Adjustment of Status: Its Requirements and Processes
Hello. My name is Robert and I am a legal manager at Siam Legal International. I am going to discuss the Adjustment of Status process for your K-1 or K-3 spouse.
What is Adjustment of Status?
Adjustment of Status is the process of converting your K-1 or K-3 spouse to a U.S. permanent resident. The process begins with organizing your supporting documents. They can be placed into these categories:
- Required Documents that establish your Identity includes passport ID pages, birth certificates, driver’s license, and name changes. These documents include the Approval Notice of I-129F, K Visa Page, Stamped Passport Page, and the online I-94 Printout. For a K-3 spouse case, you will also have to include the I-130 approve notice or the I-130 initial receipt.
- The Evidence of Marriage can either be Marriage Certificates or the Registration of a Common Law Marriage depending on where the marriage occurred.
- The parties must have been free to marry at the time of their marriage so if either the U.S. citizen or the spouse were previously married, they will need to submit Divorce Decrees, Court Ordered Annulments, or Death Certificates.
- Evidence of the marriage relationship can include Marriage photos, relationship photos, joint financial statements, insurance policies, children’s birth certificates, or even personal statements from friends and family.
- You will need to submit a copy of the medical certificate that was provided to the U.S. Embassy for the visa if it was less than a year old. The USCIS may request a new medical exam if the previous medical exam is over a year old or is not complete.
- The Immigrating Spouse will need to obtain financial support to ensure that they will not become a public charge. The U.S. citizen spouse will have to submit the last three years of tax returns and the most recent pay check stubs or employment verification letter. If the amount is not enough, they will have to obtain a co-sponsor.
Where do I send the supporting documents?
The supporting documents need to be submitted with the following forms:
- I-485 Adjustment of Status
- I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
- I-131 Application for Travel Documents (Advance Parole)
- G-325A Biographical Data Sheet for both the U.S. Citizen and the Spouse
- I-864 Affidavit of Support
Any document that is not in English needs to have a certified English translation attached to it. The forms, filing fees, and the supporting documentation need to be packaged and mailed to the Chicago Lock Box:
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120
What happens after the petition is filed?
After the Petition is received and reviewed for completeness, the USCIS will send a receipt. About a month after the receipt, USCIS will send biometrics notice to the applicant.
After receiving the applicant’s biometrics, USCIS will conduct a criminal background check on the applicant. This will take 6 to 8 weeks.
Upon completion of the background check, the package is sent to the local district office that has jurisdiction over the applicant. The officer at the district office will review the forms and supporting documentation.
If the officer believes in that the documents submitted is sufficient to warrant an approval, the officer will approve the case. If the officer does not believe that the documents are sufficient, he will schedule an interview at the office with the couple.
If there is an interview, what happens?
The officer will verify the information contained in the package and try to determine the sincerity of the marriage relationship. This is completed through an informal questioning of the applicant and the U.S. citizen spouse.
If there are additional questions on the validity of the marriage, the couple may be asked to return for a second interview where the questions may be more inquisitorial.
What happens after the approval?
If the couple has been married for less than two years, the foreign spouse will receive a conditional permanent resident status, which expires in two years. The couple will have to submit proof of their continued marriage relationship three months prior to the expiration date.
If the couple has been married for over two years at the time of the approval notice, the couple will receive a 10-year permanent residency card without conditions.
To start the Adjustment of Status application, follow this link.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.