A K-1 visa – also called a fiancé Visa – allows the engaged partner of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States, as long as the couple gets married within 90 days. Once married within the 90 day window, a “K-1 Adjustment of Status” is then necessary for him/her to obtain a marriage-based green card. This application requires extensive documentation as well as a K-1 Adjustment of Status Interview to confirm the validity of your marriage. Review all the steps in the K-1 Fiancé Visa Adjustment of Status process below and learn how a Johnson & Masumi immigration law attorney can assist you in this process.
The K-1 Adjustment of Status Application Process
Once married within the 90 day window, the foreign national fiancé must file an adjustment of status application. Generally, you should apply for adjustment of status as soon as you marry your fiancé and before the 90-day period ends. While it’s possible to adjust status after the 90 days, you will accrue time under “unlawful presence” and the adjustment of status application which can complicate your application and potentially make it more expensive.
Filing Adjustment Of Status Packet
Adjusting status to a “permanent resident” gives the foreign national the right to obtain a green card and thus live and work in the United States permanently. The first step in this process includes filing an adjustment of status packet that includes the following documents:
Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status)
This is the primary application used to adjust status and register for permanent residence via green card in the United States.
Form G-325A (Biographic Information Sheet)
This document provides basic information about the foreign national fiancé and should have been originally submitted in the K-1 petition. For the Adjust of Status petition, include it with any new updated information.
Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)
This is a form that must be prepared by the U.S. citizen spouse. This document essentially promises that the U.S. spouse has the financial capacity to support his or her immigrant spouse in place of government assistance for the next ten years, regardless of divorce. If the citizen spouse does not have an income which exceeds the minimum amount required (based on federal poverty guidelines) a co-sponsor will be required. All individuals who submit an Affidavit of Support must also submit supporting evidence to back these claims using income statements, fund documentation, recent tax returns and W2 Forms.
Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
Form I-765 is an application for a U.S. work permit (employable authorization document) that allows the immigrant to legally work throughout the period of time before their green-card approval. This comes as a handy photo id card which can be helpful for all types of identification purposes.
Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document)
This form is applicable for immigrants who want to leave the United States before their Adjustment of Status Interview.
Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record)
If the medical examination the immigrant fiancé did to obtain their K-1 Visa is over a year old, or if it revealed a Class A medical condition, they will be required to go to a U.S. civil surgeon for a new exam. Once completed, they will provide you with a Form I-693 which is a complete vaccination record. Moreover, if you received a medical examination from a surgeon overseas who did not include a complete vaccination record, you will also be required to obtain a new Form I-693.
Form G-1450 (Authorization for Credit Card Transactions)
This application grants the immigrant spouse the ability to pay the required billing fee using a credit card, should they prefer not to pay by check or money order.
In addition to the forms above, you will also need to include the following documents in your adjustment of status packet:
- Long-form birth certificate. This will need to be accompanied by a full, word-for-word translation, if it’s not in English
- Copy of U.S. entry documents. Include both a copy of the biographical information and U.S. visa/entry page of your passport and your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. This is available online from the Department of Homeland Security, if you didn’t receive a paper card from the Customs and Border Protection officer when you arrived
- Copy of fiancé visa petition approval notice from USCIS
- Copy of marriage certificate, issued by local government office
- Two color photographs of the immigrant (U.S.-passport style), plus another two if you’re applying for a work permit card
- If you didn’t fill out the credit-card payment form (Form G-1450), a check or money order for the required filing fee
All Adjustment of Status applications must be sent to a specific USCIS office. To find the appropriate address, go to the “Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485” of the USCIS website find the addresses labeled under “K-1 Fiancé.
Next Steps: K-1 Adjustment of Status Interview
After mailing in the I-485 packet, you will receipt notice from USCIS. Some time later, you will also be called in for fingerprinting (“biometrics”) and afterwards (within a few months) be called in for the an Adjustment of Status interview, which will take place at a USCIS office in a city nearby.
At the interview, a USCIS officer will review your application, ask you question and examine the documents you brought with you to prove a “bona fide marriage” (meaning that it was not a scam to obtain a green card). Many of these questions will be similar to the questions from the K-1 visa interview and are fairly straightforward. Documents you should bring to demonstrate the legitimacy of the marriage include:
- Photographs of the couple together
- Mortgage documents or leases
- Bank account statements
- Credit card statements
- Proof of joint ownership of property (i.e., cars, furniture, homes, etc.)
The actual green card will arrive some weeks later, bearing a two-year expiration date.
Get Help From a Professional Immigration Attorney
As you can see, the K-1 Adjustment of Visa process is a complicated operation requiring many different form requirements, documents, and filing guidelines. Neglecting any of these could result in failing to properly file the necessary paperwork, resulting in delays, or worse, the termination of your application. Fortunately, the immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi can help. Contact our immigration attorneys today and learn how we can assist you in this complex process.