Green Card for a K Non-immigrant in US

 

The K-visa categories for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and their accompanying minor children (K-1 and K-2 visas) were created to speed up the immigration process for such individuals so they could travel more quickly to the United States.

By allowing a fiancé(e) and his/her accompanying minor children to be admitted to the United States as non-immigrants, fiancé(e)s can be spared a long separation from their intended spouse, while continuing their processing for an immigrant visa after the marriage takes place.

U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s file for their intended spouse on Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act

The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act amendments of 2000 added the K-3 visa category for foreign spouses and K-4 category for stepchildren of U.S. citizens.  Due to a backlog of immigrant visa petitions (Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) at that time, a long separation could occur between the overseas fiancé(e) and their intended U.S. citizen spouse.  To prevent a long separation, U.S. citizens were allowed to file an additional petition on Form I-129F while their Form I-130 was pending to allow their foreign spouses and his/her minor children to come to the United States as non-immigrants in an expedited manner.

The LIFE Act requires applicants to apply for a K-3 visa in the country where their marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner occurred, or in the event the petitioner and applicant were married in the United States, the country of the applicant’s current residence. After arrival in the United States, they could then complete their processing for permanent residence.

All K non-immigrants are required to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence and Adjust Status, after arrival to adjust status as a permanent resident of the United States.

K non-immigrants may only adjust status as a permanent resident through the same U.S. citizen (fiancé(e), spouse, or stepparent) that petitioned for them to receive their K visa status.

 

Application Process

If you entered the United States as a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen (K-1), child of a fiancée of a U.S. citizen (K-2), or the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen (K-3 or K-4)  you will have to file for adjustment of status in order to get your green card and to remain legally in the United States.

To obtain a green card, you need to file Form I-485.

If You are Present in the United States as a K-1 Fiance(e)

You should apply for adjustment as soon as you marry your fiancé(e). By law and regulations, you are required to marry US citizen
who petitioned for you within 90 days of your admission to the United States in K-1 status. If you fail to marry, you will become removable from the United States and cannot adjust through any other means.

If You are Present in the United States as K-2, the Minor Child of a K-1 Fiance(e)

You should seek adjustment of status at the same time as your parent (K-1) since your reason to adjust, in general, depends on your parent’s eligibility to adjust. There are some special rules as to how long you can seek adjustment. Please refer to the related sections below under “Other considerations” for additional information.

If You Seek Adjustment as a K-3, Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

You may seek adjustment as soon as you enter the United States. You can only seek adjustment of status based on your marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse who also petitioned for K-3 status for you.

Note: You may obtain an extension of your K-3 status in 2-year intervals, while your adjustment of status application is pending. You should, at the same time, apply for an extension of the K-4 status for your child.

If You Seek Adjustment as a K-4, Child of the K-3 Spouse of a U.S. citizen

You should seek adjustment of status as soon as your parent seeks adjustment of status. You can only seek adjustment of status on the basis of the marriage of your K-3 parent to his/her U.S. citizen spouse or the stepparent-child relationship this marriage caused and upon which your I-130 is based.

 

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