I am outside USA and I have marriage based immigrant visa issued on March,2019 and valid till September, 2019. My Immigrant visa sticker in my passport shows my Immigrant Visa Category as CR1. I was married on July, 2017 and I will enter US land on August, 2019 after completing 2 years of my marriage.

What I will get CR1 or IR1 visa ?

I mean the authorities will consider the entry date or visa type and issuance date as it is in the passport ?

2 Answers 2


You will not get any visa when you enter the US. The visa, which you already have, is the thing that allows you to enter the US. At the point of entry, it becomes a temporary I-551 (permanent resident card, commonly known as a "green card").

The question you want to ask is whether you will become a conditional permanent resident as described in 8 cfr 216 and 8 USC 1186a. The answer should be no if you indeed enter after your second wedding anniversary, even though you have a CR-1 visa instead of an IR-1 visa. See, for example, Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1): What Is Conditional Residence? on the State Department website, which says (emphasis added):

If you have been married for less than two years when your foreign citizen spouse enters the United States on an immigrant visa, his or her permanent resident status is considered “conditional.”

That page links to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage on the site of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which similarly says (emphasis added):

Your permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day you were given permanent residence. You are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or adjustment of your status to permanent residence.

The process is described in the (now obsolete) CBP inspectors' field manual. Despite its being obsolete, the relevant material (section 14.6) is still correct (emphasis added):

14.6 Conditional Residents.

Admission procedures for conditional immigrants (based on spouse or investment) are discussed in 8 CFR 235.11. Procedures are generally the same as for other immigrants, but in spouse cases, if the marriage upon which the visa is issued occurred more than 2 years prior to the date of admission, you must admit the alien unconditionally, regardless of the visa symbol on the immigrant visa. Conversely, if you encounter an immigrant visa classified as unconditional, where the qualifying marriage occurred less than 2 years before the date of admission, you must admit the immigrant conditionally.

  • Thank you very much for your professional and detailed answer. My worry that if the officer will stamp my passport as CR1 as it is mentioned in the visa type without considering the fact that I will enter US after 2 years on my marriage. Should I discuss with him/her this matter prior stamping my passport? or this kind of discussion might not be accepted by the officer? Thank you in advance.
    – Sam
    Jul 18, 2019 at 7:19
  • @Sam I don't have any direct experience with this; perhaps someone who does can answer. As I see it, if the officer doesn't mention it, you have two options for bringing it up: before he or she stamps the passport, or after. If you wait until after, the officer can probably cancel the first stamp and make a new one. If I were you I would mention it before, since that will be simpler. Asking that question should not cause any problems.
    – phoog
    Jul 18, 2019 at 13:35
  • @Sam: It's the category code and length of validity of your actual green card that really matters, not the entry stamp. You should remind the immigration officer at entry that you should be admitted as a non-conditional permanent resident, so that the officer enters the correct code into the system when ordering the green card. If the card comes with the wrong code, you can file I-90 to get it replaced without fee since it's the government's error, though this is a big hassle so hopefully they enter it correctly into the system when you enter.
    – user102008
    Jul 19, 2019 at 6:21

phoog's answer is correct -- it is decided based on whether you are married for 2 years on the date you become a permanent resident, i.e. the date you enter the US on your immigrant visa, or the date your Adjustment of Status is approved.

Here's an additional citation that you can enter as a non-conditional permanent resident even if you got a CR1 visa. The USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual chapter 25.1(a), at the bottom of subsection (a) (just before subsection (b)) is a note that says:


It is extremely important that inspectors and adjudicators be very conscious of the date of the marriage at the time the alien is admitted or adjusted. It is not unusual for an alien to be issued a conditional resident immigrant visa by a consular officer shortly before the second anniversary, but to apply for admission after that second anniversary. Likewise, an applicant for adjustment might file a Form I-485 (or even be interviewed regarding such application) prior to the second anniversary, but not be granted adjustment until after that second anniversary. In such cases, the alien should be admitted, or adjusted, without conditions (see 8 CFR 235.11(b) regarding the authority of inspectors to amend the visa classification on an immigrant visa in such situations).

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