k3 visa overview
What is it:
The K-3 and K-4 Visas allow the Spouse and Spouse’s children (unmarried children under 21) enter the United States to await the approval of the I-130 petition by USCIS or the availability of an immigrant visa.
The K-3 Visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen, who is waiting abroad for an immigrant visa, and the (K-4 Visa) spouse’s children to enter the United States as nonimmigrants, re-unite with their family here, and then apply for immigrant status while in the country. It is one of several immigration benefit provisions created by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act).
Under this new nonimmigrant visa classification, spouses of U.S. citizens may be granted K-3 nonimmigrant status, and the spouse’s unmarried children (under 21 years of age) may be granted K-4 nonimmigrant status. Obtaining a K-3/4 visa is not required, however. Spouses of U.S. citizens and their children may skip applying for a K visa and directly obtain their immigrant visa abroad from the Department of State.
How to Apply:
For those who wish to apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa, the Foreign National must:
Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen;
Have a Form I-130 filed on his/her behalf by his/her U.S. citizen spouse, that is pending with USCIS;
Have a Form I-129F completed and submitted on his/her behalf by his/her U.S. citizen spouse to the USCIS.
Submit a completed Form I-693 (Medical Examination) when he/she appears at the consulate to apply for the K3 visa from the Department of State.
To be eligible for a K-4 nonimmigrant visa, an applicant does not need a separate Form I-130 or a Form I-129F filed on his/her behalf. The K-4 applicant MUST:
Be an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a K-3 visa applicant or holder;
Submit a completed Form I-693 (Medical Examination) when he/she appears at the consulate to apply for the K-4 visa.
Applying for Immigrant Status (also known as: Green Card or Permanent Residence):
The K-3/4 nonimmigrant classification does not provide immigrant status.
To obtain immigrant status –once in the United States — a K-3 nonimmigrant must file a Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment to Permanent Residence).
A K-4 nonimmigrant must have a Form I-130 filed on his/her behalf by his/her U.S. citizen parent/stepparent and must file a Form I-485.
K-3/4 nonimmigrants will become lawful permanent residents and receive their Green Card when both the Form I-130 petition and their Form I-485 application have been approved.
K-3/4 non-immigrants may elect to apply for an immigrant visa instead of adjustment of status and may wait in the United States until they must appear at the American Embassy for their I-130 immigrant visa interview. Click here for a list of American Embassies.
K-3/4 nonimmigrants may apply for authorization to work in the United States while they wait for their immigrant status. To do so, a completed Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) must be submitted along with the I-485 Adjustment of Status petition.
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