Now in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa Holder Summary
Now you are in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa holder. Welcome to the United States of America!!!! As a K-1 Fiance Visa holder, there are still some things that you need to do, or may want to do, in the short term and long term including:
- Get Married
- Obtain a Social Security Card
- Adjust your Status and get your Green Card
- Apply to Remove Conditions and Renew your Green Card
- Naturalize and become a U.S. Citizen
Obtain a Social Security Card
Many people think that a now in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa holder cannot get a Social Security card and number. In fact, as a now in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa holder, you are eligible to obtain a Social Security Card with your Social Security Number (SSN). The SSN helps you to work in the United States, obtain insurance, conduct business with a bank or financial institution, pay your taxes or be a dependent on a tax return, and for other purposes.
Go to your local Social Security office to apply for a SSN and card. With this intention, click here to find your nearest SSA office.
When you visit the local SSA office to apply for a Social Security card and SSN, specifically bring the following required documents with you:
- Your and your children’s, if applicable, passport(s) with the non-immigrant Visa stamp.
- your birth certificate and a birth certificate for each member of your family applying for a Social Security number.
A Social Security representative assists you in completing the application (Form SS-5). As a result, you receive your social security card within 2 about weeks after applying. However, if you did not receive your card in 3 weeks, call your local SSA office.
See our blog post on “Obtain Your Social Security Card“.
Now that you are in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa holder, your top priority now should be getting married. Firstly, planning and having your wedding should be your primary focus at this point. Specifically, you have 90 days from the day that you entered the U.S. to get married. Your K-1 Visa cannot be renewed. For instance, if you do not get married within the 90 days, you may have to leave the U.S.
See our blog post on “Marriage License in the U.S. for K-1 Fiance Visa Holders“.
Adjustment of Status and Get Green Card
For now in the USA K-1 Fiance Visa holders, soon after you get married to your Petitioner, adjust your status to a Conditional Permanent Resident.
Likewise, this is how to obtain your green card.
Also, if you have children with you under a K-2 visa, adjust their status at the same time.
The process to adjust your status is pretty simple to do on your own.
On the other hand, if you need help, we recommend using a visa/immigration consultant like Rapid Visa.
To adjust your status, you and any K-2’s each need to specifically complete the following USCIS forms:
- Form I-485, Adjustment of Status-Click here for the I-485 form and instructions on completing Form I-485 and the petition to adjust status.
- Form G-1145 (Optional), e-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. The I-485 webpage also includes the G-1145. This form is used to receive an electronic notification of when USCIS accepts your immigrant application.
- Form I-846 or I-846EZ, Affidavit of Support- The USCIS webpages also include the instructions on completing I-846 and Form I-846EZ. This form is used to prove that your Petitioner is capable of supporting you. Use I-846EZ if you have no K-2s and your Petitioner is proofing based on employment.
- Form I-765 (Optional), Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD)-The USCIS webpage also include instructions on completing Form I-765. This authorization allows you to to receive a U.S. work permit (employment authorization document) covering the period before green-card approval. It’s a photo id card, handy for identification purposes even if you don’t plan to work during this time.
- Form I–131 (Optional), Application for Travel Document (Advanced Parole (AP))- The USCIS webpages also includes instructions on completing Form I-131. This form is to allow you to travel outside the U.S. until your green card arrives.
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Not everyone needs to have this done, especially if you already had a medical exam in order to qualify for your K-1 visa. But if the one done for the consulate is over a year old, or it revealed a Class A medical condition for which you didn’t get a waiver, you’ll need to go to a U.S. civil surgeon for a new exam. And even if your exam is still good, you may need to visit a civil surgeon if the overseas doctor didn’t include a complete vaccination record (DS-3025).
Filling out Forms
Fill out the above forms and print them. Make sure you sign and date them as required. Anything you cannot fit by typing, you can hand write (very neatly) in black ink in the blank instead. You should always verify the current forms at www.uscis.gov.
Amazon has several free PDF editor software available:
In addition, click here for USCIS’ Tips for filing forms with USCIS.
Attach the following supporting documentation, if applicable, to the application forms:
- A copy of the new spouse’s, and children, if applicable, biological page of his/her passport including any pages with stamps.
- A copy of the new spouse’s, and children, if applicable, K-1 or K-2 Visa in his/her passport.
- Copy of NOA 2 approval from I-129F.
- Electronic I-94. Get it here. If you didn’t do it electronically when entering the country, submit both sides of your paper I-94.
- Birth certificate of the new spouse and children, if applicable.
- Marriage certificate.
- Two (2) passport style photographs of the new spouse and children, if applicable.
