When it comes to international marriages, the process of obtaining a visa for your spouse to join you in your home country can be a complex and meticulous endeavor. One of the requirements for a CR1 (Conditional Resident) visa is typically establishing a bona fide relationship, which often involves meeting your spouse in person. However, there may be circumstances where couples have only met once before deciding to tie the knot, leaving them wondering if this will be sufficient to obtain the visa. In this article, we will explore the implications of meeting your spouse only once before marriage and whether it meets the criteria for embassy approval.

  1. Meeting Requirement for CR1 Visa: To be eligible for a CR1 visa, it is generally expected that you have met your spouse in person at least once before marriage. This requirement is in place to ensure that the relationship is genuine and not based on fraudulent intentions. While it is highly recommended to have multiple meetings to strengthen your case, in certain situations where a couple has only met once, it is still possible to proceed with the visa application process.
  2. Demonstrating the Genuineness of the Relationship: If you have only met your spouse once before getting married, it becomes crucial to demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship through other means. The Embassy or Consulate will assess various factors to determine the legitimacy of your union. Some important aspects to consider include:

a. Extensive Communication: Providing evidence of consistent and ongoing communication between you and your spouse, such as emails, chat logs, phone records, or video calls, can help establish the depth of your relationship despite limited physical meetings.

b. Documentation of Shared Experiences: Collecting documents that showcase joint activities or shared experiences, such as travel itineraries, photographs, or receipts, can provide additional evidence of your commitment to each other.

c. Affidavits from Family and Friends: Statements from family members, friends, or other individuals familiar with your relationship can serve as valuable supporting evidence. These affidavits should detail their observations of your relationship and affirm its authenticity.

  1. Financial and Travel Constraints: If your spouse is unable to visit you due to work commitments or financial constraints, it is essential to provide evidence of these circumstances. This could include employer letters, pay stubs, or bank statements to verify the need for your spouse to remain in their current employment or demonstrate the financial burden of travel expenses.
  2. Seeking Legal Assistance: Navigating the visa application process can be complex, especially when dealing with unique circumstances like meeting your spouse only once before marriage. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from reputable immigration organizations to ensure your application is prepared comprehensively and meets the requirements set by the embassy.

While meeting your spouse only once before marriage can pose challenges in obtaining a CR1 visa, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. By presenting compelling evidence of the genuineness of your relationship through extensive communication, shared experiences, and supporting affidavits, you can strengthen your case. Additionally, providing documentation of financial and travel constraints can help address any concerns regarding your spouse’s inability to visit you. Remember to consult with legal professionals for personalized guidance throughout the visa application process.


  1. U.S. Department of State – Marriage Visas
  2. American Immigration Lawyers Association
  3. Immigration Equality