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February 9, 2011 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

My Adjustment of Status (AOS) Guide

I know it’s silly to be this prepared even if I haven’t even left for the US yet, but if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I like to be prepared and organized. Now I have made a little guide for preparing the AOS packet. Tim and I don’t plan on using a lawyer, as we were successful the first time around just doing it on our own, and we plan on doing the same here. Keep in mind that this is my guide, I haven’t actually gone through this yet but these are the steps I will follow based on a lot of other guides that I have combined. Of course I will be updating and editing it as I go along, and will blog about each experience as I go through it. This guide is only for preparing the AOS packet, I am still clueless about what comes next, so that will also be something that I will just talk about as it actually happens. Also, the sequence of events is just what I want to follow because this is what’s convenient for me, feel free to do as you please.

If anyone who has been through AOS ends up reading this and has some input/corrections, please feel free to let me know 🙂 Again, I would just like to reiterate to other readers to please do their own research as well, and not to rely on this alone. 🙂

[EDIT: I also wrote a more updated post about this on VJ, if anyone would like to see: K1 LIFE AFTER POE]

Okay here goes:

1. POE (Port of Entry)

My POE will be the SFO Airport on February 21st. Don’t forget to bring the brown envelope from the embassy and hand it to the immigration officer, together with your i-94. Make sure all details on the i-94 are written legibly and correctly. Also, do not leave the airport without checking if all the details on your i-94 is correct (date of stamp etc) and do not lose your i-94 as this is needed for AOS 🙂

2. GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE

Check your state laws for the requirements to get married.. Go to your local town clerk to get the license. Tim and I will go to the Northfield, VT town clerk sometime in February. 🙂

3. GET A SSN

K1 visa holders are allowed to get a SSN as long as they still have a valid i-94. It is recommended to go 10-14 days upon entry so that by then you should already be registered in the database. Now I have been told that there are some SSA who are clueless about k1 visa holders and refuse to give them the SSN until you have your green card. This is FALSE, and if this happens, ask for higher management and demand for it, because you are entitled to one. We will do this the 1st week of March.. sometimes they require a SSN to get a license, so you may want to interchange 2 and 3 if that is the case. 🙂

Proof: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211420

SSN Form: http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

4. FIND A CIVIL SURGEON

Only if your DS-3025 is marked “incomplete” is a I-693 required to be completed. If it is marked as such (incomplete) you are 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.

So this part is a little confusing because I have all the complete age-appropriate vaccines, and yet some people claim to have gotten RFEs for not having their I-693 transcribed so we decided that were gonna do it anyway to avoid any complications 🙂 The trick here is to call around and find a civil surgeon who will not require you to do another medical, because your medical exam should still be valid for a whole year! It took us about 7 inquiries before we finally found one who did not make us redo the exam or overcharge us! We found one willing to do it for $25 and all we had to do was fax them my ds-3205 and then go there to pick it up a few days later 🙂

5. GET MARRIED AND GET THE (certified) MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

This is the best part of all! 😀

The marriage certificate is important for AOS, so make sure you grab copies of it!

>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<

AOS DOCUMENTS

1. Cover letter

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 you 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 ( 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

2.      G-1145 – Form for E-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance

3.      Payment in the amount of $1,070.00 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (personal cheque)

4.      I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, signed & dated

5.     Copy of birth certificate

6.      Photocopy of passport biographical details page

7.     Copy of K1 visa in passport

8.     Photocopy of USA entry stamp dated

9.      2 passport photos (US passport size) – name and alien number printed lightly on back in pencil or felt pen

10.     I-693 Filled up by Civil Surgeon (Bring DS-3205 and Vaccination Records)

11.  G-325A – Biographic Information, including residence and employment attachments

11.  I-864 – Affidavit of Support +tax returns, employment letter, bank statement, pay stubs and proof of citizenship

12.  I-864 – Affidavit of Support (Co-Sponsor, if needed) + Most recent tax returns and proof of citizenship

13.  Copy of I-797 – Notice of Action, Approval of K1 petition, dated ##### (front & back)

14. Copy of Marriage certificate, dated ##### (front & back)

15.  Copy of I-94 – Arrival/Departure record (front & back)

EAD DOCUMENTS

Cover letter

1.      G-1145 – Form for E-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance

2.      I-765 – Application for Employment Authorisation

3.      2 passport photos (US passport size) – name and alien number printed lightly on back in pencil or felt pen

