How to Apply for K1 Visa Adjustment of Status

Updated on January 25, 2024

At a Glance

  • K1 visa holders can apply for green cards, becoming permanent residents in the US.
  • Eligibility requires legal entry, marriage to a US citizen within 90 days, and a valid K1 visa.
  • Adjustment of status involves forms I-485, I-693, and I-864, with supporting documents.
  • Process includes biometrics, an adjustment of status interview, and obtaining a conditional green card.

The K1 visa allows the fiance of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married. However, you cannot maintain K1 status for long: it lasts for a maximum of 90 days and cannot be extended. To stay in the U.S. after your K1 visa expires, you must get married within that 90 day period and file for an adjustment of status to permanent resident.

You should begin the process of adjusting your status and obtaining a green card as soon as you get married. This article walks you through each step of the K1 visa adjustment of status process.

Can K1 Visa Holders Apply for Green Cards?

Yes, K1 visa holders are eligible for permanent resident status. If the K1 visa holder brought any dependent children to the U.S., then they are eligible for green cards as well. Once you adjust your visa status to permanent resident, then you can live and work permanently in the U.S.

K1 Visa Adjustment of Status Eligibility

You can transition from a K1 visa to a green card as long as you:

  • Legally entered the US on a K1 visa
  • Married a U.S. citizen within 90 days of entering the country
  • Have a valid, unexpired K1 visa

The sooner you apply for an adjustment of status after you get married, the better. If you do not get married within 90 days there is no way to adjust your status and you may have to leave the U.S.

After the 90 day period expires, the K1 visa holder will be in the U.S. unlawfully. While it’s still possible to adjust your visa status while in the U.S. illegally, the process becomes more expensive, complicated, and time-consuming.

Documents Needed for a K1 Visa Adjustment of Status

Adjusting your status and becoming a permanent resident requires submitting a fairly large and complex packet with a range of forms and supporting documents. Here are the forms you must submit to obtain a green card:

The following documents are optional if you wish to travel or work in the U.S. before you obtain permanent residence:

Additional Documents

In addition to these forms, you will have to submit supporting documents proving your visa status, the validity of your marriage, and more. These documents include:

  • Passport-style photos
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of U.S. government-issued ID
  • Copy of Form I-129F approval notice
  • Copy of passport page with visa or admission stamp
  • Evidence that you were married within 90 days of entry
  • Relevant filing fees

How to Apply for a K1 Visa Adjustment of Status

Applying for your K1 Visa adjustment of status has four fairly straightforward steps:

  • Submit Your Application and Documents
  • Attend Your K1 to Green Card Biometrics Appointment
  • Attend Your K1 Visa Adjustment of Status Interview
  • Receive Your Conditional Green Card

Each of these steps is explored in more detail below.

Submit Your Application and Documents

Collect all of the documents listed above and fill out the forms with the most complete information possible. Then, you can submit your petition to adjust your status to the nearest United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) office. You will receive a notice to attend a biometrics appointment and an interview at your local USCIS office.

After attending these two appointments, if the USCIS has discovered no grounds for inadmissibility, then you will receive a conditional green card.

Attend Your K1 to Green Card Biometrics Appointment

Foreign nationals in the U.S. on a visa must submit biometric information to the USCIS to become permanent residents. At this appointment, a USCIS official will collect fingerprints, photographs, and any other relevant identifying information. With this data, the USCIS will complete a background check and then print a green card with accurate information.

Attend Your K1 Visa Adjustment of Status Interview

People frequently use “green card marriages” to fraudulently take advantage of U.S. immigration laws and obtain permanent residence. The USCIS conducts interviews of all green card applicants to prevent this fraud. The K1 visa holder and U.S. citizen spouse must attend this interview at a USCIS office. You will have to provide documentary evidence proving your marriage is not fraudulent. You can do this by submitting:

  • Photographs or videos of your wedding
  • Guests lists of your wedding
  • Joint bank account statements
  • Titles or deeds from jointly owned property
  • Joint loan or credit card statements

Also, the USCIS officer will ask you and your spouse a series of questions about your personal history, close family and friends, when/where you were married, and more. The main goal of these questions is to ensure that the answers of each spouse align. You and your spouse should go over some basic questions and have prepared answers to make sure the interview goes smoothly.

Receive Your Conditional Green Card

If your adjustment of status application is approved you will receive a conditional green card. Conditional green cards are another measure to prevent fraud from individuals who obtained permanent resident status through marriage. These cards last two years and grant the same rights and privileges of a regular green card.

You must submit a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence within 90 days prior to your conditional green card expiration date. This process requires you to again demonstrate the validity of your marriage. Once approved, you will receive a permanent resident card that lasts 10 years.

K1 Visa Adjustment of Status Cost

As with any request to adjust an immigration status to a Green Card, the cost to adjust your K1 Visa to a Green Card is $535 to submit your Form I-130.

K1 Visa to Green Card Processing Time 2024

The general processing time for a transition from a K1 visa to a Green Card is 7-9 months. This may take longer if there is a significant backlog or if your application is incomplete.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.