The TLC network has a very popular show called the 90 Day Fiance which is based on the immigration process of the K-1 Visa. The show debuted in January 2014 and has 7 seasons and 79 episodes. The show follows the lives of international couples who have applied or are applying for the K-1 Visa. The K-1 Visa allows US citizens to sponsor their fiance(e) to legally enter and live in the United States. However, the catch is that they must marry within 90 days of arriving in the US. After they marry then they may apply for a marriage green card in a process known as an adjustment of status. Once they adjust their status the foreign national will now be a legal permanent resident of the United States.
K-1 Visa Qualifications
Sometimes the 90 Day Fiance doesn’t show how extensive the application process for the K-1 can be. In order to qualify for a K-1 Visa the international couple must meet special criteria:
- One person of the couple must be a US Citizen
- You must intend to marry each other within 90 days of the fiance(e) arriving in the United States
- All previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment
- You both must have met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting the person would: violate strictly and long-established customs of your fiance(e)’s foreign culture or social practice OR result in extreme hardship to the US Citizen
Failure to Marry Within 90 Days
Sometimes the 90 Day Fiance show doesn’t exactly go as planned and the couples do not marry. So what does this mean? It is called “Failure to Marry Within 90 Days”. K-1 visas automatically expire after the 90 days and cannot be extended for any reason. If you did not marry within the 90 days then the foreign fiance(e) and his or her children must leave the United States at the end of the 90 days. If they do not depart then they will be in violation of the US Immigration Law which will result in removal or deportation which could affect their future eligibility for any further visits to the US.
Green Card After Marriage on 90 Day Fiance
After entering the United States on the K-1 Visa and marrying a US Citizen the foreign fiance(e) can apply for a lawful permanent resident status in the United States. There are several requirements to qualify for an adjustment of status after marrying within the US:
- You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
- You were inspected and admitted to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;
- Within 90 days of being admitted into the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, you entered into a bona fide marriage with the U.S. citizen who filed Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for you;
- You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
- Note: You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa if you enter a bona fide marriage with your U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days after being admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant;
- An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and when USCIS makes a final decision on your application;
- Note: An immigrant visa is always available to you if you marry your U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of being admitted as a K-1 nonimmigrant. Once you marry, you are treated as an immediate relative;
- None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
- You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or another form of relief; and
- You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’s discretion.
Required Documents for a Green Card Adjustment of Status After K-1 Visa
If you married in the US under the K-1 Visa then you will want to adjust your status as soon as possible to stay in the US. In order to qualify for the US Marriage Green Card there are several documents required:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- Copy of the Form I-797, Approval Notice for the Form I-129F filed on your behalf;
- Copy of your marriage certificate;
- Two passport-style photographs;
- Copy of your government-issued identity document with photograph;
- Copy of your birth certificate;
- Copy of your passport page with nonimmigrant visa;
- Copy of your passport page with your admission or parole stamp (issued by a U.S. immigration officer);
- Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record or copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admission or parole stamp on the travel document (if applicable)
- Note: If CBP provided you with an electronic Form I-94 upon you arrival/admission to the United States, you may print out a paper version of the Form I-94 from CBP website at www.cbp.gov/I94;
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA or Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act;
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (you may submit this form together with Form I-485 or later, such as when we request it or in person at your interview, if any);
- Note: If you received a medical examination before being admitted to the United States, you may not need to have another examination but you must still show proof that you complied with the vaccination requirements. See the Form I-693 Instructions for more information.
- Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable);
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable);
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if applicable); an
- Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable), including proof of compliance with or a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under INA 212(e) (for more information, see Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement).
Hiring an Immigration Lawyer for K-1 Visa or Marriage Green Card
As you can see from above there is an extensive list of required documents for both K-1 Visa as well as the Adjustment of Status Marriage Green Card. Hiring a US Immigration Lawyer can help you organize your documents and get the best possible outcome for your visas. The USCIS is extremely strict with Marriage Fraud cases so they take a very close look at every relationship that applies for these types of visas. Book a consultation with one of VisaPlace’s US Immigration Professionals today to start your immigration process!