The cost of moving to the United States from your home country to be with your fiancé(e) can be financially draining. Your citizen spouse may have a job, but you may find yourself in a situation where you also need to work, contributing to the relationship, and eventual marriage. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides an avenue for K-1 non-immigrant fiancé(e) visa-holders to seek and obtain employment once they enter the United States. Because the entire purpose of the K-1 fiancé(e) visa is to start the process for obtaining permanent resident status, and naturalization in the future, it only makes sense that such visa-holders should be able to work as soon as possible once they are on United States soil.
In order to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that allows a K-1 fiancé(e) visa-holder to work in the United States, the visa-holder must submit Form I-765, which is an application for employment authorization. Once USCIS receives this application and grants you an EAD, you will be issued a social security number that is for work-purposes only. This document will enable you to lawfully work and pay taxes just as any other permanent resident or citizen in the United States.
While the EAD is helpful for K-1 visa-holders, it is important to understand that there are occasions where an applicant may not receive the EAD for more than 90 days. This certainly is not the case all of the time, but you should be aware that you may not receive authorization to work in the United States after your K-1 fiancé(e) non-immigrant visa has expired.
For this reason, it is extremely important to get married as quickly as possible within the 90 day period after entering the United States before your temporary visa expires. This will enable you to take the steps necessary to apply for an adjustment of status based on marriage, and concurrently with that application, you ordinarily would apply for work authorization anyway. Therefore, you may have some lag time where you simply have to wait to receive work authorization, but you at least have the ability to apply right away upon entering the United States, and have the potential to begin working before your visa has expired.
Further, if you receive an EAD within the 90 day window after entering the United States, your work authorization will expire at the same time as your temporary visa. This is just another reason why you should plan to marry as soon as possible so that you will obtain employment authorization along with an adjustment of status based on marriage. Many K-1 fiancé(e) visa-holders choose to wait to apply for work authorization given the challenges of obtaining the document timely and addressing the document’s quick expiration date. However, for those individuals who need any employment they can find, and they need it quickly, an EAD can substantially help K-1 fiancé(e) visa-holders start the path to employment upon entering the United States.
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Coming to the United States to get married and start your life with your fiancé(e) can be both exciting and challenging. Having the financial ability to live and contribute to your family is extremely important in any relationship or marriage. For this reason, individuals with fiancé(e) visas are able to apply for work authorization in the United States upon arrival. However, in order to lawfully work, you will need the help of a skilled immigration attorney to make sure you are following all requirements. At Geygan & Geygan, Ltd., our immigration attorneys have helped clients like you obtain the necessary visas and work authorization documents they need in order to start their lives in the United States. Call Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. today at (513) 791-1673 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your immigration needs.