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What to do next after arriving in the US with a K1 visa

Updated on December 8, 2012

K1 Fiancee/ Fiance Visa to Green Card

Once you (K1 visa holder) arrive in the US, the work is not over yet. The K1 visa is literally expired once you enter the US. Notice that in your visa it says " Entries (1)". Your visa is no longer in use except for some identification purposes. You are given a 1-94 card on your entry to the US, that is good for 90 days. Once that card expires, you must have done all the necessary paper work to extend the your stay. You are not allowed to work, get a drivers license (Check your local DMV) and travel outside the US just whenever you want. You have to....

  1. Get a marriage license. Some state may require SSN too to get a marriage license. Check.
  2. Get SSN. You can apply in 10 days after arrival in the US (depending on the state). Just go to the nearest SSA office with your passport and Birth Certificate but you can wait after the marriage so you do not have to come back to change your name into your husbands last name.
  3. Get married within 90 days. Very important.
  4. See a Civil Surgeon. Just fill out the first part of I-693
    (A lot of applicants were approved in AOS without seeing a civil surgeon but some received a RFE to it's your call if you would see them or not. If you could find someone who's just willing to transcribe the DS3025 into I-693 then it's fine. Just make sure you won't have to redo the entire medical exam. Your medical is still valid for 1 year.)
  5. File an AOS. Adjustment of Status. Should a K1 visa holder wishes to stay longer in the US beyond 90 days even after getting married, AOS is necessary to be not considered illegal/out of status. Some people took some time to file for an AOS after the marriage. Though it seems "okay" for them, it is highly discouraged.

I-485 AOS Requirements

  • - Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For guidance how to answer it click here.
  • -2 Passport Size/Visa Photos with name and Alien Receipt # printed at the back.
  • - $1,070.00 (Total amount of $985 AOS filing fee and $85 biometrics fee) money order or check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. No abbreviations except for "US". Yes, it doesn't have to be on a separate checks.
  • - Form I-797 Notice of Action (I-129F Approval Notice), form I-797C Notice of Action (I-129F Receipt Notice).
  • - Copy of Passport Biographical Page
  • - K1 Visa Page with Entry Stamp
  • - I-94 (front and back) Given on the plane and stamp at the airport upon arrival in the US
  • I-693 (again it's up to you if you want to see a Civil Surgeon)
  • - DS 3025 vaccination sheet (this was issued to you during the medical)
  • - G-325A form, Biographic Information Sheet
  • - Copy of the Birth Certificate.
  • - Copy of the marriage certificate and license.
  • - Form I-864, Affidavit of Support signed by the petitioner
  • - 1040 and W2 Year for 3 years of the petitioner
  • - Most recent bank statement of the petitioner
  • - G-1145

6. File for a work permit and advanced parole. K1 visa holders are NOT allowed to work and leave the US until the green card has arrived or have at least secured a permit.

Form I-765 (EAD Employment Authorization) and I-131 (AP Advanced parole)- a.ka. Combo card. Unlike AOS, these are optional but it will make things more secure and open for the beneficiary while waiting for the 2 year green card. Again, K1 visa holders are NOT allowed to work nor leave the US soil just whenever they wish. Working illegally may result to deportation while leaving the US without AP card will result to being barred from coming back in the US. You have to start all over with the visa process.

Clarification:Once your EAD expires but your GC has arrived, no need to renew the EAD/AP. Yor combo card will just serve as your flexibility and security ID so you could move around while waiting for the 2 year green card.

If you are going to file these papers together with AOS, filing fee would be free, so might as well fill out the paper.

  • -Form I-765 Employment authorization. For guidance how to answer it click here.
  • -Form I-131 Travel Document. For guidance how to answer it click here.
  • - (2) Passport Size/Visa Photos with name and Alien Receipt # printed at the back.
  • - Copy of Passport Biographical Page
  • - K1 Visa Page and Entry Stamp
  • - Copy of Marriage Certificate
  • - Copy of form I-94 ( front and back)
  • - G-1145

Mail them at

If mailing using U.S. Postal Service:

P.O. Box 5757
Chicago, IL 60680-5757

If mailing using USPS Express Mail/Courier:

Attn: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
131 S. Dearborn - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517


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      Severin 2 years ago

      Are these separate? Like for example do I have to send 4 photos and 2 marriage certificates when filing for green card, advanced parole, and employment authorization in the same package?

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      Kat 2 years ago

      Very helpful.

      I'd point out that a lot of women do not change their last name, so generalizations about the inevitability of changing one's name are unnecessary and unprofessional.