“Where can I find RapidVisa testimonials?”
“Do I need another medical exam if I came on a K-1 Fiancee Visa?”
If you received a medical examination prior to admission as a K nonimmigrant, then you are not required to have another medical examination at time of adjustment as long as:
- Your Form I-485 is filed within 1 year of your overseas medical examination
- The medical examination did not reveal a Class A medical condition
- If you did have a Class A medical condition, you received a waiver of inadmissibility and you have complied with the terms and conditions of the waiver
Even if a new medical examination is not required, you still must show proof that you have complied with the vaccination requirements. If the vaccination record (DS 3025) was not properly completed and included as part of the original, overseas medical examination report, you will have to have the vaccination report completed by a designated civil surgeon. In this case, you are required to submit Part 1, Information About You, Part 2, the vaccination chart, and Part 5, the Civil Surgeon’s Certification, of Form I-693 (in an envelop sealed by the civil surgeon). Please see the instructions for Form I-693 for further information.
“Who Can’t Do an Adjustment of Status?”
You may not apply to change your nonimmigrant status if you were admitted to the United States in the following categories:
- Crew member (D nonimmigrant visa)
- In transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant visa)
- In transit through the United States without a visa (TWOV)
- Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé if you did not marry the person who petitioned you
- Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa)
“What if I discover a mistake after I print my Adjustment of Status Package?”
This is were RapidVisa really shines! Errors or typos are no problem. Our program catches most mistakes as you make them. However, if you do find you have made a mistake or left something out all you do is correct the information and reprint your package. You can change, print and reprint your package as many times as you like all for the same low price. And of course once you are happy with your information we will review it to make sure it is perfect before mailing.
“Do I Qualify for an Adjustment of Status?”
If you met the requirements for a K-1 Visa and you married THE SAME PERSON who petitioned you within 90 days of your arrival, you will almost certainly be granted an Adjustment of Status (green card). If you arrived on a K-3 Visa you likewise will almost certainly be approved. However, do note that the financial requirements for the AOS are higher than for the K visas. Instead of making 100% of the poverty line income for your household, an AOS sponsor must make 125% of the poverty level. There is an exception for Active Duty Military persons that lets them make just 100% of the poverty level for the AOS. For more info, see Adjustment of Status Requirements.
“Can a person who is HIV positive get a green card?”
Yes. HIV was removed as an inadmissible condition on January 4, 2010. HIV testing is no longer required in the medical exam. Although forms DS-160, DS-230 and DS-156 still ask about HIV, a person who is infected can legally answer “NO” to this question.
“Do the children also receive conditional green cards?”
Yes, if the primary immigrant receives a conditional green card any children will also receive a conditional green card (Conditional Residency).
“What is Removal of Conditions?”
Removal of Conditions: You will file to remove the conditions on your fiance’s residence in the 90 day period before the second anniversary of the date he/she obtained conditional residency. Once the conditions are removed, a 10 year green card is issued.
In other words, your first green card is only good for two years unless you were already married for two or more years when you received your K-3 visa.
This process is designed to give the USCIS another look at your marriage at the two year mark just to make sure it is legitimate.
“How long will my green card be valid?”
If you arrived on a K-1 Visa, or you arrived on a K-3 Visa but you have been married less than two years, you will be termed a Conditional Resident and will receive a green card good for two years. Before that card expires you must apply to lift the conditions, and if approved, and then you will receive a green card good for 10 years. There is no longer a green card that never expires. However, you can renew your 10 year green card indefinitely as long as it is not revoked for committing certain crimes.
If you were married at least two years immediately before you were issued your K-3 visa, you will be issued a 10 year green card and will not have to go through the Removal of Conditions process.
As a K-1 or K-3 immigrant, you can apply for U.S. citizenship once you have held a green card for a total of 3 years.
“My Adjustment of Status petition was denied. Can I appeal?”
