1 pointNote: When filing for Adjustment of Status K1 and K3 Visa holders are now required to submit their paperwork to the National Address (Chicago Lockbox) instead of at their local CIS office. This procedure became effective for all applicants in April 2005. After the National office completes initial processing your case will be referred to your local CIS office where you will be interviewed for your permanent residency or be transferred to CSC. Prior to this the national office will send you communications requesting biometrics be taken and schedule an interview with you for this. To determine the amount of time it will take your local office to schedule your interview appointment refer to Processing Times page and click on USCIS District Processing Times link Download the Following Forms: 1. I-864 2. I-485 3. I-765 (optional) 4. I-131 (optional) 5. G-1145 (optional) The above forms can be filled out on your computer and printed. Make sure you sign and date them as required. Anything you cannot fit by typing, you can handwrite (very neatly) in black ink in the blank instead. You should always verify the current forms at www.uscis.gov. Assembling the I-485 Package: Checklist Forms and Documents (follow these assembly instructions. All supporting documents must be in English or be translated as noted here.): 1. Payment as required by USCIS. Use a personal check so you can track the payment. Money Orders are also accepted. Read the Guide to Paying USCIS Immigration Fees. Be sure to include the payment for both the I-485 and the biometrics fee*. >> The fee for I-485 applications includes the cost of the I-131 and I-765 (no need to pay for them if filed with or while your I-485 application is pending adjudication). 2. Cover Page. This should include the applicants contact information, a description of the benefit being filed for ("Immediate Relative (Spouse) Family Based Adjustment of Status Application") and a table of contents listing the major items in the packet. If you need additional room to explain your case, attach a separate sheet and list the attachment on the cover sheet. Make sure to sign and date the cover sheet. 3. Form I-485: Petition for Alien Relative (note: use the non US Citizen spouse's married name on this form and list previous name/names) 4. Copy of the non US Citizen Spouses Passport (biographical page as well as entry stamps). 4a. Copy of the non US Citizen Spouses K-1 or K-3 Visa from Passport 5. K-1 Visa Holders: Submit Copy of NOA2 "Approval" for I-129F ** K-3 Visa Holders: Submit Copy of NOA2 "Approval" for I-130 6. Electronic I-94 Copy or (for older entries) a copy of the non US Citizen Spouses valid paper I-94 (front and back of form) 7. A copy of the intending immigrant's birth certificate along with English translation. (If in any language other than English) 8. A copy of your marriage certificate. Note: While a regular copy is allowed, submitting a certified copy is preferred as some members have received an RFE asking for this (so if one is available use that instead). 9. Two passport-type photos (see specification) of the Non US Citizen Spouse. Write the full name and A# on the back using a soft felt tipped pen or pencil. Place in a plastic bag and label the bag "Photo of <Insert Name>". Attach the bag to a sheet of paper and place behind the I-485. 10. I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status.I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status. If you are a K-1, K-2, K-3 or K-4 visa holder the I-693 instructions state that you are not required to have another medical examination as long as your Form I-485 is filed within one year of your overseas medical examination. If you are missing any shots from your overseas medical a I-693 vaccination transcription is required to be completed by seeing a Civil Surgeon to have certain portions of the I-693 completed and have the Civil Surgeon certify the form (sealing the original in an envelope and giving you a copy). 11. I-864, Affidavit of Support (see poverty limits here) >> Include any additional required supporting documentation 12. I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if you want to work while your application is processed (optional) >> Include any additional required supporting documentation or photos as well as payment as noted here. 13. I-131, Application for Travel Document, if you need to travel outside the United States while your application is processed (optional) >> Include any additional required supporting documentation or photos as well as payment as noted here. * Fingerprint fee not needed for applicants under 14 ** Should this document be misplaced/lost/never received you can file an I-824 to receive a duplicate copy via mail. "Cover Page" Information: In the checklist above it is recommended that you include a Cover Page with your application. While this is optional, filing a cover page will help the USCIS understand what benefit your are applying for and specifically what items you have included in your package. Again, make sure the cover page includes: -- the applicants contact information (name, address, phone number) -- A description of the benefit you are applying for, (Immediate Relative (Spouse) Family Based Adjustment of Status Application) -- A table of contents listing the major items in your package (i.e. I-485 and evidence, I-765, I-131, etc) -- A line with the applicants signature and date Attach "E-Notification" Form (Optional) Clip a completed G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, to the first page of your application (on top of the cover page). By completing this form and attaching it, USCIS will send you an email and/or text message to alert you when your application was received. Where to File Everything: Applicants are required to mail applications to a national mailbox (Chicago) as stated on the form (not your local USCIS office). Be sure to mail the package with return receipt requested / delivery confirmation. Send via USPS. IMPORTANT! Make TWO copies of the entire package before you send it in. This includes the money orders too. You want to have a perfect replica of the package you are sending in. All Forms that you submit must be originals with original signatures. Supporting Evidence that you submit may be photocopies. Retain ALL original supporting Evidence since the USCIS has the right to check them by issuing an RFE (Request For Evidence). If you receive an RFE, follow the direction exactly, and make two copies of what you sent back. During any future interviews the USCIS may also want to examine the original supporting evidence. After Filing: What Happens? I-485's can take anywhere from several months to several years to be approved depending on where you live (every local office has a different waiting period). This delay often leaves the petitioner feeling completely hopeless of ever receiving approval. DO NOT GIVE UP! Though it seems like forever, the CIS will eventually get to your petition. In the mean time make sure your EAD for working is valid (renew when needed) and that you have an AP for any neccesary travel you have planned. Listed below are the main items that will happen while the beneficiary's I-485 is being processed. Employment Authorization and Advance Parole Processing If you filed for Employment Authorization and/or Advance Parole petitions are generally processed within 90 days of filing. During that wait the beneficiary (non-US Citizen Spouse) will be sent a notice in the mail to schedule an appointment at the nearest USCIS biometrics office to have their fingerprints and photos taken. It is important follow the instructions in this notice and to schedule the biometrics appointment in a timely fashion. Below are estimated waiting times for these benefits: Estimated EAD Processing Times Estimated AP Processing Times As a note, in an emergency where travel outside of the United States is needed (while a beneficiary's I-485 in still being processed) an Advance Parole can be obtained quickly by scheduling an Info-Pass appointment at your local USCIS office. You must show proof (doctors note, etc) that the travel is a true emergency (such as to see a critically ill relative or other true emergency) and file an I-131 (AP) in person. If approved the AP is likely be issued the same day. Do not attempt to leave the country without an AP as this can result in the beneficiary's I-485 being considered "abandoned" and will require a new Visa to enter the US (and refiling of the I-485). Biometrics Your beneficiary (non-US Citizen Spouse) will be required to have their biometrics taken as part of the I-485 processing (fingerprints and photos). The beneficiary will be sent a notice in the mail to schedule an appointment at the nearest USCIS biometrics office to have their fingerprints and photos taken. It is important follow the instructions in this notice and to schedule the biometrics appointment in a timely fashion. This can typically precede the interview date by up to 15 months, however it is usually much closer. Interview (in person) for Adjustment of Status Eventually most people (see exception below) will receive a letter from the CIS informing you of your interview date. It will include instructions on what to bring to the interview and any required items you may need to complete before hand. One of the most critical items requested will be "evidence of the relationship" which proves that your marriage is true and faithful (i.e. photos, joint checking account, joint lease, joint mortgage, and birth certificates of children if any, etc.). Also, it is important to bring the current passport of the beneficiary to the interview. The interview is fairly painless and may be video recorded and lasts between 15-30 minutes. If approved you will be mailed your "green-card" shortly after the interview date (weeks). Interview Exception. In some cases a beneficiary's Adjustment of Status case may be transfered to the California Service Center (possibly another location) where the CIS will attempt to complete processing without requirinig an "in person" interview. There is no particular way to know if this will happen to your case however if this does happen then you will not be required to attend an interview in person. If the I-485 is approved the beneficiary's green card will simply be mailed to them. NOTES: (1) It is possible that at your interview a tardy namecheck or FBI clearance may hold up a final "approval" of the I-485 after the interview. Permanent Resident status does not start until the case is *actually* approved, which may be a later date than the interview. The final issued green card will show the validity date. (2) If the beneficiary and petitioner have been married less than two years at the time the I-485 is approved then the beneficiary will receive what is called a "conditional" legal permanent residence. This simply means that the beneficiary will have to renew his/her greencard 2 years from the date it was originally "issued" by filing an I-751 to remove conditional status. When filing this form you will need to again show proof of your valid and ongoing marriage.
