K-3 Visas

Couple with their daughter on the beach

A K-3 visa, allows a foreign citizen spouse, married to a United States citizen, to enter the United States in order to apply for lawful permanent residence. The purpose of this visa category is to shorten the amount of time that a United States citizen spouse and a foreign citizen spouse must be physically separated from each other. In reality, based on current processing times, it is usually just as fast for the foreign citizen spouse to seek an immigration visa (CR-1) than a K-3 visa.

The Visa Application Process

Applying for a K-3 visa requires the filing of two separate visa petitions. First, the United States citizen spouse submits Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”). Second, after the United States citizen receives notification from USCIS that USCIS has received Form I-130, the United States citizen spouse must submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), to USCIS. Once Form I-129F is approved by USCIS, it will be sent to the National Visa Center for further processing.

Once the National Visa Center is done processing the petition, it subsequently sends the petition to the appropriate embassy or consulate in the foreign country where the marriage took place. If the marriage took place in the United States, the National Visa Center will send the petition to the appropriate embassy or consulate in the country of the foreign citizen spouse’s nationality. The foreign citizen spouse will then make an appointment for an interview at the relevant United States embassy or consulate. During the interview, the foreign citizen spouse will also have their fingerprints taken.

The foreign citizen spouse will be required to provide the following documentation during the visa interview:

  • Completed Form DS-160;
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States;
  • Birth certificate;
  • Marriage certificate for the marriage to the United States citizen spouse;
  • Divorce or death certificates for any pervious spouses;
  • Evidence of financial support in the form of an Affidavit of Support from the United States citizen;
  • Police certificates from all countries where the applicant has lived since the age of 16 for six months or longer;
  • Medical examination papers; and
  • Two passport style photos.

It is important to note, that a particular U.S. embassy or consulate may ask for additional documents.

After Entry into the United States

After entry into the United States, K-3 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorization. In addition, the K-3 visa is a multi-entry visa. This means that K-3 visa holders may leave and re-enter the United States multiple times.

K-4 Visa

The foreign citizen spouse’s unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) may also be issued derivative K-4 visas to come to the United States with their parent. K-4 visa holders must enter the United States at the same time as their parent, or at a later date after their parent has already entered the United States.

Contact Hartzman Law Firm to Speak to an Experienced Lawyer Today

If you are interested in speaking to an Pittsburgh based immigration attorney and learning more about a K-3 visa, contact attorney Hartzman at (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. Hartzman Law Firm offers free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.

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