Once your fiancé enters the US on a K1 Fiance Visa, you have 90 days to get married. After getting married on the K1 Fiance Visa, your new spouse must take steps to apply for his or her Legal Permanent Residency. This is also referred to sometimes as getting your “Green Card”. It is at this time that I also recommend that you apply for your work authorization as well.
When your fiancé enters the United States, US Customs will stamp your fiance’s visa and passport for a period of 90 days. In years past, I have always advised my clients not to be too concerned with the 90 day period so long as they get married within the 90 days. And then, as soon as conveniently possible, apply for your Green Card and Work Authorization. So long as you didn’t put it off for months after getting married, there really wouldn’t be a problem. Recently however, I have had two K1 Fiance Visa clients visited by ICE after getting married because they did not file their Adjustment of Status within 90 days of arriving in the US. In both cases, once the Adjustment of Status was filed, there was no more issue with ICE. Nevertheless, there appears to be a much more careful review of fiances coming into the US on a Fiance Visa and for that reason, I now recommend that you take quick steps after getting married to file for your Adjustment of Status and Work Authorization. There is no need to panic, nor do I think a Fiance would ever be removed from the US after getting married for simply failing to file their Adjustment of Status within 90 days after entering the US. But, its is clear that the US Government is watching some of these cases much more closely than ever before.
If you have any questions about the Fiance Visa or Adjusting Status to obtain legal permanent residency after getting married, please don’t hesitate to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys