As a K-1 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 adjust status to permanent resident (apply for a green card) if you intend to stay in the United States. Any dependent children that came to the U.S. with a K-2 visa must also adjust 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 K-1 status. If you fail to marry, you will become removable from the United States and cannot adjust through any other means. 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. It is possible to adjust status after the 90 days. However, you will accrue time in an unlawful presence and the adjustment of status application becomes a bit more complicated (and expensive).
Eligibility to Adjust Status as a K-1 Fiancé
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 packet that includes Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, and several other related USCIS forms. In order to be eligible to file, the following must be true:
- You entered the United States with a K-1 visa; and
- You married the U.S. citizen that sponsored the K-1 visa with 90 days of entering the U.S.; and
- The K-1 visa has not expired.
Adjustment of Status Packet
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
- Form 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 (for K-1s)
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
- Copy of Form I-129F approval notice
- Applicable USCIS filing fees