|K1 Visa Information (The Fiance and Fiancee Visa)|
As described in K1 Fiancee Visa Requirements, the foreign fiancee must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of her arrival into the United States on the K1 visa. As soon as possible after the marriage the new husband and wife must file her adjustment of status to a "Green Card" petition with their local USCIS office. At the same time they can also apply for her temporary work authorization and travel permission that will allow her to depart and re-enter the U.S. while she is waiting for her Green Card to be approved.
The length of time it takes to receive an approval for the adjustment of status Green Card application varies among the local USCIS offices from 75 days to 1,138 days. Most USCIS offices are in the 4-12 month range. Many fiancees want to have the right to work and to travel outside of the United States while their adjustment of status application is waiting to be approved. The times for approval of the temporary work authorizations and for travel permission are scattered from 1-120 days, with most offices taking approximately 30 days.
The important thing to remember about the travel document is that the recipient cannot depart the U.S. until she receives the actual approved document. She cannot apply for it, depart the U.S., have someone send it to her while she is still outside of the U.S. and then return to the U.S. In this situation she would be denied re-entry to the U.S. and would have to remain outside of the U.S. while her American spouse filed for a K3 spousal visa (marriage visa) that typically takes even longer to obtain than a fiancee visa and which will delay the immigration and naturalization process.
When the adjustment of status application is approved and the Green Card received, the dealings with the local USCIS office are still not completed. The first Green Card received will be a temporary card that makes the individual a Conditional Permanent Resident of the United States. She must file an application to remove the "Conditional" status during a 90-day period prior to the two-year anniversary of the issuance of the Conditional Green Card.
Once she has done this and received her US permanent resident "Green Card" (which is actually no longer permanent but expires in ten years), she must still apply for naturalization if she wants to become a U.S. citizen. She can do this, if she is still married to the U.S. citizen who originally sponsored her for her K1 fiancee visa, 3 years after the issuance date of her permanent residency Green Card. If she is not still married to the U.S. citizen who sponsored her K1 visa, she can apply for naturalization in 5 years from the date of her permanent residency.
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