassy in Brasilia and Consulates and provides the US Citizen child a US Passport, a US Social Security Card, and a proof of US Citizenship in the form of a CRBA Certificate that will never expire.

– Can a Spouse or Fiance just use a Tourist Visa and do Adjustment of Status in the US to get a Green Card?

Technically, No! A Tourist Visa is for a temporary visit to the US, and if avoidable, a Tourist Visa should not be used to permanently move to the US.

What if the Tourist Visa was used?

The Foreign Fiance or Spouse would experience many months of “waiting.” Adjustment of Status is slow, anywhere from 3 months to 3 years depending on the state. A long wait time, not having a driver’s license, and not being able to work can make the “VISA USAGE” undesirable compared to just entering the US with a Green Card Visa.

Additionally, use of a “non-immigrant travel item” is 100% polar opposite to “immigration.” The US Government can bar and punish the misuse of a Tourist Visa or ESTA, a non-immigrant item, when someone intends to Immigrate. CR-1/IR-1 and K-1 are immigration visas.

More info can be found here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/consular-processing/tourist-visa-and-esta-vwp-consular-processing-versus-adjustment-of-status/


The IR-1 / CR-1 Spousal Immigrant Visa is the visa that would allow a Brazilian spouse to immigrate to the United States. The process involves two main stages.

  • In the first stage, the filing will be reviewed and approved by USCIS.
  • Once it is approved, the filing will enter stage 2 where it is transferred to the NVC and then subsequently to the Consulate in Rio de Janeiro.

For a more detailed overview of this type of filing and what it entails please refer to the steps below:

  1. Part 1 – Petition to Recognize the Relationship – Submit the I-130 Electronically with USCIS (Related Blog Post found here)
  2. Part 2 – USCIS Processing – I-130 Pending awaiting a USCIS Officer to review the filing and supporting documents (Processing times Post found here)
  3. Part 3 – NVC Processing – Visa fees are paid, DS-260 completed, and supporting documents uploaded.
  4. Part 4 – Consulate Interview – NVC provides the Rio de Janerio Interview day and time, the Consulate Account would be Registered, the Immigrant Medical Performed, Documents prepared, and Interview Attended.
  5. Part 5 – Arrive to the US – Pay Immigrant Fee, Fly to the United States, Apply/Receive US Social Security Card, and Receive Green Card in the mail within 4 months after entry.

Average Processing Time: 10 to 12 months (with the bulk of processing time spent in the I-130 Petition)

Estimated Government Cost: $1185 or $1200

The I-864 Affidavit of Support will be assessed according to the I-864P (Link found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-864p). If you do not overcome the I-864P Poverty Level, then Assets would be required (Asset Explanation found here), or a Co-Sponsor would be required (Co-Sponsor found here).

What is the Difference of a CR-1 or IR-1 Visa? When the couple has been married for less than 2 years at time of interview (not when you enter the US or are admitted), then a CR-1 Visa would be issued, conditioning the residence to a 2-year Green Card and requiring an I-751 thereafter. (More information found here) If the marriage is more than 2 years at time of interview, then an IR-1 Visa would be issued and a subsequent Green Card would be valid for 10 years.


If you require assistance with the Spousal or Fiance Visa process, please consider contacting our office to set up a consultation with our Immigration Attorney.

 

 

 

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