CR1 Visa And Getting Married On First Visit Can Affect Your Case
Many people wouldn’t start a long distance relationship with someone they’ve never met but it’s becoming more common today. Why? Well, it’s all thanks to the internet. We can now meet someone across the planet without leaving our home. So, let’s talk about the CR1 visa and getting married on first visit.
It’s not weird to fall in love with someone you’ve never met. It’s actually easier than people think. When you are in a long distance relationship, most of your communication is verbal. This means talking on Skype or on the phone which really allows you to get to know someone.
I know in my own case, my husband and I were long distance for a long time before we decided to meet. I was completely head-over-heels in love with him before we actually met.
If you haven’t dated someone you’ve met online, you probably wouldn’t understand falling in love without meeting. It happens and I’m not talking about infatuation either.
I’m talking about real deep love. That’s why I can see someone getting married on first visit after being in a long distance relationship for a long time. But, I will admit that meeting 2 weeks ago and getting married on first visit is a little strange.
Can You Get Married On First Visit?
Getting married is an important milestone in your life. You should really be 100% sure of what you’re doing and who you’re marrying. It’s definitely possible to be sure that you want to marry someone before you’ve met them, just not that common.
I personally wouldn’t marry someone on the first visit but I do believe in love at first sight.
If you and your partner are wanting to get married on first visit because of love, go for it! Don’t worry about what other people think about it. There is no rule that says you must visit each other more than once before getting married.
USCIS only wants to see that you’re legally married and can prove you have a bona fide marriage.
Juliana met Sayed on a forum that they both were members of. They began talking over email and eventually starting using Skype. After 8 months, she knew that she loved him and he loved her. Juliana decided to visit Sayed in Lebanon for 2 weeks which was the maximum amount of vacation time she had.
After meeting, they realized they were perfect for each other. Since the trip was so expensive and she used all her vacation days, Juliana and Sayed decided to get married during this trip so they can quickly submit the I-130 petition to USCIS.
In this case, Juliana and Sayed got married on first visit because they truly loved each other and didn’t want to wait months or a year to visit each other again. By getting married they’ve met the first requirements for the CR1 visa.
Sometimes it looks like the purpose of the trip was to just get married so they could file the petition for convenience. If your marriage is real, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. USCIS will weed out those people who are committing marriage fraud and the honest couples will get through the process stronger than ever.
Will USCIS Accept Getting Married On First Visit?
You may be worried about getting married on first visit and how it will look to USCIS. Let me tell you, they will definitely look at your marriage closer. The reason for this is because it’s a risk to marry someone you’ve met for the first time.
Even if you’ve had a long distance relationship for years.
Since the requirements for the CR1 visa is that you are married, USCIS will accept it if you get married on first visit. As long as you are legally married and can prove it with a marriage certificate, it’s good enough for USCIS.
Milo and Kelsey met on Facebook 6 months ago and felt like they were perfect for each other. They are both students and don’t have much money but Milo saved up all summer to afford the trip to South Africa to see Kelsey.
When they finally met, they just knew it was meant to be. Milo proposed to Kelsey the after he landed with a ring he bought. They quickly got married 6 days later with her family attending.
As yo can see, Milo and Kelsey felt that they were meant for each other and wasted no time in getting married. These types of stories do happen and USCIS understands this.
But, I will tell you that you need to provide a lot of evidence of bona fide marriage to get approved.
Just getting married isn’t enough to show that you have a real relationship because there are many people who commit marriage fraud for a green card.
Will Getting Married On First Visit Cause Red Flags?
The above screenshot shows how understaffed USCIS is and how long it will take to adjudicate suspected fraud cases. This is why you want to avoid any suspicion on the validity of your marriage.
There are some things that will cause red flags to go up during the adjudication of your case.
I’ve talked about red flags that can come up in visa petition before but this situation is a little different. Getting married on first visit isn’t necessarily a red flag on it’s own.
But, you should make sure to provide a lot of evidence of a bona fide marriage.
Some red flags that the USCIS looks for:
- Fast Courtship
- Married after first visit
- Only had one visit
- Short Visit (less than 21 days)
- Different race
- Different religion
- Divorced with children from other relationships
- Beneficiary was petitioned before for a K-1 or IR1/CR1 by someone else
Bruce flew to China to meet his girlfriend of 3 months, Susan. He was crazy in love with her and decided to marry her the next day if she accepted his proposal. Susan did say yes, so they had a small ceremony at her home with her family there.
Bruce is 28 years older than Susan which was something they were both concerned about. They are worried that the large age gap could cause problems for their CR1 visa application.
In the case above, the large age gap will be a red flag to USCIS. Then add to this that they got married on first visit too and you can see why they will have a hard time proving their marriage is real.
Finally, they married 3 months after meeting online. This is also considered a red flag because it’s hard to prove that you really know each other after 3 months of online communication.
Final Thoughts On Getting Married On First Visit
I’m someone who loves fairy tale love stories that have happy endings but today, it seems like it’s so rare. I know love at first sight happens, I just don’t know whether these marriages last.
The job of USCIS is to block entry to foreigners that are committing immigration fraud while at the same time letting in honest people who are truly in love.
It’s that simple.
Now it’s up to you to prove that your marriage is real even though you decided to get married on first visit. Of course, more than one visit isn’t required but adjudicators can use this as a sign of a bona fide relationship.
I’m assuming that it’s because you have more “skin in the game“. Multiple visits mean more money spent on flights and hotels as well as time off work. Most people who are trying to scam the immigration system aren’t going to spend this much time and money on multiple visits.
So, getting married on first visit won’t doom you to visa denial but you’ll have an uphill battle to prove your marriage is real. You will get plenty of questions about how you met online, how long you visited and why you got married so quickly. Be prepared to answer these questions honestly.