K3 Visa – Marriage Visa
In situations where a U.S. citizen wishes to marry or has married an individual the K3 visa, K1 visa, or adjusting status to lawful permanent residence (green card) are typically the most expeditious visas to reunite the U.S. citizen with his spouse or fiancée. A fiancée of a US citizen is eligible for the K1 visa and a spouse residing abroad is eligible for a K3 visa. A U.S. citizen may petition for his or her spouse to obtain permanent residence if the spouse is residing in the U.S.
Applicants must be aware of non-immigrant intent, unlawful presence, and public charge issues to ensure that they are in compliance with immigration law. Furthermore, the USCIS will scrutinize the relationship to ensure that it is bona fide and not entered into solely for the purpose of gaining immigration benefits.
K3 VISA OVERVIEW
K3 visas are appropriate for spouses of US citizens residing outside of the US. Congress created the K3 visa to reduce the long wait that the US citizen and her spouse experienced, while waiting for an immigrant visa. The K3 visa allows one to enter the US in nonimmigrant status to eventually adjust status to lawful permanent residency while in the United States. USCIS will grant the applicant with a two-year admission period when the K3 visa holder enters the United States. Foreign national spouses present in the United States can travel outside of the United States and return using their K3 visa. While in K3 status, if one has filed for adjustment of status in the US prior to departure from the US, USCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of an adjustment application.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE K3 VISA:
1. Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
2. An immediate relative petition, that is pending, must have been filed in the United States.
3. A K3 petition must be completed and submitted by the US citizen and submitted to USCIS.
K3 VISA PETITIONS:
To obtain K3 status for your foreign national spouse an immediate relative petition is filed by the U.S. citizen with USCIS. After the applicant receives a receipt of the initial petition, (s)he may file a K3 petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign national. Once USCIS approves the petition, the application is sent to the National Visa Center to perform security checks. The National Visa Center will forward the petition to the US embassy. If your marriage occurred abroad, a K3 visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE K3 VISA PETITION IS APPROVED?
The consulate will send a letter to your spouse requesting a list of documents necessary to obtain the K3 visa. The consulate will also commence security clearance processing. The security clearance will partly determine whether or not the beneficiary is inadmissible to enter the United States on a K3 visa. The consular officer may deny the K3 visa if the officer determines that the beneficiary is inadmissible. Alternatively, the officer may deem that a waiver of inadmissibility is necessary. In this situation, the USCIS must approve an I-601 waiver, before the consular officer will issue a K3 visa.
Once all processing is completed, and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview your spouse to determine if she is eligible for the K3 visa. The officer will review all of the documents and question the K3 visa applicant to determine if the marriage is bona fide, ensure the applicant is not inadmissible and will not become a public charge. If the consular officer finds that your spouse is eligible she will issue a K3 visa. The K3 visa applicant may adjust status to lawful permanent residency or obtain an immigrant visa at the consular post in the country of where the marriage took place. The K3 visa admits an applicant to the United States for two years.
A child may qualify for a K4 visa if they are a minor, unmarried child less than 21 years of age of a qualified K3 visa applicant.
If I enter on a K3 visa can I change status to another non-immigrant visa category?
No. K3 visa holders cannot change status in the United States to another nonimmigrant visa category.
Does the K-3 visa applicant need the I-864, Affidavit of Support?
K3 visa applicants DO NOT need to submit the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, until they adjust status to lawful permanent residency in the United States in the U.S. However, the Affidavit of Support for non-immigrant visas, may be deemed appropriate by the consular officer.
Can I obtain work-authorization and a social security through a K-3 visa?
Yes. USCIS will usually grant employment authorization in two-year increments.
What is advance parole? Do I need to apply for Advance Parole if I have a K3 visa?
Advance parole allows the applicant to enter and reenter the United States for the duration of the validity of the advance parole document. The K3/K4 is a multiple entry visa that allows you to reenter the United States without Advance Parole.
If I am out of status may I obtain a K3 visa?
K3 visa applicants are subject to the 3-year bar if they accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the US. If they accrued one or more years of unlawful presence, they are subject to a 10-year bar. However, they may apply for a waiver to overcome the 3 or 10-year bar.