Yes. The denial letter you received will tell you how to appeal. Unless otherwise instructed, you will file your appeal on USCIS Form I-290B. You will normally have 33 days from the time you receive your denial to get your appeal to the USCIS. The appeal must be sent to the same office that denied your petition. Appeals are handled by the Administrative Appeals Unit in Washington, DC.
“Is the Adjustment of status application completed by the US Citizen or by the immigrant?”
The Adjustment of Status is completed by the intending immigrant. However, you will need a signed Form I-864 from your sponsor.
“Once I have my green card, can I travel outside the United States?”
Yes. If you intend to stay out of the U.S. for more than a year you will need a reentry permit.
“How long will it take to get my green card?”
The adjustment of status timeline varies. Currently, you can expect to have your green card within 4-6 months.
“How Long Does it Take to Complete my Adjustment of Status Petition?”
Using our streamlined process, you could easily complete the entire application in about an hour. However, most people find they need to do a little research to find information like your fiance’s mother’s date of birth. With RapidVisa, you can answer the questions you know and then save your work and come back later when you have the missing information.
“Can my fiance enter with a tourist visa, marry me, & adjust her status to get legal?”
Yes and No.
Entering the United States on a tourist visa with the intent of staying is visa fraud. This can and often does lead to deportation and a bar from reentering the United States. For an example of how this can go terribly wrong, read the decision of the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office below. In this case, a Philippine woman married an American and tried to enter the Untied States on a tourist visa. Not only was she unsuccessful in staying in the U.S., later when she tried to enter the U.S. the legal way, they denied her because of her previous attempt to misuse the tourist visa. She appealed and her appeal was denied. She is now barred from entering the United States.
Note however, that your fiance can come here on a tourist visa and marry you. But she will have to leave before her tourist visa expires and apply for a spousal visa from outside the United States. It is the intent to stay that is illegal, not the marriage. A person who enters the U.S. with no intent to get married and stay who, while visiting, spontaneously decides to marry and attempt to stay may be able to do so. However, you must convince the government that this was not your intent all along.
“Can my fiance enter under the visa wavier program, marry me, & adjust her status to get legal?”
Yes and No.
A person admitted under the Visa Waiver Program cannot get an extension of the 90 day visit. You can marry your fiance while she is in the U.S., but she will need to return to her country before her visa expires. You can then file for a Spousal Visa.
Here is an article from the New York Times from May 14, 2010, discussing a man who was jailed and faces deportation for entering the U.S. on the visa waiver program and trying to apply for a green card.
However, many people have successfully came to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program and adjusted their status to permanent resident after marriage to a U.S. citizen. The key point is intent. If you intend to come on the VWP and try to get a green card through marriage, you have probably committed visa fraud since your implied intent was to just visit. But a person who intends to visit but at some point after arrival decides to marry an stay may be allowed to do so.
“About Document Translations”
One of the many ways immigration attorneys and others try to gouge you is by selling you translations. What they don’t want you to know is that anybody can translate your documents for you, including you, your spouse, your fiance or any random stranger. All the USCIS requires is that whoever translates the documents writes the following on the bottom of the translation:
“I certify that I am competent to translate (language name here) to English, and that this is a complete and correct translation.”
They then sign their name to the translation. There is actually no such thing as a certified translation service recognized by the USCIS. You should never pay for a translation.
“Does it matter where we got married?”
It does not matter where you get married as long as you have a legal marriage certificate. However, if you came to the U.S. on a K-1 Fiance Visa you must get married within 90 days of your arrival in the United States. Additionally, you must marry the person who sponsored you for the K-1 visa.
“What if I married somebody different than the person who petitioned me?”
You can’t adjust your status from a K-1 visa if you didn’t marry the sponsor named on your I-129F. If this is your situation you will need to leave the U.S. and have your new husband petition for your return on a K-3 or CR1 visa.
“Do I have to file my AOS within 90 days of my arrival in the U.S.?”
