Permanent residence for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens
After being admitted to the United States with a K-1 nonimmigrant - fiancé(e) - visa and marrying the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days, a foreign national spouse can then apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (get a Green Card).
Who is eligible to apply for permanent residency through this process?
A foreign spouse may apply for permanent residency if meet the following requirements:
You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
You were inspected and admitted to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;
Within 90 days of being admitted into the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, you entered into a bona fide marriage with the U.S. citizen who filed Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for you;
You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and a visa is immediately available as a result of your timely and bona fide marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse
None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.
What documents do you need to submit?
If you were admitted to the United States as a foreign fiancé(e)s of a U.S. citizens on a K-1 nonimmigrant, you should submit the following documentation and evidence with your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status:
Copy of the Form I-797, Approval Notice for the Form I-129F filed on your behalf;
Copy of your marriage certificate;
Two passport-style photographs;
Copy of your government-issued identity document with photograph;
Copy of your birth certificate;
Copy of your passport page with nonimmigrant visa;
Copy of your passport page with your admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer);
Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record or copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admission or parole stamp on the travel document (if applicable);
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA or Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act or Form I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption (whichever applies);
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (you may submit this form together with Form I-485 or later, such as when we request it or in person at your interview, if any); Note: If you received a medical examination before being admitted to the United States, you may not need to have another examination but you must still show proof that you complied with the vaccination requirements.
Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable);
Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable);
Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable), including proof of compliance with or a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under INA 212(e) (for more information, see Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement).
If you have been married to the U.S. citizen petitioner for less than two years at the time your Form I-485 is approved, USCIS will grant you lawful permanent resident status for two years on a conditional basis. You will need to meet additional requirements and file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence before USCIS will remove those conditions.
Can I work or travel while my application is pending?
Yes. Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, you may apply for employment authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
If you need to leave the United States temporarily while your Form I-485 is pending, please see Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and its instructions for more information. Generally, if you have a pending Form I-485 and you leave the United States without an advance parole document, you will have abandoned your application.
If you are in the process of applying for permanent residence through your marriage to a U.S. citizen and have questions about the process, please contact us. We have successfully assisted couples stay together in the United States. We are here to help you. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.
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