I have a K-1 visa. How do I apply for a green card?

K1 visa to green card processAs a K1 visa holder, it’s very important that you marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of entering the United States. It’s equally important that you apply for a green card soon after if you intend to stay in the United States. Additionally, any dependent children that came to the U.S. with a K2 visa must also apply for a green card. The process to go from K1 visa to green card is called adjustment of status.

U.S. immigration law requires you to marry the U.S. citizen who petitioned for you within 90 days of your admission to the United States in K1 status. If you fail to marry, you will become removable from the United States. You may choose to cancel the wedding, but you must depart the United States.

You may stay in the United States permanently once you have married and file an adjustment of status application. Generally, you should apply for adjustment of status of status as soon as you marry your fiancé and before the 90-day period ends. However, it’s okay to file the adjustment of status application after the 90 days. But again, you’ll be accruing time in an unlawful presence. It makes sense to move from K1 visa to green card as soon as possible.

RECOMMENDED: Overview of the K-1 Fiancé Visa Process

Eligibility to Adjust Status as a K1 Entrant

Adjusting status to permanent resident gives you the right to live and work in the U.S. permanently as a green card holder. As the newly married foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen, you will file an adjustment of status package that includes Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, and several other related USCIS forms. In order to move from K1 visa to green card and be eligible to file, the following must be true:

  • You entered the United States with a K1 visa; and
  • You married the U.S. citizen that sponsored the K1 visa within 90 days of entering the U.S.

Adjustment of Status Package

You should submit all of the following evidence and documentation with your adjustment of status application (Form I-485):

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Copy of your government issued photo identification
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • I-94, Admission/Departure Record
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp
  • Evidence of your marriage to the U.S. citizen within 90 days
  • I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • I-864, Affidavit of Support
  • Copy of Form I-129F approval notice
  • Applicable USCIS filing fees

The list above includes the typical forms and supporting documents in an adjustment of status package for a K1 entrant. Depending on your answers on Form I-485, your situation may be different.

RECOMMENDED: Adjustment of Status Through a K-1 Visa Entry

Source: USCIS