1 pointIf you need more than one affidavit, fill out the entire form but leave the signature blank, then sign each copy and the original. It states in the directions that you can do this. Not having adequate income will not usually be a problem if you have a co-sponsor, according to experiences posted on the forums, as long as the co-sponsor has adequate income/assets. Be aware that the cosponsor must have enough income/assets for both your fiance, any fiance children that will\ be immigrating, and his/her own household. However, that IF the US fiance has been on welfare or other government benefits for a lifetime or has no plans to work actively, the consulate can still deny the visa based on the likelihood that the foreign fiance will become a public charge. Just having a co-sponsor may not be sufficient. An actual case has been documented wherein a fiance visa was denied because the petitioning fiance was on government benefits and would not be working, even though the US fiance had two co-sponsors. When assets are used, the assets must equal 5 times the difference between the annual income and the needed 125% of the poverty level, this is because the affidavit is in effect for 5 years. For instance, if you needed $15,500 income and had an annual income of $13,500, you would need an extra $2,000 of assets for 5 years, or a total of $10,000 in assets in addition to your income. In general, if you are deficient on yearly income for sponsorship and your assets are somewhat borderline, do not take chances--have a co-sponsor. If you do not have a job or a steady income from other sources (such as retirement income), you will likely have to get a co-sponsor for your spouse, even if your assets are adequate. The USCIS looks VERY CLOSELY at current income and not just the assets. While there are no specific income requirements listed in the I-134 form directions, you will be judged by the same criteria as the I-864 form requirements when they are issuing the visa at the foreign US consulate, so provide financial information for the I-134 with those guidelines in mind. Basically, your employer letter should state "To whom it may concern: (first name,last name) has been employed full-time with the XYZ Company since 200_ as a (name of your job), and is an employee in good standing with an annual salary of . Signed, John Doe, Supervisor (or whatever title)" The letter should be on company letterhead. Some foreign U.S. consulates require a 2nd affidavit of support which is called "sponsor's financial responsibility under the social security act." It is a simple form and easily filled out and signed. The Hong Kong consulate has may require this form. The foreign fiance's income can NOT be counted on either affidavit (except when the foreign fiance has been living with the fiance, married, and in the US for six months), however the foreign fiance's assets CAN be used if they are readily convertible into cash. The USCIS is concerned ONLY about the US fiance's income/assets. (Note that in other situations the foreign spouse's income MAY be counted on I-864 affidavit, such as foreigner in U.S. on work or student visa who marries and then files for adjustment of status. IF the foreign spouse has LIVED IN THE HOUSEHOLD of the U.S. spouse for at least 6 months, then his/her income CAN be counted. There are NO situations involving fiance visa in which foreign spouse's income can be counted, as far as I know, when interviewing for the fiance visa or when filing adjustment of status within 6 months of arrival in the US.) The US fiance is ALWAYS the primary sponsor, but may have a co-sponsor. If there is a co-sponsor, both the US fiance and the co-sponsor will EACH have to fill out the affidavit I-134 or I-864 and EACH will have to provide supporting documentation. NOTE: I-864 SPONSOR MOVES: FOR the I-864: If the sponsor or co-sponsor moves, the USCIS should be notified within 30 days via an I-865 form.
