The Requirements of Applying for a K-3 Visa, and Applying for Work Authorization
1. The Requirements of Applying for a K-3 Visa
The K-3 visa is specifically intended for use by U.S. citizens who are sponsoring their foreign national spouse for immigration. It was created to address the long processing time for immigration visa at the USCIS. The K-3 visa is therefore actually a "non-immigration" visa, meaning that receipt of a K-3 visa does not result in the spouse becoming a legal permanent resident immediately upon their arrival in the U.S.
K-3 visas are issued to U.S. citizens' spouses who are outside the U.S. The minor children of such spouses who will accompany them to enter into the U.S. may apply for a K-4 visa. The requirements of the K-3 visa include:
1) The alien spouse of U.S. citizen must be outside the U.S.;
2) An immigrant petition (Form I-130) for the benefit of the spouse must have been filed when the I-129F (K visa petition) is filed;
3) The U.S. citizen spouse must file an I-129F petition (K visa petition) with the USCIS and have it approved;
4) If the marriage occurred outside the U.S., the K visa must be issued by the U.S. consulate in the country where the marriage occurred.
5) The child must be outside the U.S. and will accompany K-3 visa applicant or holder to come to the U.S., and the child must be unmarried and under 21 years old.
The K-3 process requires that the petitioner file Form I-130 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative), as well as Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé/Fiancée). The Form I-129F should be filed after Form I-130 has been received by USCIS.
The Immigrant Visa Unit at U.S. embassy or consulate will process the application for the K visa. Regarding the appointment date of the visa interview, the alien spouse should prepare for that appointment, and obtain the documents required for the visa application.
2. Who Is Eligible for K-3 Visa, and Who Is not Eligible for K-3 Visa
A person may receive a K-3 visa if that person:
has concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States;
has a relative petition (Form I-130) filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for the person;
seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of the Form I-130 petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status; and
has an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé/Fiancée, forwarded to the American consulate abroad where the alien wishes to apply for the K-3/K-4 visa.
The consulate must be in the country in which the marriage to the U.S. citizen took place if the United States has a consulate which issues immigrant visas in that country. If the marriage took place in the United States, the designated consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the current residence of the alien spouse. A child may receive a K-4 visa, if that child is under 21 years of age and is the unmarried child of an alien eligible to be a K-3.
Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a K-3 visa. Examples of these ineligibilities are:
Overstaying a previous visa;
Advocating the overthrow of the government;
Submitting fraudulent documents.
The consular officer will tell you, the applicant, if you are ineligible for a visa, whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver procedure is.
3. Children for K-4 Visa
The minor children of spouses who will accompany them to enter into the U.S. may apply for a K-4 visa, and wait in the United States to complete the immigration process. Before a K-4 visa can be issued to a child, the parent must have a K-3 visa. A K-4 visa is a version of the K-3 visa for unmarried children under the age of 21. Before a K-4 visa can be issued to a child, the parent must have a K-3 visa or be in K-3 status.
Children needing to enter the U.S. on a K-4 visa with a parent do not need a separate Petition for Alien Relative, but the petitioner must take care to name all the spouse’s children on the Petition for Alien Fiancé (For I-130). If the U.S. citizen does not name the children on the petition, it may be difficult to prove their identity as children of a K-3 applicant or person in K-3 status.
4. Applying for Authorization to Work in the United States
The spouse of a U.S. citizen admitted with a K-3 visa is authorized to remain in the U.S. for a period of 2 years specified on his/her Form I-94. She or he may file the adjustment of status application to become a permanent resident. An alien admitted to the U.S. as a K nonimmigrant will be authorized to work after filing a Form I-765 application with the USCIS.
More Articles for K-3 Visa Application of U.S. Citizen's Spouse • K-3 Visa for Spouse of a United States Citizen • Benefits and Limitations of K-3 Visa • Procedure at the National Visa Center to Process the K-3 Cases • Frequently Asked Questions of K-3 Visa • Our Help Desk's Answers for Questions of K-3 Visa Application • Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of K-3 Visa Application • K-3 Visa Application for U.S. Citizen's Spouse • Home Page
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