How to Perform K-1 Visa Adjustment of Status to a Marriage Green Card

Key Points to Know

  • You are required to get married within 90 days upon entering the United States on a K-1 Visa.
  • You need to first File Form I-485 and the supporting documents listed in the section to obtain an Adjustment of Status.

An adjustment of status is sought by individuals who are physically in the U.S. and want to apply for legal permanent residence. Once your fiancé enters the United States and marries you within the 90-day window, a K-1 adjustment of status is necessary to go from K-1 visa to a green card. After entering the United States, the foreign fiancé can begin the application process for both their Social Security Number and Employment Authorization Documents, which are valid for the extent of the validity period. It’s never been easier to bring your fiancé to the U.S. with VisaNation’s exclusive service. Get started today, and start the immigration process to reunite with your loved one.

The process is extensive, and this post will help guide you from K-1 visa holder to green card holder.

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K-1 Adjustment of Status Process

The process of adjusting your status from K-1 visa holder to lawful permanent resident involves filing Form I-485 along with the necessary supporting documents. You need to file a K-1 adjustment of status before the end of the 90 days of stay. In other words, you should file for an adjustment of status before the I-94 expires. We strongly recommend having an immigration attorney help you with this step to avoid any errors and jeopardizing your legal status.

To receive authorization for permanent residency or a green card, you must file and complete the following documents.

Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status

The I-485 application should be filed after the marriage has occurred and within 90 days of stay to change their K-1 visa status. We strongly advise individuals to file within 90 days of stay to circumvent the accrual of an unlawful presence. However, nothing stops you from applying after the 90-day window has expired as long as the marriage takes place within the 90-day window.

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If you do not get married within 90 days, you are required to leave the country and cannot file for an adjustment of status or any other non-immigrant category.

The filing fee is $1,140.

Processing times can be much longer if your forms are completed incorrectly. More than that, you risk rejection and denial of your application if certain documents are missing. With VisaNation, your application is reviewed by an immigration attorney and checked for accuracy. Start your application today!

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

Form I-864 demonstrates that the intending immigrant has the substantial financial support to not become a public burden. The citizen spouse will also need to submit a form to prove that they’ll support their immigrant spouse should their spouse not be able to support themselves. The poverty guidelines and household size dictate the minimum income required to sponsor someone. If the citizen spouse does not have an income that exceeds the minimum, a co-sponsor will be necessary. Regardless of which option you choose, all individuals who will be submitting an affidavit of support have to offer supporting evidence of their income, funds, recent tax returns, and W2 Forms.

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Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccinations

I-693 and the K-1 Adjustment of Status application should be filed to go from K-1 visa to green card. Be aware that a medical examiner who USCIS authorizes must be the one to carry out the medical exam of the foreign fiancé. In addition, this same physician should conduct any necessary vaccinations. You can find a USCIS-approved doctor using the USCIS Find A Doctor tool.

USCIS may require a new exam if the applicant did the medical exam more than a year ahead of the adjustment of status submission or if there were any issues with this exam. Consult an immigration attorney to learn more if this applies to you. Immigration can be a daunting process for someone who is doing it for the first time. With numerous forms and documents to submit, mistakes can be very costly. VisaNation makes the entire process easy and fast! Start your application today!

The medical exam includes a physical and mental evaluation, drug and alcohol screening, various medical tests, and a review of your medical history. Bring immunization and vaccination records, copies of any chest x-rays, medical history and treatment plans for any medical conditions with you to your exam.

The exam helps USCIS determine if you fall under any health-related grounds of inadmissibility.The results are sealed, and applicants should submit them to USCIS unopened. The fee is dependent on the price the doctor charges. If you have health insurance, make sure to bring your health insurance card to the appointment.

Medical Exam Not Always Required

If you received a medical exam during the consular stages, you might not be required to obtain another one. You could be exempt from getting a second medical exam if you filed Form I-485 within one year of your medical exam that you received abroad, the original medical exam did not indicate that you have a Class A medical condition or you have a waiver of inadmissibility for those identified with a Class A medical condition.

Even if you are exempt from re-doing the medical exam, you must prove that you adhered to the vaccination requirements. Ensure you have the DS 3025 vaccination record and include it with the original medical exam report. If you do not, you will need the vaccination report done by a designated doctor. Suppose the time frame for the original medical exam to be sent to the U.S. consulate is lengthy. In that case, your lawyer may recommend just doing a new medical exam to expedite the approval process of your adjustment of status.

Find out how much a K-1 visa costs.

