What is IR Visa

A Filipino spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an immediate relative (IR) and is immediately eligible to apply for an immigrant visa under the IR category. The Filipino spouse must be the beneficiary of an I-130 approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition must be filed at the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the petitioner’s (American spouse) place of residence. NOTE: Active-duty U.S. military personnel and other U.S Government personnel are considered domiciled in the United States while serving overseas.

Children (below 21 years of age and unmarried) of the Filipino spouse are also eligible to apply for IR visas if individual petitions are filed on their behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse. Under U.S. immigration law, only children under the age of 18 at the time their natural parent married to a U.S. citizen are considered “step-children” for immigration purpose. Children who were 18 years or older at the time of the marriage may not be petitioned as step-children. They may be petitioned by the Filipino parent after he/she becomes a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States.

Once an I-130 petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) in the United States notifies the petitioner and provides guidance on how the Filipino spouse and children can apply for IR1 and IR2 visas, respectively. The NVC schedules the the applicant(s) for an interview and forwards the approved petition to the Embassy in Manila. The NVC will likewise notify the applicant(s) when they are scheduled to report for the medical examination and visa interview.

Petitioners and beneficiaries are encouraged to submit complete documentation at the earliest possible time prior to the interview appointment. Submission of incomplete documentation could result in delays with processing of the immigrant visa. For more information regarding the IR1 visa, please click here.

The USCIS website offers more information on how to petition alien spouses to live in the United States.