What is a K-3 Marriage Visa?

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K-3 Visa – Marriage Visa

In situations where a U.S. citizen wishes to marry or has married an individual, the K-3 Visa, fiancee 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 U.S. citizen is eligible for the fiancee visa and a spouse residing abroad is eligible for a K-3 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.

Who is eligible for a K-3 Visa?

In order to be eligible for a K-3 Visa you must be:

  1. the spouse of a U.S. citizen;
  2. an immediate relative with a petition that is pending, which must have been filed in the United States;
  3. in possession of a K-3 petition which must be completed and submitted by the U.S. citizen and submitted to USCIS.
  4. K-3 Visas are appropriate for spouses of U.S. citizens residing outside of the U.S. Congress created the K-3 Visa to reduce the long wait that the U.S. citizens and spouses were experiencing, while waiting for an immigrant visa.

    The K-3 Visa allows one to enter the U.S. 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 K-3 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 K-3 Visa.

    The USCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of an adjustment application if one has filed for adjustment of status in the U.S. prior to departure from the U.S., while in K-3 status.

How can I obtain a K-3 Visa Petition?

To obtain K-3 Visa status for your foreign national spouse, an immediate relative petition can be filed by the U.S. citizen with USCIS. After the applicant receives a receipt of the initial petition, (s)he may file a K-3 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 U.S. embassy. If your marriage occurred abroad, a K-3 Visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.

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What Happens After the K-3 Visa Petition is Approved?

The consulate will send a letter to your spouse requesting a list of documents necessary to obtain the K-3 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 K-3 Visa. The consular officer may deny the K-3 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 USCIS must approve an I-601 Waiver, before the consular officer will issue a K-3 Visa.

Once all processing is completed, and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview your spouse to determine eligibility for the K-3 Visa. The officer will review all of the documents and question the K-3 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, a K-3 Visa will be issued. The K-3 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 K-3 Visa admits an applicant to the United States for two years.

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What is a K-4 Visa?

A child may qualify for a K-4 Visa if they are a minor, unmarried child less than 21 years of age of a qualified K-3 Visa applicant.

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Can I change status if I enter on a fiancee visa?

No. fiancee visa holders cannot change status in the United States to another nonimmigrant visa category.

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Does the fiancee visa applicant need the I-864 Affidavit of Support?

K-3 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.

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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.

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What is advance parole? Do I need to apply for Advance Parole if I have a K-3 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 K-3/K-4 is a multiple entry visa that allows you to reenter the United States without advance parole.

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Can I obtain a K-3 Visa if I am out of status?

K-3 Visa applicants are subject to the 3-year bar if they accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the U.S.. 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.

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