4.     Photocopy of passport biographical details page

5.      Copy of I-94 – Arrival/Departure record (front & back)

6.     Copy of Marriage certificate (to show name change)

** If you are k1, your eligibility is C9

AP DOCUMENTS

Cover letter (EXPLANATION FOR ELIGIBILITY)

1.    G-1145 – Form for E-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance

2.    I-131 – Application for Travel Document (Advanced Parole)

3.    2 passport photos (US passport size) – name and alien number printed lightly on back in pencil or felt pen

4.    Copy of K1 visa (to show present status)

5.    Photocopy of passport biographical details page

6.    Copy of Marriage certificate (to show name change)

File at:
USCIS
P.O. Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

For courier/express delivery:
USCIS
Attn: FBAS
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

PAYMENT
Personal checks must be pre-printed with the name of the bank and the account holder. Also, the account holder’s address and phone number must be pre-printed, typed or written in ink on the check. All checks must be typed or written in ink.

1.        Write the date you are filling out the check including:  day, month and year.

2.        On the “Pay to the Order of” line write:  “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

3.        Write in numbers the exact dollar amount of the fee for the service you are requesting.  In the example, the amount is “$595.00.”

4.        Spell out the exact dollar amount of the fee for the service you are requesting.  The “cents” portion of the amount should be written as a fraction over 100.  In this example, the amount is “Five hundred ninety-five and 00/100.”

5.        Write a brief description of the purpose of your payment.  In this example, it is “N-400 application fee.”

6.        Sign the check using your legal signature.

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.

Hope that helps!!! 😀

Please check my sources:

http://www.visajourney.com/faq/k1k2visa-enter.html

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/235331-aos-ead-ap-from-k1-the-aussie-way-doc-list-included/

http://www.visajourney.com/faq/k1k2visa-aos.html

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=3faf2c1a6855d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD




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47 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. utha / Apr 22 2011 9:30 am

    Thanks Stephanie. It’s so helpful.

  2. Mae / May 2 2011 11:39 pm

    hi steph. this is very helpful. we just got our NOA2 and still waiting for the MNL Case Number. below the AOS Documents: the # 2. Which is G-1145, what is that about?? thanks..

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / May 4 2011 3:07 pm

      Hi! The G-1145 is optional, it just allows you to get text and email notifications about your case.. 🙂

  3. criscel / May 14 2011 7:49 pm

    Where did u hire a civil surgeon? I need to know because we probably might hire him too. I live in PA too!

  4. Caitlin / May 24 2011 11:34 pm

    First off, your notes the AOS guide was super super helpful !!!!, but I have a few questions on the I-864 form since i have a co sponsor and i noticed you also had a co-sponsor (going off your blog), I am really lost/confused on how a sponsor and co-sponsor would fill out the form, specially questions 1,8,9,10 and 19. I do not work since i am in med school and my co-sponsor is my mother. Your help is highly appreciated ! Thank you very much and sorry for the trouble 🙂

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jun 2 2011 9:13 am

      Hey!
      We actually didn’t end up using a co-sponsor because as it turns out Tim made enough for the both of us.. I’ll look up those numbers though and see if I can help.. but better yet, ask in VJ! :p

  5. Tina Macafe-Conrad / Jun 21 2011 9:27 pm

    Hey, we just got married last Sunday as you can see and I entered on a K1.. I’m so lost of what I should do first. I’m not sure if I should have my name changed to the social security or file a name change to the Philippine embassy and also report my marriage or process my adjustment of status! Ahhh! It’s giving me a headache, the expiration of my visa is on August 1 and I’m not even sure what to do! What did you do 1st? Thanks! Your help will be very appreciated!

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jun 21 2011 9:36 pm

      Hey! First of all, RELAX and CONGRATS!
      Fix your AOS papers first.. that’s the most important.. The report of marriage to the Phil Consulate can wait when you’ve filed.. No need to change your SSN to your married name, better to do that when you have your GC because you can hit two birds with one stone (name change and remove restrictions). Most of all, ENJOY BEING A NEWLYWED!!!! 🙂

  6. Tina Macafe-Conrad / Jun 21 2011 9:57 pm

    Thank you! Sooo.. Does that mean my current surname is still my maiden surname if I do that?

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jun 21 2011 10:00 pm

      nope.. you can use your married name on your AOS forms.. SSN is just a number, its not connected to your AOS 🙂

  7. Tina Macafe-Conrad / Jun 22 2011 6:45 am

    Thank you! Will ask more questions here if its alright with you! Have a great day!

