What happens after your Fiancé enters the United States on a K-1 visa?

The U.S. consulate approves a foreign national for a K-1 Fiancé visa. The K-1 visa provides the foreign national up to 6 months to enter the U.S. Once the fiancé enters the United States, what are the next steps?

When should the U.S. Citizen and K-1 Fiancé get married?

The U.S. Citizen and the K-1 Fiancé should begin planning their wedding after the K-1 visa is approved. Under the terms of the K-1 visa, the K-1 Fiancé is required to marry the U.S. Citizen sponsor within 90 days of entry into the United States. After entry into the United States and the K-1 Fiancé confirms that they want to marry and live in the United States, the couple should proceed to get legally married.

The K-1 Fiancé can only remain in the United States if they marry the U.S. Citizen who sponsored their visa. The K-1 Fiancé will be violating their status if they do not marry within 90 days or if they marry someone other than the U.S. Citizen who sponsored them. If they violate their status, the K-1 Fiancé will face additional burdens to their immigration filing and may be required to leave the United States.

Can the K-1 Fiancé bring their children with them to the United States?

As part of the initial I-129F application process, the K-1 Fiancé children should have been listed. The unmarried children under the age of 21 should have received a similar consular package that would enable them to apply for a K-2 visa for entry into the United States.

If the K-1 Fiancé did not bring their children with them, they can send for their children to enter the United States under an approved K-2 visa. The K-2 children will enter the United States and their status is conditioned on the K-1 parent maintaining their legal status.

When can the K-1 Fiancé work while in the United States?

While the law allows K-1 status holders to apply for employment authorization, the reality is that the processing time for an employment authorization will make the employment authorization document (EAD) of little value since the K-1 status would have expired or shortly expire after its approval. The EAD would be contingent on the validity of the K-1 status.

It is recommended that the K-1 status holder apply for employment authorization as part of the adjustment of status application. The adjustment of status can be filed after the K-1 Fiancé and the U.S. Citizen Sponsor get married. The current filing fee for the adjustment of status includes the cost of an employment authorization and travel visa. If there are K-2 children, the children’s petition for adjustment of status should be filed with the initial adjustment of status petitioner of the K-1 Fiancé. The new status of the foreign national would be “adjustment of status pending.”

When does the K-1 Fiancé apply for a social security card?

The K-1 Fiancé can apply for a social security card upon entry into the United States. If the K-1 Fiancé wants the name to reflect a new married name, the K-1 Fiancé will have to get married first prior to applying for a social security number. The social security number does not allow the K-1 status holder to work without employment authorization.

While the adjustment of status is pending, the former K-1 Fiancé should receive employment authorization within a few months. The former K-1 Fiancé can begin to work upon receiving notice of the approval.

What happens after the K-1 Fiancé adjustment of status is approved?

Upon approval of the adjustment of status, the K-1 Fiancé will receive a conditional permanent resident status. The conditional permanent resident card has a two year expiration date. The former K-1 Fiancé will have to file for removal of the conditional permanent resident status within 2 years of the approval date. Upon removal of the conditional permanent resident status, the former K-1 Fiancé can look to apply for naturalization to be a U.S. Citizen.

When can the K-1 Fiancé file for U.S. Citizenship?

A K-1 Fiancé can file for U.S. citizenship two years and nine months after the approval of their initial adjustment of status petition if the K-1 Fiancé is still married to the U.S. citizen who was the spouse in the initial adjustment of status petition. In addition, the removal of conditional permanent residency is required to be approved before the citizenship application can be approved.

If the K-1 Fiancé is no longer married to the spouse in the initial adjustment of status petition, they will have to wait four years and nine months after approval of their initial adjustment of status petition before applying for U.S. citizenship.


Category: US Fiancee Visa

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.


Drop your comments here:

  1. Shamsa ali says:

    I had a question about fiance visa, the question is what is the difference between the green card and adjustment. My finace came to US and would the first step be we get married and then apply for green card him? Your help will be appreciated.

    • Siam Legal International says:

      Dear Shamsa,

      Thank you for contacting us. With regards your inquiry, after your fiancee entered the U.S. on a K-1 Fiancee Visa, you will need to get married within the 90-day period. After that, you can file for Adjustment of Status. Adjustment of Status is basically a 2 year conditional residence status. It is like a temporary green card but only good for 2 years. After 2 years, you will need to file a form to remove the condition and change it to 10 year permanent residency or 10-year green card.

      Our company can help you with the filing of the Adjustment of Status.

  2. Felistars Dorcas says:

    I have K1 visa. What’s the next step to be done by my fiancé, so that I can start college?

    • Siam Legal International says:

      Dear Felistars,

      With regards your inquiry, you need to get married within 90 days. After your marriage, you can then file for adjustment of status so you can work legally and you can study if you decide to study in the U.S. without any problem. Our company can definitely help you with the process.

  3. Jefferson says:

    Please am here in the US on a k1 visa and I have 90days to get married but the marriage courthouse are closed now please what do I have to do to avoid been illegal here in the States so that I can adjust my status please

    • Siam Legal International says:

      Hi Jefferson,

      As much as we wanted to help you but unfortunately we cannot do anything on our side.

      We would suggest contacting USCIS directly. USCIS can schedule an emergency appointment if needed.

      Please visit https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-covid-19 for more information and how to contact USCIS during this period.

  4. Ashley says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Does my husband needs to stay in US while applying for conditional green card after entered US with k1 fiancé visa? And how long does it take to receive the conditional green card, I heard it could be a year or so~

    Your advise is greatly appreciated!


    • Siam Legal International says:

      Hi Ashley,

      If your husband has entered the US under a K1 visa and after marriage, he can immediately apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS). One of the requirements for AOS is an original certified copy of your marriage certificate. Bear in mind that depending on the county in which you were married, it may take some time to obtain the marriage certificate. This should be factored into the timing of the AOS application.

      The waiting times for AOS interview/approval depending upon the field office dealing with the application, it usually ranges from between 3 to 24 months.

      More information about the Adjustment of Status here: https://www.siam-legal.com/US_Visa/k1-adjustment-status.php

  5. Eli Richardson says:

    It’s great that you talked about how to deal with your fiancé’s visa. Recently, one of my cousins mentioned he wants to propose to his girlfriend, and he’s worried about his legal situation. He’s not sure how to proceed with the visa application, so I’ll be sharing this article with him. Thanks for the tips on how to start a citizenship process.

    • Siam Legal International says:

      Glad we could help.


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