1 pointThe following sections have example questions that were asked of real life applicants. When available the location* that the questions were asked is noted. These questions are not an inclusive list and should only be used to get a "feel" for the types of things that will be asked. Indeed many interviewers may ask more or less questions, easier or harder questions, and in general many things that this list does not include. Please only use this as a general guide to help you understand in what types of things may be asked. >> If you wish to add an example interview question that does not appear here please contact us! K-1 Visa Interview Example Questions K-3 Visa Interview Example Questions K-4 Visa Interview Example Questions Adjustment of Status Interview Example Questions *Remember that the locations that the questions were asked at is only for reference and these questions are generic across all locations for the same benefit type. K-1 Visa Interview Questions Location* Question Germany How long do you know your fiance? Germany How did you meet? Germany Have you ever been to the US? Germany When is the last time you have seen your fiance? Germany When will you leave for the US? Hong Kong (China) When did we meet in person? Hong Kong (China) When did my fiance propose? Hong Kong (China) Why was my fiance's first marriage not working out? Hong Kong (China) Does my fiance have any kids? How many, how old, who do they live with? Hong Kong (China) When did my fiance divorce? Hong Kong (China) What is my fiance's birthday? Hong Kong (China) What is my birthday? Hong Kong (China) Does my fiance's have any brothers and sisters? Hong Kong (China) Do I have any brothers and sisters? Hong Kong (China) Where do my fiance's parents live? Hong Kong (China) What does my fiance do for a living? Hong Kong (China) Where does my fiance live? Hong Kong (China) Where was he born? Hong Kong (China) What do I love about my fiance? Hong Kong (China) When am I going to leave? Hong Kong (China) When are we going to have the wedding? Hong Kong (China) Have I ever applied for a traveling visa? Hong Kong (China) Where did my fiance visit when he was here? K-3 Visa Interview Questions Location* Question Canada Where did you meet? Canada Has he been to Canada? Canada Have you ever lived in the USA? Canada Where does he work and what position does he hold? Canada How did you meet? Canada Where did you meet the first time? Canada How long have you known each other? Canada What does he do for a living? Canada What do you do for a living? Canada Does he have children? Have you met them? K-4 Visa Interview Questions Location* Question Canada Have you met your step dad? Canada What does he do? Canada Does he have children? Do you know how old they are? Adjustment of Status Questions Location* Question Various Name and address. Various Name and Date of Birth of Spouse. Various When and where did you meet your spouse? Various Describe this 1st meeting. Various Did you make arrangements to meet again? Various Did you exchange phone numbers? Various When did you meet next? Various Where were you living at the time? Where was your spouse living? Various When did you decide to get married? Where were you at the time? Various Did you live together before marriage? Various When and where did you get married? How did you and your spouse get to the church, courthouse, etc.? Various Who were the witnesses to the ceremony? Various Did you exchange wedding rings? Various Where had you purchased these rings? Did you and your spouse purchase them together? Various Did you have a reception after the ceremony? Various Where was it held? Various Do you have any photos of the ceremony and /or reception? Various Describe the reception. Various Did any of your, and your spouseâ€™s, family members attend? If so, who? Various Did you go on a honeymoon? If so, when and where? Various If you did not have a reception, what did you do after the wedding ceremony? Adjustment of Status Questions Continued... Location* Question Various Where did you live after the wedding? Various Describe the place where you lived right after the marriage. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms; furnishings; color of walls, floor coverings, appliances, etc; type of air conditioning, heating, etc; # of telephones, televisions, etc. Do you have cable television? Various Where did you get the furniture? Was it already there, did you buy it, was it a gift, or did it come from your, or your spouseâ€™s, previous residence? Various If brought to the house or apartment, describe how it was transported. Various Describe your bedroom. Where do you keep your clothes? Where does your spouse keep his or her clothes? Where are the bathroom towels kept? Where do you keep the dirty clothes? Various Where is the garbage kept in the kitchen? Various On what day of the week is the garbage picked up? Various Where do you shop for groceries? Do you go together with your spouse? How do you get there? Various Where do you work? What days of the week do you work? Various What hours do you work? What is your salary? Various What is your telephone # at work? Various When was the last vacation you had from work? Various Did you and your spouse go anywhere together at that time? Various When was the last vacation you and your spouse took together? Various Where did you go? How did you get there? Describe it. Various Where does your spouse work? What days of the week? What hours? What is the salary, if you know? Various What is your spouseâ€™s telephone # at work? Adjustment of Status Questions Continued... Location* Question Various When was the last time your spouse got a vacation from work? Various Do you or your wife have any scars or tattoos? If so, where on the body? Various Do you know your spouseâ€™s family members? If so, which ones? If your spouse has children from a previous marriage, their names, ages, where they live, and