  8. Melissa Chua / Jun 22 2011 9:30 am

    hi steph! I have a question. I also entered in US by k1 visa. Got married last week. My question is should I change my last name first before I file AOS? and if ever I will used my married name, hindi ba magkakaroon ng problem kasi sa fiance visa pocessing ang gamit ko ung maiden name ko. Thanks! Have a nice day!

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jul 1 2011 9:35 am

      Can’t believe I only saw this now! So sorry! Yes, you can use your married name on all your AOS forms 🙂

  9. Melissa Chua / Jul 8 2011 8:26 pm

    Thank you. Regarding the medical exam. I called some civil surgeon. They charge me for $300-400. But I told them that I’m done with my medical exam in the Philippines and have some vaccination. Then it lowered to $150-200 for PPD and some bloodworks. Do I need to do that? or just my DS 3025 vaccination sheet to be transferred to the I-693 form? Thanks! Pls help me, I don’t want to spend a hundred dollars.

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jul 9 2011 10:17 am

      Hey!
      To be honest, its hard to give advice on whether you should do it or not because some manage to survive AOS without it, while some get an RFE for it. If your vaccines are marked complete, or marked that other vaccines are not age-appropriate, then its really up to you to take the risk. Personally, I wanted to play it safe so I went to a CS, I didn’t want to take any chances!! $150 is really not bad, if they are also doing the PPD, because some have gotten an RFE and were asked to do a TB test, so if you do vaccines + PPD, I think you will be safe from any RFE! But again, its your call! I would not spend anything beyond $150..

      • Melissa Chua / Jul 15 2011 10:37 pm

        Thanks! Im done with my medical exam. I have a question regarding aos. Do i need to file my I-485 together with my ead and ap? Or separate filing? Again thanks!

  10. tinaconrad / Nov 8 2011 8:02 pm

    Hey.. This is kinda late but I just want to thank you for posting this blog, you helped me a lot! From the K1 visa to the AOS and also with the non- visa related papers like the Philippine passport and military ID, I could almost relate to all of your blogs aside from we live in PA too! Anyway, because of your blog, adjusting of status was very fast and easy! I also got my EAD and AP approved just 2 months after and then green card approved 2 weeks after that! No RFE or interview! Like what I said, thanks again! And if you don’t mind, I shared your blog to others too who needs help. 😀

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Dec 28 2011 2:30 pm

      Hey, I am so happy that everything went well for you!! Congrats and God bless you on all your endeavors 🙂

  11. rachel / Dec 28 2011 12:37 am

    hi thank you very much for this information it helps a lot,God bless:-)

  12. Carlos / Jan 12 2012 1:12 am

    Hi, thanks for everything, for what I read you did not have to go to the interview for the AOS, is it true?

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jan 12 2012 4:21 pm

      Yup, I didn’t have interview. Some people get them, some don’t. Goodluck! 🙂

  13. Be / Feb 21 2012 6:57 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’m working on filing my AoS at the moment and I didn’t know about using a cover letter. I will definitely make use of that information. I’m a New Zealand Citizen who just married a US Citizen on a K-1.

  14. Dana / Apr 30 2012 9:25 pm

    hey there:)thank u so much for ur post, my name is Dana, and i have one question for u if u could help me pls, i married recently my fiancee who is a us citizen, but my marriage licence still states my maiden name, and i cannot change legally my last name at the SSA because i am out of status, my husband already did added me to some bills like health insurance , electric bill, bank account, but he used his surname, so now potential evidence says my first name and husband surname, but legally i havent changed my name yet , so my dillema is what surname should i put on AOS forms? my maiden or my husband last name, im sooooooo confused and lost in this process,,, and dont wana make mistake cz i wana do this myself since i cant afford a lawyer…pls help me , i really apreciate it:)

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / May 17 2012 3:41 pm

      Don’t worry.. use whatever name you like on your AOS forms and then when you get your GC then you can take that to the SSA and change your name then.

  15. smax21 / Nov 6 2012 12:45 pm

    Thanks for this post, I saw in another post that you went to Dr. Michele Jones in Bethlehem for your medical exam and it only cost you $140. I live in Bethlehem and am having trouble tracking her down and finding a reasonable price for this part of the process. Do you have contact info for Dr. Jones still or can you give me any additional tips to find a doc. in the Lehigh Valley?

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Nov 6 2012 9:46 pm

      I don’t have her exact information anymore, but her clinic was called “Priority Care at Emrick.” if that helps. I hope she’s still around, she was very nice and her rates were affordable. The other civil surgeons around LV area are ridiculously expensive!