- Financial documents described below.
Note: If any of your documents are in a foreign language, you must include an English translation of them.
Affidavit of Support
The Affidavit of Support is a document that an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for the beneficiaries, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States. The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.
The sponsor must meet a minimum income requirement based on the total number of people in the household (existing and proposed new). If the sponsor does not meet the minimum income requirement, existing assets, total household income, and/or joint sponsor can be used. Click here to see the minimum household income requirements. The minimum household income requirement is 125% of poverty level. You may be able to use a joint sponsor if you cannot meet the 125% of poverty income requirement.
There are several Affidavit of Support forms and you will need to determine which form(s) to use:
Click AOS Guide for a guide on which form(s) to use depending on your situation.
Click here for a guide from on filling out the Affidavit of Support forms.
Obtain, and submit with the Affidavit of Support, the following financial evidence:
- IRS tax transcript for the most recent tax year is mandatory. You can get your tax transcript here. If you want, you can also include your tax transcripts for the previous two years. For example, using the transcript saves you from copying and submitting all of your tax forms.
- Evidence of Income- Include a letter from your employer confirming that you are a current employee, full or part-time status, how long you have worked there and your salary or wage rate. Include copies of your W-2s for the previous three years.
- Proof of relationship, if you are using a joint sponsor
- Proof of domicile, if your address is outside the U.S., but you intend to live in a domicile in U.S.
- Social Security earning statement for I-864W.
See the NVC web site, Financial Evidence Guide for a guide on financial evidence.
The fees for the Adjustment of Status includes (as of December 2016):
- USCIS Filing Fee: $1,140 fee
- Biometrics Fee: $85
Include a check or a money order payable to USCIS in the application package. Each children under a K-2 also owes $750 – 1,140 fee depending on the age of the vhild when adjusting status. The fee for Children 14 years of age or great is $1,140. The Fee for children under 14 years of age is $750. On the other hand, children under 14 years of age do not need to pay the biometrics fee.
Send your petition to the Chicago lock box.
Chicago lock box address:
USCIS Chicago Lockbox
For U.S. Postal Service:
P.O. Box 804625
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
For Express mail and courier deliveries:
131 South Dearborn-3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
USCIS Review and Processing
The duration of the USCIS Adjustment of Status is several months. However, several years for approval is possible depending on where you live.
This delay often causes a lot of anxiety. DO NOT GIVE UP! Although it may seem like forever, USCIS will eventually get to your petition.
In the mean time make sure your EAD for working is valid (renew when needed) and that you have a AP for any necessary travel outside of the U.S. that you have planned.
After the USCIS National office completes initial processing, your case is sent to your local CIS office. This is where the interview is for your permanent residency. The case may also be transferred to CSC.
Prior to this, the national office sends you communications requesting biometrics (fingerprints and photo) be taken and schedule an interview with you for this.
Employment Authorization and Advance Parole Processing
If you filed for Employment Authorization and/or Advance Parole petitions are generally processed within 90 days of filing. During that wait the beneficiary (non-US Citizen Spouse) will be sent a notice in the mail to schedule an appointment at the nearest USCIS biometrics office to have their fingerprints and photos taken. It is important follow the instructions in this notice and to schedule the biometrics appointment in a timely fashion.
As a note, in an emergency where travel outside of the United States is needed (while a beneficiary’s I-485 in still being processed) an Advance Parole can be obtained quickly by scheduling an Info-Pass appointment at your local USCIS office. You must show proof (doctors note, etc) that the travel is a true emergency (such as to see a critically ill relative or other true emergency) and file an I-131 (AP) in person. If approved the AP is likely be issued the same day. Do not attempt to leave the country without an AP as this can result in the beneficiary’s I-485 being considered “abandoned” and will require a new Visa to enter the US (and refiling of the I-485).
Your beneficiary (non-US Citizen Spouse) will be required to have their biometrics taken as part of the I-485 processing (fingerprints and photos). The beneficiary will be sent a notice in the mail to schedule an appointment at the nearest USCIS biometrics office to have their fingerprints and photos taken. It is important to specifically follow the instructions in this notice and to schedule the biometrics appointment in a timely fashion. This can typically precede the interview date by up to 15 months, however it is usually much closer.
USCIS will send a letter informing you of your interview date, if you need one. For example, some may not need an interview as described below in the next section. The letter provides instructions on what documents to bring to the interview. The letter will also describe things that you may need to complete before hand.
The most crucial items to bring include items establishing “evidence of the relationship” which proves that your marriage is true. These items can include:
- Photos of you and your spouse.