No. You must get married within 90 days of your arrival (if you came on a K-1) but you do not have to file your AOS within 90 days. The USCIS doesn’t set a time limit for you to file your AOS. However, there are many good reasons to file your AOS as soon as possible. You will not be able to work until you have your green card or Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Additionally, the medical exam you had for your K visa will expire in 12 months. If you don’t file your AOS before the medical expires you will need to have another medical exam. If you arrived on a K-1 visa you will not be able to get back into the U.S. should you leave the country for some reason until you have either your green card or the Advance Parole document.
Many people wait several months after their entry to file the AOS simply because it is so expensive.
“Can my children be included on my AOS?”
No. Unlike the K-1 and K-3 visas, with the Adjustment of Status each person needs their own petition. This means all children need a separate From I-485 and supporting documents.
“Will I have an interview for the Adjustment of Status?”
Most people do not get interviewed for the K-1 or K-3 adjustment of status. Everyone else will likely have an interview. The USCIS will notify you if you will be interviewed.
“Will I get my USCIS application fees back if I am denied?”
No. The USCIS says your fees pay for the process, which is completed even if you are not granted a green card. In other words, you are paying to have them look at your case, not to approve your green card.
“Should I use a lawyer to prepare my Adjustment of Status?”
Probably not. Obtaining an Adjustment of Status is an administrative process, not a legal process. This is simply a benefit request from the government, kind of like getting a driver’s license. No attorney has any type of special access to the process or can in any way give you an advantage. You will either qualify or you will not. There is no judge or court involved, just a bunch of forms you send to a government office (USCIS). An attorney can’t change the facts of your case. However, attorneys are good at sorting out complicated bureaucratic processes. In the days before computers many people didn’t feel they could handle the paperwork alone and would turn to an attorney.
Law schools do not teach anything about preparing visa petitions. If a lawyer knows how to do an Adjustment of Status, he learned it on his own like anybody else. Because RapidVisa specializes in these processes we do many more petitions than any lawyer could ever do. This means we have more real-world, current experience with the process than most lawyers. But we can’t give you legal advice or represent you before the USCIS in the extremely unlikely case that representation is necessary.
RapidVisa has taken the complexity out of the process so that anybody can complete the forms with the same accuracy as the best immigration attorney. Even if you did hire an attorney, he would almost certainly have his paralegal or clerk prepare the forms and in the best case, he would look them over before sending them back to you. Before the paralegal could complete the forms, she would have you provide all the answers. So if you are going to provide all the answers anyway, why not just type them into RapidVisa and skip the lawyer (and his fees)? Nearly all Adjustment of Status applications are approved and most people don’t use a lawyer. Just get the forms right and if you qualify, you can’t be denied. But do please note that RapidVisa is not a legal service and we do not provide legal advice of any kind.
If you feel you need legal advice you should contact an attorney.
“When will the USCIS cash my check?”
Your check will be cashed when they accept your petition. If there is something wrong with your initial submission they will return your entire package to you along with the uncashed check.
If your petition is accepted, the USCIS will scan your check and electronically withdraw the fee from your account within 24 hours of receipt. They will destroy the original check and therefore it will not come back to you.
“Must children attend the interview?”
Yes. They may choose not to interview very young children but you should bring them anyway if they are also doing an Adjustment of Status. If the children are not doing an Adjustment of Status you should not bring them.
“Must my newborn Baby have his eyes open in his passport photo?”
“Do you help us with the interview?”
We will answer any questions you have about the adjustment of status interview and give you some general tips. However, you should be very wary about any service that offers to coach you on the interview process. According to the U.S. Department of State, “The end result is that every client from a particular consultant sounds exactly like one another. This diminishes credibility among those who memorize the ‘correct’ answers and cannot hold free-flowing conversations with the visa officers.”
*This refers directly to the Visa process, not the AOS process. However, the logic and conclusion is the same.