Tips for Turning a Fiancee Visa into a Green Card

A K-1 visa allows citizens of the United States to bring a fiancé and the spouse’s children to the U.S. for the sole purpose of getting married. It is valid for 90 days and cannot be renewed. However, many who come here on this visa wish to make their stay permanent, and thus apply for an Adjustment of Status, which is the process of applying for immigrant status (Green Card) if you already have a non-immigrant status visa.

To begin the process of Adjustment of Status, the resident spouse must prepare an I-864 Affidavit of Support, which ensures that the immigrant spouse will have to means to survive materially. At the same time, the residence hopeful must submit form I-485, known as Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Covering all the bases is essential. Here are a few things you can do to help make the application move more smoothly.
• Begin the application process at least 6 months in advance of your expected arrival in the U.S. Snafus happen.
• Meet your future spouse as often as possible in the two year period preceding your planned marriage date. Keep documentation of your trip including holiday snaps. It’s also good for the relationship in that you will get to know each other better, which will make you interview with officials more credible. The same goes for interactions with the future spouse’s children.
• When gathering information and documents that prove the validity of your courtship, make sure the documentation is solid. If you go on vacation, produce a picture of both of you taken in front of a well-known attraction, and have the plane and all other transportation stubs you have to show that you were there. Both parties should keep all letters and copies of emails.
• Make copies of all documents, one for yourself and one to send to your future spouse.
• Only send copies of all original documentation like driver licenses and birth certificates. Keep the originals safe. You may be required to produce the originals at one of the immigration offices of the consulate.

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