K-1 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 fiance enter the United States and marries you within the 90 day window, a K-1 adjustment of status is necessary for him/her to obtain their green card. After entering the United States the foreign fiance 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.
Application Process for K-1 Adjustment of Status
Since there are no extensions, regardless if the fiance gets married or not within the 90 day window, it’s recommended to file a K-1 adjustment of status before the end of the 90-day period of stay. In other words, before the I-94 expires, you should file for an AOS.
In order to receive authorization for permanent residency or green card you must file and complete the following documents:
- Application to Adjust Status (Form I-485): The foreign national spouse should file this 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 unlawful presence . There’s nothing, however, stopping you from filing the application after the 90 day window has expired.
- If you do not get married within the 90 days, you are required to leave the country and cannot file for an AOS or another other non-immigrant category.
- Biographic Information Sheet (Form G-325A): This sheet provides basic information about the foreign national fiance. It should have been originally submitted with the K-1 petition but should be updated with any new information.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): This affidavit demonstrates that the intending immigrant (foreign spouse) has substantial financial support to not become a public burden. The citizen fiance will need to submit a form also to demonstrate that they’ll be able to support the fiance should they not be able to themselves. The poverty guidelines dictate the minimum income required along with the affidavit. If the citizen spouse does not have an income which 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.
- Report of Medical Examination and Vaccinations (Form I-693): This form 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. This same civil surgeon should be the one conducting any vaccinations necessary.
- Note: If the medical exam (for foreign spouse) was done more than a year ahead of the AOS 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.
- Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD): An EAD permits the foreign spouse to work in the United States. As a fiance you can apply for the EAD right after entering the country. Likewise, you can apply for a Social Security number without having to wait for the EAD or AOS.
- Application for Travel Document (Form I-131): This is 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 your advance parole and travel permit will be issued concurrently.
- 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
- Marriage certificate
- 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 in fact bona fide. Many of the questions may resemble those from the initial K-1 visa interview. Documents that demonstrate a marriage is legitimate 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.)
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. The lawyers at SGM Law Group have years of experience in the industry and can guide you.
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