Adjustment Of Status – From Fiancé Visa To A Green Card

Imagine falling in love with someone from a distant corner of the world. The desire to be physically together for a lifetime becomes a compelling dream. While it is possible to sustain long-distance relationships during the dating phase, the ultimate goal is to unite in person. With this, the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process is the legal avenue that makes this dream a reality.

Here, you will explore transitioning from a K-1 Visa to a Green Card, a pivotal objective for couples seeking to build a life together. Additionally, you can gain insights into the intricacies of the Fiancé Visa. You will also discover how an immigration lawyer helps navigate this transformative journey.

Immigration Law Firm For The Adjustment Of Status Process In Austin

Navigating Fiancé Visa

If you seek to bring your foreign lover to the United States for marriage, you must file Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e). This petition initiates obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant Visa, commonly known as a Fiancé(e) Visa.

You must meet all the qualifications to secure a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa. Your marriage must be authentic, reflecting a sincere commitment to establishing a life together and not merely to obtain immigration benefits. Validity in this context implies a bona fide intent on both parties’ part to create a meaningful and lasting marital relationship.

You may qualify to bring your foreign lover to the United States on a K-1 Visa if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Both you and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry within 90 days after your fiancé(e) is admitted to the United States on a K-1 nonimmigrant Visa.
  • Both you and your fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry, meaning you have the legal capacity to marry in the United States.  It also means that any prior marriages have been officially terminated through divorce, death, or annulment.
  • You and your fiancé(e) must have met each other in person at least once within the two years preceding filing your petition. 

However, there is an option to request a waiver for this in-person meeting requirement. This is if you can demonstrate that doing so would violate strict and long-established customs or social practice. You can also request an exception if you show that this requirement would result in extreme hardship to you.

Understanding the eligibility criteria for a K-1 Visa is essential, and it’s equally beneficial to acquaint yourself with the procedural steps involved. Navigating through several steps is a necessary part of obtaining this legal document.

Bring Your Fiancé To The United States

Guiding your fiancé through coming to the United States goes beyond a simple Visa application. It entails coordination with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Department of State (DOS), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Throughout each stage, there will be thorough background and security checks for you and your future spouse.

File The Petition

You initiate the process by submitting the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) form, per the instructions. This form serves as a request to the USCIS to acknowledge your relationship with your future spouse.

Following submission, the USCIS will thoroughly review your petition and accompanying documents. You will receive a request for evidence if they need additional documentation or information. They will approve your Form I-129F upon establishing eligibility, officially recognizing the claimed fiancé(e) relationship.

If you did not satisfy the eligibility requirement, they will communicate the denial, providing reasons for the decision. Subsequently, the agency will forward the approved Form I-129F to the DOS National Visa Center (NVC).

Apply For The Visa

Following approval, the NVC transfers Form I-129F to the relevant U.S. Embassy or consulate, typically in the region where your fiancé(e) resides. You will receive a notification once the embassy schedules the Visa interview.

At the scheduled interview, your fiancé(e) applies for the K-1 nonimmigrant Visa, presenting the necessary forms and documents. The consular officer assesses whether they meet the requirements. The Visa is valid for up to six months for a single entry if approved.

Conversely, if the officer determines the relationship is not genuine, the DOS returns the Form I-129F to USCIS, and you may choose to file a new one if desired.

Inspection At A Port Of Entry

Should the DOS grant a K-1 nonimmigrant Visa, your foreign lover travels to the United States. Here, they will present themselves for admission at a designated port of entry during the Visa’s validity.

It is crucial to understand that possessing a K-1 Visa does not automatically ensure entry into the United States. The final decision on admission lies with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. They will assess and determine whether to admit your fiancé(e) at the port of entry.


Upon admission as a K-1 nonimmigrant, you and your fiancé(e) have 90 days to marry. This duration is crucial to the Visa process, emphasizing the need for timely and legitimate matrimony. As you prove your compliance with this process and establish the genuity of your marriage, your spouse may now apply for an Adjustment of Status.

Adjustment Of Status From K-1 To Green Card

Upon the marital union within the 90-day timeframe, your spouse becomes eligible to seek permanent residence in the United States. This is initiated by submitting Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

The USCIS will review Form I-485, and the accompanying documents may prompt requests for additional information. You must also note that a joint interview is commonly part of the process.

At the interview, questions typically focus on your relationship’s history, day-to-day activities as a married couple, and future plans together. It is also an opportunity to present additional evidence to prove the authenticity of your marriage.

When the marriage is under two years old during Form I-485 approval, the Green Card issued to your spouse carries a two-year validity with certain conditions. With this, your status is conditional until the USCIS approves to remove the conditions.

The Process Of Obtaining A Green Card Through Marriage

How To Remove The Conditions On Permanent Residency

To initiate the process of removing conditions on your permanent residence, file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse. As part of the supporting documentation, submit comprehensive evidence to validate your marriage’s and ongoing relationship’s authenticity. This evidence may encompass joint financial documents, shared assets, and any other pertinent proof affirming the legitimacy of your bona fide marriage.

Additionally, incorporate affidavits from friends, family, or individuals acquainted with your relationship who can attest to its genuineness. Following this, attend a biometrics appointment where they capture your fingerprints and a photograph for background checks. If the USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE), respond promptly by furnishing the necessary documents.

When your petition is still under review when your conditional Green Card expires, you can seek an extension of your status by contacting USCIS. After the approval of your petition, you will be issued a 10-year Green Card, signifying the removal of conditions and granting you permanent residency without any restrictions. 

Given the intricacies involved in these processes, seeking the assistance of a Visa lawyer is highly advisable. While it’s conceivable to navigate the procedures independently, relying on the skills and knowledge of a Green Card lawyer can spare you from potential hassles.

Seek The Assistance Of An Immigration Lawyer

Hiring an immigration lawyer to adjust status based on marriage ensures a seamless and successful process. They possess in-depth knowledge of the intricate immigration laws, streamlining the complex procedures and mitigating potential challenges. They provide invaluable guidance in preparing and submitting necessary documentation, minimizing the risk of errors or omissions.

With their knowledge and skills, immigration lawyers navigate interviews and other avenues to achieve your immigration goal. This professional support enhances the likelihood of approval and alleviates the stress and uncertainties associated with the Adjustment of Status.

Partnering with Lincoln-Goldfinch Law’s Visa lawyers saves you valuable time and leverages their deep understanding of immigration intricacies. Their skills are particularly beneficial as you endeavor to bring your future partner to the United States. The proficiency of their legal team enhances the efficiency of your immigration journey. It fosters a smoother experience while prioritizing your goal of uniting with your loved one.


Navigating the transition from a long-distance relationship to building a life together in the United States involves intricate legal processes.  Notably, it includes the Adjustment of Status (AOS) based on marriage. As you explore the journey from a K-1 Visa to a Green Card, it is crucial to understand the eligibility criteria and procedural steps. Filing Form I-129F to initiate the Fiancé Visa process, meeting specific criteria, and adhering to a 90-day marriage requirement are key components.

The subsequent Adjustment of Status involves submitting Form I-485, an interview, and applying to remove conditions on permanent residence. With all these complexities, seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer is highly recommended for a smooth and successful process, minimizing potential challenges.

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