A K-1 visa allows a fiancé of a United States citizen to come into the country in order to get married. However, it is a bit more complicated than that because a K-1 visa lasts for only 90 days, and that time cannot be extended. In order to stay in the U.S. after the 90 days is over, you have to have been married within that time or have filed for a K-1 visa adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.
As soon as you get married, it is crucial to start working on your K-1 visa adjustment of status so you can obtain a green card.
Understanding the K-1 Visa Adjustment of Status Process
An individual with a K-1 visa is eligible to become a permanent resident of the U.S. through the K-1 visa adjustment of status process. If the visa holder has dependent children who are brought with them to the country, the children will also be eligible to obtain a green card. After you get through the K-1 visit adjustment of status process, you will be able to work and live in the United States on a permanent basis.
Requirements and Eligibility for K-1 Visa Adjustment of Status
Going from a K-1 visa to a green card can be done if you have done the following:
- Entered the United States legally on a K-1 visa
- Married a citizen of the U.S. within 90 days of coming into the country
- Currently have an unexpired, valid K-1 visa
It is best to apply for your K-1 visa adjustment of status as soon as possible after you have been married. If you do not get married within the 90 days, you may not be able to adjust your status and likely will be required to leave the U.S.
When the K-1 visa expires, and you remain in the country, you may be in a period of unlawful status. It may be possible to adjust your status at this time, but it will be much more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. It is best to start working on your K-1 visa adjustment of status as quickly as possible.
Required Documents for an Adjustment of Status
While you can apply for a K-1 visa adjustment of status after marriage, there is a large amount of paperwork associated with the process. The relevant forms include:
- Form I-485 – This is the application required for a K-1 visa adjustment of status, which is the form to apply for a green card. This form can only be submitted if you are legally married to a U.S. citizen.
- Form I-693 – This is the report of medical examination and vaccination record. A K-1 applicant must have a medical exam to ensure you are admissible into the country on health grounds. The results are submitted with this form.
- Form I-864 – This is the affidavit of support and must be submitted by the U.S. citizen who the visa holder is married to. It shows the visa holder has enough financial support. The rule of thumb is that the U.S. citizen should have an income of over 125% of the national poverty guidelines. If this isn’t true, you may need a co-sponsor.
There are additional forms that may be required if you wish to travel or work before obtaining permanent residence. You will also need to submit other documents such as a copy of your birth certificate, a passport-style photo, and evidence that you were married in the required 90 days.
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Please note: This article is for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact an experienced immigration attorney for your specific immigration issue.