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Nov 6 2012 9:46 pm

      Also, try looking at the USCIS list of approved civil surgeons.. That’s how I found her, I called them all! lol

  16. Ella / Feb 5 2013 11:40 am

    Hi Steph. Thanks for the guide. Is it $1070 all in all? Kasi my husband and I are confused.. Sabi nya another $300 daw pag nag-apply ng EAD.. So its just $1070 for the whole package? AOS, EAD, AP?

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Mar 8 2013 8:59 pm

      yup 1070 for all!

      • smorgasbored / Mar 9 2013 6:34 am

        hi steph do u really need to pay the 1070 fee just in order to get an SS number? so do i need both an EAD and SS to work or can i work even with just an SSN? is there a way we can waive paying the fee? 😦

      • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Mar 9 2013 7:26 am

        Ummm the Ssn is free, you get that from the social security office if you have the right docs. Adjustment of status costs 1070 and that includes ead and ap. you need ss+ eap or ss + GC to work.

  17. smorgasbored / Mar 11 2013 11:33 pm

    thank you steph for your very prompt response, i appreciate it.

  18. Thomas Fitzgerald / Apr 12 2013 2:28 pm

    First off, THANK YOU! you have made the process less painful. I am filling everything out for my wife, On the G-325a, I did have a question. Should we use her new name (my last name) in the Family name section? or her former last name?

  19. lhen / Apr 22 2013 7:16 pm

    this is really helpful, i have a question and need an answer asap i do prepare all my documents and filled up the forms all done but all the sheets that question about my ssn i put none but i already applied and i call them it takes 4 weeks but no ssn came then i follow up the ssn here they said it process already and it takes two weeks more before my ssn came so i decided to filled up all the form not putting my ssn and i already prepared to send at USCIS when my ssn came so what should i do now should i get another form or i could pass all the forms without putting another ssn. cause erase is not valid right thanks….

  20. Amy scali / May 11 2013 5:32 pm

    Hello po, magpa file p lng ako ng AOS eh, ask ksna wat yung non immigrant visa number s form I485? Thnaks po

  21. amrel.. / May 24 2013 8:07 pm

    hi.. i’m a k-1 visa holder and im about to fill out the forms for AOS im confused about my middle name that im going to use,my husband told me that use my original middle name just drop my maiden name and put my new last name. but its our tradition to the the philipines. that once we got married our maiden name is gonna our middle name,,is it gonna be problem to immigration if i am going to use my maiden name as my middle name and take my husband name as my new last name,,any help please…thank you

  22. amrel.. / May 25 2013 1:18 am

    hi im a k1 visa holder and i am about to filling out the forms for AOS i am confused of what middle name i am going to use on it cause my husband told me that use my middle name when i was single and drop my maiden name but i still dont wanna do it cause i am filipina and its our tradition in the philipines that once we get married our maiden name is gonna be our middle name..is it gonna be problem to the immigration if i am going to use my maiden name as my middle name and take my husband name as my new last name,,any help please,,thank you

  23. Kathrin / Jun 14 2013 11:34 am

    Wow! This is the best information I could find! Thanks a lot! This really helps!

  24. jeanP / Jul 9 2013 7:38 pm

    does it need to submit joint account when filing AOS to prove ur marriage is valid???

  25. Cathy / Aug 29 2013 3:00 pm

    Hello Steph. I found your blog very helpful and thank you so much! I am getting married in 2 weeks and I’m trying to get ready of my papers for AOS ahead of time. Do I need to include some photos proving we are married and we are together on my application for AOS or i should do it only on my application for ROC?I would appreciate it so much any response of my query..

  26. papaalieu / Oct 27 2013 9:21 pm

    hello Steph, first of all i want to take this opportunity to thank you for this wonderful blog. We recently got married on K1 visa and we want to begin the process of getting my hubby’s AP and etc. We hired a lawyer during the K1-visa process and it was horrible as we got REF regardless of thousands of dollars we spend on our lawyer. We don’t want hire a lawyer this time but i am worried that we will not be able to do it alone. i read your blog but i need some more clarification. May i asked what we need to first, second and third. Your assistance i this matter is greatly appreciated.

  27. ann / Feb 12 2014 4:26 pm

    hi steph i got married last year around march. my k2 to follow son arrived august last year. what are the steps for his aos? should i follow this one too? your guide has really helped me, it was what i followed for my aos. now i just need to know what to do with my son’s guide. thank you very much in advance and congratulations on your baby 🙂

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Feb 18 2014 12:00 pm

      I would follow the visajourney guide for k2.. I’m not too familiar with it 🙂

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