K-1 Adjustment of Status | Step by Step Guide

K-1 Adjustment of Status cover

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 obtain 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.

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

Table of Contents

  1. Application Process for K-1 Adjustment of Status
  2. K-1 Adjustment of Status Interview
  3. How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help


Application Process for K-1 Adjustment of Status

You need to file a K-1 adjustment of status before the end of the 90-day period of stay. In other words, you should file for an adjustment of status before the I-94 expires.

In order to receive authorization for permanent residency or a green card you must file and complete the following documents.

Application to Adjust Status (Form I-485)

The foreign national spouse should file the I-485 application after the marriage has occurred and within the 90-day period of stay. We strongly advise individuals to file within the 90 day period of stay in order to circumvent the accrual of an unlawful presence. There’s nothing, however, stopping you from filing the application after the 90-day window has expired. As long as the marriage takes place within the 90-day window.

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

The form covers the following topics.

  • Biographical information about yourself
  • Address history
  • Immigration history
  • Noting whether you are the principal or derivative applicant
  • Visa category
  • Employment history
  • Information about your parents
  • Marital history
  • Information about any children you might have
  • Demographic information
  • Questions regarding eligibility
    • Memberships in any organizations, associations, foundations, political parties, militaries, or similar groups either in the U.S. or abroad
    • Criminal history
    • Espionage and security information
  • Public charge information
  • History of illegal entries
  • Disability information
  • Information regarding any interpreters or legal representatives you used to complete the form

The filing fee is $1,140.

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864):

Form I-864 demonstrates that the intending immigrant has the substantial financial support to not become a public burden. The citizen spouse will need to submit a form also to demonstrate that they’ll be able to 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 then a co-sponsor will be required. Regardless of which option you choose, all individuals who will be submitting an affidavit of support have to submit supporting evidence of their income, funds, recent tax returns, and W2 Forms.

The form covers the following topics.

  • Basic information about the immigrant you’re sponsoring—your finacé
  • Your address information
  • Sponsor’s citizenship or legal permanent residency information
  • Household size
  • Employment information
  • Income information
  • Asset information
  • Information regarding any interpreters or legal representatives you used to complete the form

Report of Medical Examination and Vaccinations (Form I-693)

Form I-693 must be submitted along with the K-1 Adjustment of Status application. Be aware that a medical examiner who is authorized by USCIS must be the one to carry out the medical exam of the foreign fiancé. This same physician should be the one conducting any necessary vaccinations. You can find a USCIS-approved doctor using the USCIS Find A Doctor tool.

If the medical exam was done more than a year ahead of the adjustment of status submission or if there were any issues with this exam, a new examination may be required for the application. Consult an immigration attorney to learn more, if this applies to you.

The medical exam includes a physical and mental evaluation, drug and alcohol screening, various medical tests, and a review of your medical history. Bring the following evidence with you to your exam.

  • Immunization and vaccination records
  • Copies of any chest x-rays
  • A copy of your medical history
  • Treatment plans for any medical conditions

The exam helps USCIS determine if you fall under any health-related grounds of inadmissibility.

The results are sealed and should be submitted 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.

Application for Employment Authorization Document (Form I-765)

An employment authorization document permits the foreign spouse to work in the United States. As a spouse, you can apply for the employment authorization document right after entering the country. Likewise, you can apply for a Social Security number without having to wait.

The employment authorization document is known as Form I-766 but you need to fill out Form I-765 to apply for it. The form covers similar topics to the I-864 and I-485 with the addition of asking your eligibility criteria, alien registration number, and evidence of your most recent entry into the country. You have to submit a copy of your visa and I-797C Notice of Action.

The Form I-765 filing fee is $410.

Application for Travel Document (Form I-131)

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.

Along with the information requested in the previous forms, Form I-131 also asks for the following.

  • Intended trip departure date
  • Expected length of stay
  • Trip purpose
  • Countries visiting during travel
  • The number of trips you will use the travel permit for

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

Other Required Documents

Copies of the following documents should also be submitted 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, an English translation must also be submitted.
    • Marriage certificate
    • Copies of previous divorce decrees and English translations (if applicable) must also be submitted.
    • 4 passport-sized photos
    • Copy of EAD card (if available) along with I-765

K-1 Adjustment of Status Interview

The last step of the process is the K-1 adjustment of status interview in the USCIS office. During this interview, the officer will ask questions to confirm that the marriage is bona fide. Many of the questions may resemble those from the initial K-1 visa interview. The following are examples of documents that demonstrate a marriage is legitimate.

  • 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.)

Along with determining the legitimacy of the marriage, the USCIS official wants to make sure the submitted forms and evidence are accurate. It’s normal to be nervous before the interview but the interviewer is supposed to be cordial and accommodating during the interview. You don’t need to have every bit of information you submitted memorized. It’s important that if you don’t know the answer to a question to let the interviewer know you don’t remember. Don’t lie. Any discrepancies in your answers and what you submitted can be a red flag.

Questions during the interview will cover topics regarding personal biographical information, questions about your fiancé, your relationship, and your wedding. Below are some sample questions that you might hear.

  • Have you been married before? If yes, when did the relationship end and why?
  • Have you ever been convicted or arrested for a crime?
  • Have you visited the U.S. before?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Have you traveled outside of your home country before?
  • Where does your fiancé work?
  • What are your fiancé’s hobbies?
  • How many siblings does your fiancé have?
  • Have you met your fiancé’s parents?
  • Where did your fiancé go to school?
  • What did your fiancé study in school?
  • What is your fiancé’s phone number?
  • What language does your fiancé speak? Do you understand it?
  • How many rooms are in your fiancé’s home?
  • Does your fiancé live with anyone else?
  • Who is your fiancé’s best friend?
  • How did you both meet?
  • Where was the first date?
  • When did the relationship turn romantic?
  • Have you both vacationed together before?
  • Have you spent any holidays together?
  • How did the proposal occur?
  • When was the wedding happen?
  • Where did the wedding take place?
  • How many people attended the wedding?
  • Did your parents be attending the wedding?
  • Who were the bridesmaids and groomsmen?
  • What kind of wedding attire did you both wear?
  • If you had a honeymoon, where did you go?
  • If your spouse has children, have you met them?
  • How will you handle the finances and budget in the family?
  • Do you plan to have children together?

How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help

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. Our lawyers have decades of experience that will make the process easier. You can schedule a consultation with us today by filling out this contact form.