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Fiancé(e) Visas Part 2: Removing the Conditions and Proving your Marriage

The process of filing a K-1 fiancé(e) visa for a loved one can be a complicated process from beginning to end (for a more in depth view on the initial steps of filing a K-1, please see here). When you apply for adjustment of status in the United States and your green card is approved, it is initially only on a conditional basis. In order to be granted a permanent status, that conditional status must be removed in two years.

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The process begins once the K-1 visa has been granted. You will have ninety days upon arrival to the United States to be married, or else you will be required to leave. After your marriage, you must apply for adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident. Once approved, you will be sent a conditional green card. On the back of that green card will be the two-year date that you must apply by, in order to remove your conditional status.

When applying to remove conditions on your permanent residence card, you and your significant other should apply jointly, and you are allowed to send in your application ninety days before the deadline. It is highly recommended that you do so, in order to allow for a sufficient amount of time to prepare your application. As long as USCIS receives your application before the deadline, they will grant an additional twelve months to your visa while your application is under review.

Items that must be included in your packet are:

  • Your I-551 green card

Apart from those, you must also file enough evidence to prove the bona fides of your marriage. In other words, the evidence you send has to be able to prove that your marriage is real. While this can be done in numerous ways, it is best to include in any application:

  • The birth certificate of any children you have had together
  • Bank statements showing both you and your significant others names
  • Jointly filed tax returns
  • Utility bills addressed to either of you
  • Pictures of trips you may have taken together or copies of tickets
  • Insurance policies which show you or your significant other as the beneficiary
  • Affidavits from at least two people that have known both of you since the granting of your conditional residence, and has personal knowledge of your marriage

While it is possible that USCIS may ask for an interview, in order to best avoid this, start the application process as soon as possible, and get the help of a skilled immigration attorney to assist in this process as well. A well prepared packet of evidence that avoids requests from the USCIS for more evidence, and/or an interview, is your best chance of gaining your 10-year permanent residence card.