How to Change Your Status from a K-1 Visa to a Marriage Green Card?
Getting a K-1 Fiancé Visa is challenging, but once you have the K-1 Visa and living in the U.S. legally, the next step that couples look forward to is getting a Marriage Green Card.
A Marriage-based Green Card allows K-1 Visa holders to work and live in the U.S. freely and legally and enjoy the rights of a U.S. citizen. In this blog, we will walk you through the entire process of converting a K-1 Fiancé Visa to a Marriage-Based Green Card.
What is a K-1 Visa?
Let us first get a quick brief idea of what a K-1 Visa is. K-1 Fiancé Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the Fiancé of a U.S. citizen to live & work in the U.S. legally till the couple gets married.
The K-1 Visa enables a Fiancé to live in the U.S. for a maximum of 90 days. Once the couple is married, the Fiancé can apply for Marriage Green Card.
Relevant blog A Complete Guide For Getting A K-1 Fiancé Visa.
At Salinas Law Firm, we have the top immigration lawyers in Houston, Texas, who have helped 100s of couples obtain a K-1 Fiancé Visa. If you need consultation and assistance on obtaining a K-1 Fiancé Visa, contact us for a consultation.
Pre-Application Checklist for Marriage-Based Green Card
Before applying for a change of status from a K-1 Fiancé Visa Holder to a Marriage-based Green Card, make sure to tick the following checklist:
The U.S. citizen (sponsor) and the foreign partner must get married within 90 days of the K-1 Fiancé Visa Holder's arrival in the U.S.
The next thing K-1 Visa Holders must check is whether they are inadmissible for any reason or have any bars to adjustment for previous violations of Immigration Law before applying to convert from a K-1 Visa Holder to a Marriage-based Green Card.
Ground of Inadmissibility include the following:
- Drug Addiction
- Any communicable disease determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Any physical or mental disability linked to threatening behavior in the past could pose a threat to other citizens in the future.
- Failure to provide vaccination proof(document)
If the K-1 Visa Holder doesn't satisfy one or more of the above criteria, they have a higher chance of obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility by filing out the Form I-601, commonly called “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility."
The best way to ensure your AOS (Adjustment of Status) application isn't delayed is to contact a top immigration lawyer who will ensure all your paperwork (forms & documents) is on the dart, and you are all set to obtain a Marriage-Based Green Card.
Documents required for Marriage-based Green Card
K-1 Visa Holders must file out Form I-485 to successfully change their status to Marriage-based Green Card/Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The following are the documents that the applicant must keep ready for the Marriage Green Card process:
- Birth & marriage certificate
- Government-issued Photo ID
- A passport page containing K-1 Visa and entry stamp is given by the Border official.
- Form I-94 for Arrival/Departure Record
- Form I-797 and Form I-129F
- Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)
- Form I-693 (Medical Examination Report & Vaccination Record)
- Two passport-style photos of 2*2 size
The following documents may be required in exceptional cases:
- Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility)
- Form I-212 (Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S> after deportation or removal)
- Documents pertaining to J-1 or J-2 Visa applied previously or currently.
Note: The applicant can submit Form I-693 (Medical Examination Report) with Form I-485. If the applicant has already submitted Medical Examination Report at the time of the K-1 Visa Process, they can skip the Medical Examination and will be required to submit Vaccination Record.
The fee for Form I-485 is $1140, which beneficiary can apply for a waiver in specific cases.
Connect with Salinas Law Firm for a consultation, and our best Immigration Attorneys in Houston, Texas, who will assist you through the entire process of assembling required forms & documents and fee waivers in exceptional cases to help you obtain a Marriage-based Green Card.
Interview with USCIS
Once the USCIS has received your AOS application, they will schedule an interview with the couple (K-1 Visa Holder and U.S. Citizen).
In the Interview, a USCIS official will verify that the marriage is legitimate and ensure the U.S. Citizen and Foreign National are living together as a married couple.
In the Interview, questions will be asked regarding the couple's relationship, current working positions, and future plans.
After the Interview, the USCIS will decide whether to approve or reject the AOS application. Once the application is approved, the foreign national (K-1 Visa Holder) will receive a Marriage-based Green Card, allowing them to work and live in the U.S. as a permanent lawful resident.
If the application is denied, the foreign national may require to leave the U.S. depending on the current K-1 Visa's remaining validity days.
Note: The foreign national's status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. is conditional for the first 2 years of marriage. During this time, the foreign national and the U.S. Citizen spouse must live together to prove their marriage is legitimate.
The USCIS will review and monitor the couple's situation during this time to assess whether the couple's marriage is legitimate or not to obtain a Marriage Green Card.
Once the AOS application is approved, the USCIS will grant foreign national a Marriage-based Green Card. The Marriage Green Card will be considered conditional if the couple is married for less than two years. In this scenario, the foreign national must apply to remove the conditions two years after the Marriage Green Card issue date.
To successfully remove the conditions, the couples must file Form I-751, for "Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence," within 90 days of the expiration date.
Note: If the petition is filed early, it is more likely to be returned. For the Petition to Remove Conditions, the married couple must submit valid & authentic documents to prove their marriage is legitimate. The following proofs will be required:
- Photos taken during the two-year period
- Joint Bank Account Statements
- Birth Certificate of children born during the two-year period
- Deeds to co-owned property
In exceptional cases, the USCIS might ask for more documents.
After going through the blog, you will be familiar with the conversion process from K-1 Visa to Marriage-based Green Card and the documents required for the AOS Application and Forms.
Make the entire process plain sailing by contacting Salinas Law Firm, and our team of the best Attorneys in Houston, Texas, will assist you with the assembling of documents, filing the necessary forms, interview process, and even removal of the conditions. Call us at 713.518.1711 to directly schedule an appointment with our Immigration Attorney.