where they go to school, if applicable. Various Where do you live now? (If different from where you lived right after the marriage, then go over the same questions as above). How much is the rent? When is it paid? How do you pay it? Various Do you have a bank account together? Where? What kind of account? (Checking, savings). Various Are both of you listed on the account? (Do you have a bank letter, cancelled checks, etc.?) Various Did you file a joint tax return this year? Do you have a copy with you? Various Do you own any property together? What property? Did you bring copies of the documents with you? Various What kind of automobile do you and your spouse have? Describe them. Various Do you have an insurance policy listing your spouse as the beneficiary? If so, do you have a copy? Various Have you taken any trips or vacations together? Do you have photos from these trips? Various Do you have any utility bills, or receipts from items you have purchased together? Various What other documentation do you have to show that you are living together as husband and wife? Various Do you have any pets? What kind, what are their names, and describe them? Various What did you do for Christmas, New Yearâ€™s, your anniversary, or you or your spouseâ€™s last birthday? Did you exchange gifts? If so, what kind of gift? Various Did you or your spouse go to work yesterday? If so, at what time did you and/or your spouse leave the house and return? Various Who cooks the meals at the house? Various What is your spouseâ€™s favorite food? What is your favorite food? Adjustment of Status Questions Continued... Location* Question Various Does your spouse drink coffee? If so, does he or she use cream and/or sugar? Various Did you eat dinner together last night? Did anyone else have dinner with you? What did you have? Various What time was dinner served? Who cooked it? Various Did you watch TV after dinner? What shows did you watch? Various At what time did you go to bed? Who went to bed first? Various Did you have the air conditioning or heater on? Various Who woke up first this morning? Did an alarm clock go off? Various Did you or your spouse take a shower? Various Did you come to the interview together? Who drove? Various Did you have breakfast? Where and what did you eat? You may also find useful this USCIS video on the naturalization interview:
1 pointIf you are a K-1, K-2, K-3 or K-4 visa holder the I-693 instructions state that you are not required to have another medical examination as long as your Form I-485 is filed within one year of your overseas medical examination. Regardless of if you are exempt from a medical exam, you are still required to complete certain portions of the I-693 and have a Civil Surgeon certify the form (and seal it in an evelope). Specifically, you will complete Part 1 (Information about you) of the I-693 and provide both the form and your DS-3025 (if you have it, proving your vaccination history) and any proof of required vaccinations that were completed prior to entering the US. If you do not have a copy of your DS-3025 you will need to provide sufficient evidence of your vaccination history to the Civil Surgeon (talk to the civil surgeon's office to discuss what vaccination records they accept as proof). If you do not have proof of your vaccination history the Civil Surgeon may insist on re-administering all the required vaccinations prior to completing the I-693. Once the Civil Surgeon has has verified that all required vaccinations have been performed, they will complete form I-693 Part 2 (the vaccination section) and Part 5 (the Civil Surgeon's Certification). They will then seal the form in an envelope and return it to you. When filing by mail, "priority mail with delivery confirmation" is the preferred method. Always keep a copy of what you have filed. IF your forms include an I-485 AND an I-485A, forget the "A" one...it is used for other types of applications for adjustment, such as assylum...you ONLY need to file the regular I-485 Form, not the A supplement. BE SURE TO USE CODE (C)(9) FOR A 1-YEAR EAD CARD (when filing concurrently with I-485)!!! How to get the forms: You can use forms downloaded from the USCIS website if they are printed on good quality paper with a good printer quality. You can also download free fillable forms on this site. Other things you will need: passport-style pictures (see specification), copy of the passport, copy of the k-1 visa (and NOA2), Electronic I-94 Copy (or for older entries a front/backside copy of the non US Citizen Spouses valid paper I-94), copy of the fiance's birth and divorce certificates with translation, PLUS the supporting documentation for the I-864 form: letter from employer confirming employment, the last 3 years of tax returns, plus any documentation of your financial resources if you choose to include this. The rule is, if your income is not 125% of the poverty level for your family, you will need additional financial documentation. HOWEVER, if you read the form instructions carefully, it states that while they do NOT require additional financial information IF you have at least 125% of the poverty level, it says the USCIS can still ask for that information if they want... so in order to potentially avoid future questions, many people include financial information, including bank letter, letter from stockbroker, letter regarding mortgages, copy of deeds to a property, and any other financial assets... etc. It is far better to include too much information rather than not enough. How long will I have to wait for an EAD, advance parole, and adjustment of status: You can check time here. Where to file the forms: You will file your petition at the Chicago Lockbox. See this page for the Chicago Lockbox address (PO Box). You will receive a receipt (Notice of Action) in the mail for your application once they receive and process it.
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