K-1 Visa Adjustment of Status for Permanent Residency

Updated on April 10, 2024

Congratulations on your recent marriage! If you entered the United States on a K1 fiancé(e) visa and tied the knot within the required 90-day period, your next step is to adjust your status from a K1 nonimmigrant to a permanent resident (green card holder). In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of adjusting your status, including the necessary forms, processing times, and costs.

30 Second Recap:

Adjusting your status from a K1 visa holder to a permanent resident involves filing Form I-485 and supporting documents with USCIS after marrying your U.S. citizen spouse within 90 days of entering the country. The process typically takes 8-12 months and costs around $1,225 in filing fees. Once approved, you’ll receive your green card, granting you the right to live and work permanently in the United States and opening the door to future U.S. citizenship.

What Is Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is the process by which a K1 visa holder applies for lawful permanent resident status from within the United States. This process allows you to transition from a nonimmigrant visa status to a green card holder without having to leave the country.

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

To be eligible for adjustment of status, you must:

  1. Have entered the United States on a valid K1 visa.
  2. Have married your U.S. citizen spouse within 90 days of your entry.
  3. Have a spouse who continues to be a U.S. citizen.
  4. Be admissible to the United States (i.e., not have any disqualifying criminal, immigration, or health issues).

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Required Forms for Adjustment of Status

To adjust your status, you’ll need to file the following forms with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  1. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  2. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support (completed by your U.S. citizen spouse)
  3. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  4. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (optional, but recommended)
  5. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (optional, but recommended)

You’ll also need to provide supporting documents, such as your marriage certificate, proof of your spouse’s U.S. citizenship, and evidence of your lawful entry into the United States on a K1 visa.

Processing Time for K1 Visa Adjustment of Status

The processing time for a K1 visa adjustment of status can vary depending on the USCIS service center handling your case and their current workload.

The current expected wait time for USCIS to process the I-129F form (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) is around 10-12 months, according to recent reports. This is an improvement from the previously mentioned 16.5 months processing time at the California Service Center.

After USCIS accepts the petition, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC), which takes an additional 1-3 months. Recent reports suggest that the time between USCIS and NVC is increasing slightly.

Following the NVC process, the embassy interview takes another 1-4 months.

Some applicants have reported longer wait times than usual.

Below are some recent updates from users as of 2024:

  • An applicant has been waiting 130 days since receiving confirmation that their I-129F was received, and they are still awaiting the next step.
  • Another applicant received their Notice of Action 1 (NOA1) 7 months ago and has not had any updates since then.
  • An applicant filed with California more than 10 months ago but has not heard back.
  • An applicant from Indonesia filed for K-1 process in April 2022 and finally had their interview scheduled for February 28th, 2024.

On average, the process takes 8-12 months from the time you file your application to the time you receive your green card. During this time, USCIS will review your application, perform background checks, and may request additional evidence or an interview. It’s crucial to respond promptly to any requests from USCIS to avoid delays in processing.

Cost of Adjusting Status

The cost of adjusting status from a K1 visa to permanent residency includes several fees:

  1. Form I-485 filing fee: $1,140
  2. Biometrics fee (for applicants under 79 years old): $85
  3. Form I-765 filing fee (if applying for work authorization): $410
  4. Form I-131 filing fee (if applying for a travel document): $575

Total government fees for filing adjustment of status can be up to $2,210. There would be additional costs if you choose to use a lawyer’s help. Based on the current market, lawyers cost an additional $1,000 on average.

These fees are subject to change, so it’s essential to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.

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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.

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