Adjustment of Status refers to the process through which a non–immigrant (who is already in United States) becomes a permanent resident. The individual may apply for adjustment of status without having to leave the country and apply from his or her home country. The adjustment of status is a lengthy process and most people choose to leave the country and go through the consular processing at the US Embassy or consulate abroad.
Individuals who wish to adjust their status while being inside United States must file the form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. To apply for adjustment of status, you must meet the requirements set forth by the immigration law.
Who may file?
If you have a family living in the US, the family has to petition the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on your behalf to adjust your status. If you want to adjust your status because of your employment, you must submit an application for adjustment of status along with your application for a green card. When you file the form I-485 to adjust your status based on your employment, your US employer must provide certification that you will be employed permanently. If you entered the United States on a Fiancée Visa and you married your fiancée (or fiancé) within the required 90-day period, you may adjust the status because you are now married. A child who entered the United States under such visa (K-2 visa) may also apply for adjustment of status based on the parent’s adjustment of status.
You may also apply for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, based on being the spouse or child when the principal applicant is granted permanent resident status in an immigrant category that allows derivative status for spouses and children, based on admission as the fiancé of a U.S. Citizen and subsequent marriage to that citizen
You may not file the form I485 to adjust your status, if you entered United States in transit or without a visa, or you were not admitted into the United States following inspection by an immigration officer, or you were employed in United States without the authorization of the USCIS, or you failed to maintain your non – immigrant status and various other reasons where USCIS decides you are not eligible to apply for adjustment of status.
You may remain in the United States under the rules of adjustment of status. This is possible when you are gathering all the documents required to file Form I-485. You may also obtain a work permit when you file Form I-485 to adjust your status and have travel documents so that you can travel outside the country during the waiting period.
After you submit your application, USCIS will review it . Any Form I-485 that has been submitted to USCIS and is not correct or not accompanied with the correct fee and required documents, USCIS might reject the application. You are then required to gather all the supporting documents and provide correct information and resubmit the application for approval notice. USCIS will then request you to appear for an interview. You will be notified in writing on the approval. The decision on your application depends on your eligibility for adjustment of status.
The INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) defines a K-1 visa as a non-immigrant visa classification for aliens coming to the United States to marry an American citizen and to set up residence in the United States.
Procedure and requirements for K-1 visa:
To be eligible to file for a K-1 visa the applicant should be :
- A US citizen.
- Must have met his fiancé in person within the previous two years or at least once.
- Should have a serious intention to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival in the United States.
- Should have a minimum income requirement to qualify for the Affidavit of Support so that the fiancé does not become a public charge.
To get started with the K-1 visa process the American citizen must file a petition on behalf of his alien fiancée with the Form I-129F, Petition for Relative or Fiancée, with the (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the place of the petitioner’s residence in the United States. Such petitions are not generally adjudicated abroad.
Once the petition is approved it will be forwarded by the USCIS to the American consular office where the alien fiancée will apply for his or her visa. This petition is valid only for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action and may be revalidated by the consular officer.
On receipt of an approved petition, the American consular officer will intimate the beneficiary and provide the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a K-1 visa.
As the fiancée visa applicant is an intending immigrant, he or she must meet most of the documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.
The following documents are generally required in addition to the prescribed application forms.
- A valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
- Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
- Medical examination
- Evidence of support
- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
- As soon as the processing of the case is completed the consular officer will interview the fiancée.
- If found eligible then a visa will be issued which will be valid for one entry during a period of six months.
K-1 Fiancé Visa and U.S. PORT OF ENTRY:
On entry into the US the marriage should take place within 90 days of admission. Following the marriage the spouse must apply to the USCIS for conditional permanent residence status. After two years the alien may apply to the USCIS for removal of the conditions.
K-1 Fiancé Visa Additional Details:
Unmarried minor children who are under 21 years of age of the K-1 visa holder will derive “K-2” non-immigrant visa status from the parent as long as they are mentioned in the petition. A separate petition though is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiancée within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1visa. From thereon a separate immigrant visa (I-130) petition is required.
Bringing your loved ones to the United States can be an exciting time. However, one must be prepared and patient, but eventually one can enjoy life together with his/her fiancé.