Adjustment of Status for Fiance(e) and Children
By Reuben Seguritan
A person who enters the US with a K-1 (fiancé(e)) visa must marry the US citizen petitioner- fiancé(e) within 90 days from entering the US. If the K-1 visa fiancé(e) has a child, the child may also enter the US with a K-2 visa. The child must be less than 21 years of age and unmarried when he/ she enters the US with the K-1 visa parent. Upon entering the US, the K-1 visa parent and K-2 visa child are issued the I-94 which indicates until when they are authorized to stay in the US. If the K-1 visa holder fails to marry the US citizen petitioner- fiancé(e) within 90 days from entering the US, he/she may be deported along with the K-2 visa child.
After the K-1 visa parent has married the US citizen within 90 days from arrival, he/she and the K-2 visa child may apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS). AOS is the process by which they will become lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the US and obtain the green card. The process begins with the K-1 visa parent and the K-2 visa child submitting an I-485 Adjust of Status application and the supporting documents to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The K-2 visa child must have his/ her own I-485 application and this may be submitted with the I-485 application of the K-1 visa parent. They should file this before the date on the I-94. It is highly possible that the I-485 applications are still pending even after the date indicated on the I-94 form. In this case, the K-1 visa and K-2 visa applicants are still authorized to stay in the US while the I-485 applications are pending.
While the I-485 applications are pending, the K-1 visa parent and the K-2 child are advised not to travel outside the US. This is to show their commitment to establish a life in the US with the US citizen, to make sure they can appear at the scheduled biometrics and interview appointments, and to answer requests for further evidence (RFE) or submit other documents when required by the USCIS. If it is absolutely necessary for the K-1 visa parent and/or K-2 visa child to travel outside the US while the I-485 applications are pending, they must get an Advanced Parole document from the USCIS before they leave the US. This is done by submitting the I-131 Application for Travel Document to the USCIS.
The following documents and evidence must be submitted with the completely filled-out I-485 application: Two passport-style photos; copy of the government issued photo identification, for example, the passport; copy of the birth certificate; copy of I-94 admission/departure record; copy of passport page with K-1 or K-2 visa; copy of passport page with admission entry stamp in the US; marriage certificate with the US citizen-petitioner; copy of form I-797 Approval Notice (application approval for the K-1 visa); form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record; form I-864 Affidavit of Support; and payment for the filing fees.
The applicants may also submit the form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. This form is submitted to entitle the applicants to work in the US while the I-485 applications are pending. The applicants may also want to submit the form G-1145 E-notification of Application/ Petition Acceptance in order to receive a notification when the USCIS receives the application. Finally, it is advisable for the application to have a cover letter to make the job of the USCIS easier. The cover letter would have the important names, dates and evidence and documents included in the application.
The following documents must also be submitted if they are applicable to the applicant/s: Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests or convictions; Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility; Form I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the US after Deportation or Removal; documentation of past of present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status, including proof of compliance with or a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement. If any of the documents are not in English, the copy of the original document and a translation of that document to English must be submitted.
Applicants are cautioned to review the application before submission to the USCIS. All the questions in the forms must be answered. If an item is not applicable to the applicants, they must put “N/A”. If an answer to an item must be explained, the last page of the form has a space for explanations after indicating the page, part number and item number that the explanation is for.