Articles Posted in Adjustment of Status

As best as I can tell, with the various Embassy and USCIS office closures, I expect processing times for K1 Fiance Visas, Marriage Visas, Adjustment of Status to Legal Permanent Residency and other Family Immigration matters to increase by at least a few months.  At this time, some Embassy interviews have been canceled, but those interviews will be rescheduled as soon as possible. For those who have visas issued, but cant travel to the US because of a travel ban, that too will pass.
Our office is still working every day to help our clients and we are continuing to work on and file all Visa applications. As always, you are welcome to call me with questions. You can reach me toll free at 888-515-3529.
Stay safe and healthy for your loved ones and family.

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.

To begin with, a prenuptial agreement is a contract made between a couple getting married which typically sets forth how they will divide assets, property and income in the event the marriage breaks up. Many couples elect to enter into a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
The I-864 Affidavit of Support is a contract between the Sponsor of an Immigrant Visa and the US Government that requires the sponsor promise to provide whatever amount of financial support is needed to insure that the immigrant is financially taken care of by the Sponsor and that the Immigrant will not require government support.  It is required for all CR1 Marriage Visas and when applying for an Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. Pursuant to the terms of the I-864 Affidavit of Support, if the sponsor fails to support the immigrant as required and the immigrant incurs debt or seeks financial assistance from the government, the sponsor can be held liable for the debt or the government’s assistance. In other wards, the government can sue the sponsor for reimbursement of any funds or expenses it incurs on behalf of the Immigrant.
The existence of a pre nuptial agreement does not affect or invalidate the terms of the I-864 Affidavit of Support. This is because the I-864 Affidavit is an agreement between the Sponsor and the US Government. It is seperate and distinct agreement from any contract the parties to a marriage may have entered into on their own.
In fact, the I-864 remains in affect until one of these factors occurs:
  • The Immigrant is no longer a Legal Permanent Resident and has departed the US;
  • The immigrant becomes a US Citizen;
  • The Immigrant has worked for 40 quarters (10 years) of coverage under the Social Security Act.
  • The Immigrant Dies

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There are various sources of income and assets that can be used to meet the requirements of an I-864 Affidavit of Support for a CR1 Marriage Visa or Adjustment of Status to LPR.
The easiest and most commonly used source is income. The I-864 Affidavit of Support requires the petitioner to earn at least 125% above the Federal Poverty Guideline for your family size.  When your income meets or exceeds the required amount, you qualify. There is no need to provide any further sources of income or assets. However, when the petitioners income does not meet the required level, you will need to provide other sources of income and/or assets to make up any differences.  In lieu of the petitioners income, you may also submit evidence of:
  • Sponsor’s assets

Students from all over the world come to the United States to study. They typically enter the US on either a J-1 or F-1 Student Visa. They study and then sometimes fall in love. Many times the relationship develops to such a point that that student wishes to get married and stay in the US. The good news is that in most cases, the student can get married and stay in the US and become a legal Permanent Resident of the United States. There are a few options that a student can choose from depending on the type of visa the student was originally granted. In this article, we will focus on students with an F1 Student Visa.  Students with J1 Visa will be discussed in a separate and following article. In some limited cases, students with a J1 Visa must obtain a waiver to stay in the US after getting married and this topic will be fully discussed. For now, lets just focus on the F1 Student visas.
F1 Visas are granted to students who plan to study in the US. They are valid for the duration of the course work and for a brief period of time after the completion of the student’s course of study. In some cases, the student is given time to gain work experience after completing their studies and this is called OPT. Then once the OPT time expires, the F1 student is required to return home.  However, if the student falls in love while in the US and gets married to a US citizen, the student/spouse can apply for an Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) and likely stay in the US to live and work without returning home first.

