Integrity Legal

6th February 2010

Recently, the United States Tenth Circuit Court held that, under certain circumstances, those holding K-2 visas who wish to adjust status do not “age out.” The tenth circuit’s opinion is found in Colmenares Carpio v. Holder, No. 08-9536 (10th Cir. Jan 12, 2010). To quote directly from the immigration slip opinion blog regarding the underlying facts of the case:

The petitioner entered the United States in K-2 status 6 months before turning 21. His mother married the US citizen within the required 90 days, and the petitioner and his mother applied for adjustment of status before he turned 21. USCIS took two and a half years to decide his application for adjustment of status. USCIS denied the application based on Petitioner’s age on the date of adjudication of the application. An Immigration Judge found that Petitioner was not eligible to adjust status because he was over the age of 21, and the BIA affirmed with a one paragraph unpublished decision.

To further quote the aforementioned blog, within the language of the opinion, the Tenth Circuit Court commenced with an analysis “of [the] statutory construction and found that there is no age limitation on adjustment of status of K-2 visa holders.” That being said, the court’s analysis in this case, “declined to address other scenarios such as when the marriage or the filing of the application occur after turning 21.”

This decision deals with a somewhat narrow set of facts as the K1 visa holder managed to arrive in the US, marry within 90 days, apply for adjustment of status and obtain approval prior to the K2 visa holder’s 21st birthday. The K2 visa holder applied for adjustment of status prior to his 21st birthday, but the case was not adjudicated until afterward.  This court in the above cited opinion has held that based upon these facts, the K2 visa holder did not “age out” and could therefore still adjust status.

For those who are unaware of how the K1 visa process works: the K-1 visa holder enters the United States and has 90 days to get married and apply for adjustment of status. The K1 (or K2) holder is allowed to remain in the USA pending a decision on the adjustment application (in fact is departure is necessary an advance parole travel document should be obtained prior to departure in order to preserve status).

A K2 visa is derivative of a K1 and is intended for the children of K1 visa holders. The statute is somewhat ambiguous regarding K2 visa holder’s rights when it comes to adjustment of status, but the opinion above has clarified some of the issues surrounding K2 visas, but further clarification is needed as in a different factual scenario it is possible that a K-2 visa holder could be barred from adjusting their status.


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