- Copies of joint checking account statements.
- Joint home lease or mortgage.
- Joint car purchase or registration.
- Birth certificates of children, if any, born out of your relationship.
Bring the current passport of the non-citizen spouse to the interview.
The interview is straight forward and fairly quick lasting only between 15-30 minutes.
Consequently, the green card comes within 2-5 weeks from the interview date.
In some cases a beneficiary’s Adjustment of Status case may be transferred to the California Service Center, or possibly another location, where USCIS will attempt to complete processing without requiring an “in person” interview.
There is no way to know if this will happen to your case, however, if it does happen, then you will not be required to attend an interview in person.
The spouse’s green card goes to the address of record if no interview.
Remove Conditions and Renew Green Card
Removal of Conditions
If you have been married for less than two years when your foreign citizen spouse adjusts their status, his or her permanent resident status is considered “conditional.”
You and your spouse must apply together to USCIS to remove the conditional status within the ninety days before the two-year anniversary of your spouse’s entry into the United States on his or her immigrant visa. The two-year anniversary date of entry is the date of expiration on the alien registration card (green card). If you do not file the petition to remove the conditions before your card expires, you may lose your permanent resident status.
The process to remove conditions is pretty simple to do on your own. If you need help, we specifically recommend using a visa/immigration consultant like Rapid Visa.
To remove conditions, you and your spouse need to complete the following USCIS form:
Also, see the instructions on the I-751 USCIS webpage. These instructions are on specifically completing Form I-751 and the petition to remove conditions.
There are two fees for the Petition to Remove Conditions including (as of December 2016):
- USCIS Filing Fee: $595 base fee
- USCIS Biometrics Fee: $85 for each applicant including children
For this purpose, include a check or a money order payable to USCIS in the application package.
List of Documents
Attach the following supporting documentation, if applicable, to the application form:
- A copy of your, and children, if applicable, current green card including both front and back.
- Proof of a good faith marriage (see below).
- If you’re requesting a waiver of the joint filing requirement, provide documents supporting your request. For example, this means that if you are no longer married or with your spouse. Hire an immigration attorney to assist you, if this is the case.
- Submit a copy of the court order indicating any legal name change.
- If you have a criminal record or drug history, include documents explaining. Furthermore, if this is the case, you may want to hire an immigration attorney to assist you as this may be a reason for being denied a green card.
Specifically, LoveVisaLife does not provide any legal advice. In fact, do not construe this site as an opinion for legal advice. Likewise, we are not a law firm nor lawyers. Hence, we only provide user advice based on our experiences. If you feel that you need expert legal advice, we recommend that you use Legal Match.
Click the link below to search Legal Match. Legal Match is a free search to find for an immigration attorney that suites you.
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Note: If any of your documents are in a foreign language, you must specifically include an English translation of them.
Proof of Good Faith Marriage
Evidence of proof of a good faith marriage can include:
- Copies of the birth certificates of any children born into your marriage.
- Documents showing joint ownership of assets or properties, such as a vehicle, home, insurance policies, tax returns, checking, savings, and investment accounts, and tax returns.
- Documents showing joint debts and liabilities, such as home loan, credit card, car loan, and utility bills.
- Apartment leases or home mortgages from places you have rented or owned as a couple.
- Affidavits from two people who know both you and your spouse personally and can affirm that your marriage is the real thing.
However, if you don’t have many of these, add whatever types of documents you think will best support your case.
The California or the Vermont Service Center are the processing centers for removal of conditions and green card renewals. Click here to see specifically which service center to mail to based on your residence.
California Service Center address:
USCIS California Service Center
P.O. Box 10751
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1075
Vermont Service Center address:
USCIS Vermont Service Center
P.O. Box 200
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001
After USCIS receives your Petition, they mail you a receipt notice which will also state that “Your alien card is extended one year – employment and travel authorized”.
After this, you recieve a letter with an appointment at your local USCIS office for bio-metrics (photo and fingerprints). Also, an interview is possible. Also, track the status of your Green Card through the USCIS Case Status On-line using the case number that comes with the letter.
If approved, USCIS will mail you your new green card which is valid for 10 years. Renew your green card every 10 year, unless you become a U.S. citizen in between time.
Renew of Green Card
As a matter of fact, renew your green card if you are a permanent resident with a green card valid for 10 years and the card is either expired or will expire within the next 6 months. Renew the Green Card by filing:
- Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Become a U.S. Citizen through Naturalization
If you are married to a U.S. Citizen, you may apply for US citizenship after 3 years with a valid Green Card. LoveVisaLife will be adding a page on Naturalization soon.