You made it to America! You got through the first Ninety Days, and got married. Now you are looking at doing the Adjustment of Status after marriage. The process can be a lot quicker than the K1 Visa process. Depending on where you live in the United States it can take as little as 6 months or up to one year to get approved for your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). Let us jump right in, and walk you through the process of getting your Adjustment of Status.
What can we expect for paperwork?
Just like the K1 Visa process it all begins with filling out tons of pages of documents to mail to USCIS. Except this time for the Adjustment of Status you will have to complete and mail four different petitions, and also submit the proof of legal marriage. Sounds like fun! Don’t worry K1 Visa Guru is here to help if you decide you don’t want to go through the hassle of filling it all out yourself. We are also here to help you with your questions if you do decide to complete the petitions.
Where do we begin?
So the idea of having to fill out four different petition got you feeling a little overwhelmed. Well don’t worry just take one petition at a time. A lot of the information you will need for the petitions is the same as the K1 Visa petition. Now you just have to put everything together for them to see the happy family you are starting.
The main part of the petition is the I-485 – Adjustment of Status. This petition will include the information from when you arrived in the United States. You will need to make sure you have you Alien Number (A-xxxxxxxxx). To find this number it will be on the approved K1 Petition. They will write it on the front page of the Approved I-129f. You will also need to make sure you have the I-94 which you will print off. This will be available to you 14-30 days after you enter the United States through customs.
After you arrived in the United States on the K1 Visa you will not be able to travel abroad. You will not be able to travel over the boards to Canada or Mexico either. In order to get permission to travel outside the U.S. you will need to submit the I-131 Petition for Travel Documentation. This allow you to travel back home to visit your family, go to Niagara Falls for your honeymoon, or even travel abroad for vacation while you are waiting for you Permanent Resident card. It is possible to travel to your home country in the event you need to for a family emergency. We will discuss that in another post, but you will have to contact USCIS to ensure permission to leave the country, and also get the proper documentation to return legally to the United States. It is possible, depending on where your petition is being processed, that you will obtain the Green Card before these petitions are complete. If you receive get the Green Card first you will not need this document.
Many people want to work when they arrive. There are two items you will need in order to work legally within the United States. One is a Social Security Number, and the second is the Employment Authorization card allowing you to obtain legal employment. The Social Security Number can be obtained prior to getting your Green Card, but it will be stamped stating that it does not legally allow you to have employment, but it will allow you to get a drivers license, bank account, and start establishing credit. We will discuss the Social Security Number in detail in another post. The Employment Authorization Card will remove that restriction from the Social Security Number to allow you to have a job. Just like the I-131 it is possible to obtain the Green Card first, making this document not needed.
The I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency is a new document required by all Adjustment of Status filers to complete. President Donald Trump signed legislation requiring those looking to become Green Card holders to prove that they will be self-sufficient with their petitioners, so not to be come reliant on the Government for benefits. This document is new, and can be tricky to complete. This goes deeper into your financial status. It will ask you for credit report information, if you have any equity, and even if you have any properties. This is a very important document. This is usually the one that confuses people the most. If you receive are unaware of what to answer make sure you ask for help.
I-864 Affidavit of Support
Just like when you filed your K1 Visa petition, you had to complete the I-134 Affidavit of Support. This one goes into a little more detail, and requires 3 years of tax forms, letter from your employer, and bank statements. The difference is that this one you have to mail in with your petition. The I-134 your beneficiary was able to just take with them to the interview. This time they want it mailed with the petition so they can verify the information prior to your interview.
Conclusion to the Adjustment of Status
Now it is time to make sure you have completed all the documents, gathered all the evidence needed to show you have legally married, and attached your payment for the petition. The cost of the petition is $1,140, and $85 for the biometric fee, for a total of $1,225. You can either pay by credit card by submitting G-1450 or you can mail a check along with your petition.
Remember to sign all your petition documents or they will be denied, and mailed back to you to sign. Once they receive your petition it will take approximately 30 days for them to submit your payment. NOA1 will be mailed to you after they begin your petition. You will also receive an NOA1 for the I-131 petition, and the I-765 petition. Each of them will tell you that they have started processing each of those petitions. You will get an NOA2 to tell you the date and time of your interview. Again, if you get the Green Card before the I-131 and I-765 are completed than you will hear nothing more on those petitions as they are no longer needed. If your petition takes longer you will receive the Travel Document, and Employment Authorization so you can travel, and begin working legally while your petition is being completed.
I hope this helps you with understanding the Adjustment of Status after marriage. Please leave your comments or questions below, and I will be happy to answer you back. If you receive really feel this will help others please use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to share on your social media platforms. We at K1 Visa Guru strive to help you be successful with your petitions.