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Students who travel to the United States on an F1 or J1 visa to study, often times fall in love with somebody they meet while in school. These relationships sometimes evolve into marriages. Fortunately, and in the vast majority of cases, US Immigration law allows the foreign student to adjust status and become a US Legal Permanent Resident and stay in the United States. The complicity of the process depends on whether the married student’s visa is an F1 or J1 with a 2 year foreign residency restriction.
For the married students here on an F1 visa, the process is fairly straight forward. After getting married, the couple first need to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Spouse and an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The same process is used for married students on a J1 visa without the two year foreign residency restriction. In some cases, a J1 visa will be issued, but with a two residency restriction. This means that at the expiration of the students class work and possible subsequent occupational training, unless a waiver is granted, the student has to return home to their country of origin for two years before they can apply for an adjustment of status and become a US legal permanent resident as the spouse of a US citizen. In those cases where the married student is here on a J1 with a two year foreign residency restriction, the process of obtaining a waiver to avoid having to return home for two years can be difficult.

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Immigration benefits for same sex couples are now legal and our office is getting Fiance Visas and Marriage Visas approved for same sex couples from around the world!

As you may have heard, same sex marriages are now legal in all 50 states and this makes getting married to a same sex partner much easier than before. No longer do you have to travel to a state that allows for same sex marriages after your fiancé enters the US on his or her Fiance Visa to get married.  Also, you no longer have to worry about the religious or legal impediments in the foreign fiancés country. All Fiance Visa applications are processed by a local US Embassy who applies only US law. So even if your fiancé comes from a country that does not recognize same sex marriages or has strong religious opposition to same sex marriages, the application will be processed and approved in accordance with US law.

If you are already married and you were married in the US, you can now apply for a Marriage Visa without issue or your foreign spouse can adjust status to become a Legal Permanent Resident depending on your circumstances.

If you are married to a US Citizen and you entered the US legally, you can likely adjust your status to become a US Legal Permanent Resident no matter how long you may have waited.
Many of my past clients have entered the US as an F1 or J1 student worker, B1 or B2 visitor or by some other legal manner like a Visa Waiver and stayed beyond the expiration of their visa. They get married and one thing leads to another and they never apply for their Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. I’ve had clients tell me that the thought they waited to long, or they were afraid to face the consequences of overstaying their visas. Sometimes its just the expense of the process that causes the delay. Regardless, its not something you should put off for another day. Get it done as soon as possible.
Not to worry, if you entered the US Legally and got married to a US Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident who can apply for citizenship. and your marriage is honest and not for the purpose of gaining legal status in the US, you can very likely adjust your status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. Its important that you file for your Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card) as soon as possible so as to protect yourself from being removed. Once filed, you gain temporary protective status and cannot be removed until your matter is decided upon. In the vast majority of these cases, all goes well and the Legal Permanent Residency is granted.

Spring is a busy time of the year for our office. In part because it coincides with graduation. And for this reason, I get lots of calls and questions from foreign students earning their degrees at US Universities, who have fallen in love with a US citizen and wish to get married and stay and work in the US. The good news is that in most cases, the student can get married, stay and apply for an Adjustment of Status to become a US Legal Permanent Resident.

Students typically enter the United Sates on either a J-1 Exchange Visa or an F-1 Student Visa. There are a few alternative procedures that a student can choose from depending on the type of visa originally granted to the student.

F-1 Visa

F-1 Visas are issued to students who wish to enter the United States to study at the high school level, college, conservatories and language schools. F-1 Visas are generally valid for the time period of study, including a brief grace period after the completion of the student’s course of study. Students on an F1 Visa can marry while in school and apply for their Legal Permanent Residency. Once issued, the student can live and work in the US without issue.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the great people and families that I have met throughout the years.

Every year I meet new people who are looking for Immigration help. All of my clients have meet someone special and were in need of a K1 Fiance Visa, CR1 Marriage Visa or help applying for an Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States. The best part of my job is getting to know my clients and sometimes, staying friends after the work is done. I try and follow the families that I have worked with to see how they are doing once the process has been completed and everyone is settled. I always look forward to the new pictures and updates that I receive every year. I especially like to hear about how my families have grown and how any children are doing after arriving in the United States. Its a big adventure for everyone and sometimes a big adjustment. I am always available to talk and consult with. And, you are always welcome to send me new pictures and updates. If you like, we can include your pictures in our new family Facebook page. Just email me your pictures and any news at To see our new firm Facebook page, click the Facebook link on our web page.

Again, happy holidays to everyone. I wish you a great holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year!

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