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Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

Use Form I-131 to apply for your travel permit. If you submit both the I-765 and I-131 along with the K-1 Adjustment of Status application, then USCIS will concurrently issue advance parole and the travel permit.

The filing fee for Form I-131 is $575.

Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

Form I-751 is used to upgrade a 2-year conditional green card to a permanent green card which is renewable every ten years. The conditional green cards are issued to people who have been married less than two years (gained immigration status through marriage). How do you know if you have a conditional green card? The front of the card will have the letters CR1 under the category section. Another way to check is to see if the expiration date is 2 or 10 years from the date of issuance. If you are still married and filing jointly with your sponsoring spouse you need to file Form I-751 during the 90-day period before the expiration date of your conditional green card. If you are filing by yourself (post divorce, annulment or spouse’s death) it can be anytime after you receive conditional residence. If your conditional green card has already expired, there may be the possibility to still file the form but it’s best to discuss with an immigration attorney.

Other Required Documents

You should also submit copies of the following documents with the K-1 Adjustment of Status application:

    • I-129F Approval Notice
    • Biographic page of the foreign spouse’s passport
    • Foreign spouse’s K-1 visa and I-94 arrival/departure records
    • Foreign spouse’s birth certificate. If applicable, you must also submit an English translation.
    • Marriage certificate
    • You must also submit copies of previous divorce decrees and English translations (if applicable).
    • Four passport-sized photos
    • Copy of EAD card (if available) along with I-765

Sample Questions

Questions during the interview will cover topics regarding personal biographical information, questions about your fiancé, your relationship, and your wedding. Check out this complete K-1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers Guide.

K-1 Visa to Green Card Processing Time

Processing time for Form I-485 depends on several factors, including your case details, which service center processes your case (backlogs are rampant right now), and how accurately you filed your adjustment of status documents. About 2-3 weeks after filing your Form I-485, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS notifying you that they received your application.

If You Did Not File Form I-485 Properly

If you did not file your I-485 correctly, you would receive a Notice of Action to reject the application. USCIS denies roughly 11% of applications. Alternatively, you may receive a Request for Evidence (RFE). Both will add processing time to your case, which you can often avoid by hiring a professional.

Typically the timeframe for your adjustment of status application to process is eight to fourteen months. Remember that you can always check your exact case status online.

Source: USCIS I-485 Form

Apply for Green Card and Social Security Number Simultaneously

Good news – You can now apply for your green card and SSN simultaneously! Previously, you could not do both together. With the new process, after USCIS approves your I-485, they will electronically send your information directly to the Social Security Administration to process your number. The fee for filing Form I-485 will not change.

K-1 Visa Status Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions our office receives regarding the K-1 visa adjustment of status to marriage green card.

How long can you stay on a K-1 visa?

You are required to get married within 90 days upon entering the United States on a K-1 Visa. You need to go through the AOS process to obtain a green card. Conversely, you can apply for a green card outside the U.S. through consular processing. With this route, you need to stay outside of the United States until you receive approval for your green card.

What is needed for K-1 adjustment of status?

You need to first File Form I-485 and the supporting documents listed in the section above. Do this after the marriage but within 90 days to avoid unlawful presence. The other forms you will need to complete are the I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, I-131 if you want to travel or gain employment in the country before having permanent residence and I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

How long does K-1 adjustment of status after marriage take?

It can take anywhere from ten to thirteen months for the AOS process via marriage to a U.S. citizen. If your partner is a U.S. green card holder, it could take anywhere from 29-38 months. One of the most significant factors that will dictate processing time apart from your details is which USCIS processing center handles your case and their backlogs.

How much income do I need to sponsor a K-1 visa? 

According to the 2021 poverty guidelines, as the petitioner for a K-1 visa, you must make at least 417,240 (except Alaska and Hawaii residents) to meet the income requirements. This requirement is to prevent the foreign fiance from becoming a public charge to the U.S. government. By submitting the I-134 Affidavit of Support, you are essentially promising the government that you will repay the dollar amount of public benefits should the foreign fiance rely on the government for financial assistance. If your income does not suffice, you have the option to get a co-sponsor to petition them.

Check out this I-134 – Complete Guide to Affidavit of Support in the U.S.

How VisaNation Law Group Can Help with Your Adjustment of Status After Marriage

Seek the help of a qualified immigration attorney if you have any questions regarding your K-1 Adjustment of Status or any immigration-related matter. VisaNation Law Group’s lawyers have decades of experience that will make the process easier. Get started now!