What is K3 Visa?

The K3 Visa

As a Las Vegas immigration lawyer I often see cases where a US citizen is petitioning for a spouse living abroad and become concerned about the time it will take to bring the spouse to the United States. The k3 visa might be one option that the US citizen might consider. K3 visa waiting times can be shorter than waiting times for I-130 Petitions. However in practice K3 waiting times can be shorter or longer than posted USCIS processing times; and there is no guarantee. The processing times for some I-130 Petitions can also be shorter than posted processing times. Tactically though a K3 visa petition is something to consider if a married couple is very concerned about long waiting times.

Las Vegas Immigration LawyerPurpose of K3 visa

The LIFE Act of 2000, allows an alien who

  1. has a valid marriage to a U.S. citizen (husband or wife) and who is
  2. the beneficiary on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and
  3. the beneficiary of an approved petition on Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e),

admission into the United States as a K3 non-immigrant to adjust to immigrant status (get a green card) while inside the United States. The K3 visa is different from the K1 visa in that the K1 alien is merely engaged to marry a U.S. Citizen and is seeking admission as a non-immigrant K1 to get married in the United States and adjust to immigrant status (green card).

Benefit of K3 Visa

  •  Avoids long wait abroad. Prior to the passage of the LIFE Act the spouse of a U.S. citizen who resides abroad had to wait for the length of time it took to process an immigrant visa which could be a year or more in some cases.
  • Derivative  K 4 status for children. The dependent children of the spouse of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-129F petition, who are accompanying or following to join their K 3 parent get admission on K 4 derivative status.
  • Admission for 2 years.  K 3 non-immigrants are initially admitted for a 2 year period. Extensions of stay are available for K3’s whose adjustment of status is not complete.
  • Employment in the United States. K-3/K-4 aliens must apply to USCIS for a document evidencing employment authorization using Form I-765.

End of K3 visa status

Termination of K3/K4 status. K3/K4 status automatically terminates 30 days after

  1. The denial or revocation of the Form I-130 petition;
  2. The denial or revocation of the immigrant visa application (Forms DS-230) filed by the alien;
  3. The denial or revocation of the alien’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to that of lawful permanent residence;
  4. The K-3 spouse’s divorce from the U.S. citizen (final judgment);
  5. The marriage of an alien in K-4 status.

The K-4 status also ends with the denial of any of these petitions or applications for a K-3 parent. Nevertheless, a denial or revocation of a petition or application is not effective unless you have exhausted the administrative appeal applicable to your application or petition.


K3 visa applications can take unexpected twists and turns. Put the matter into the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer. If you have any questions call us at 702-423-2721 to schedule a consultation to determine potential eligibility for the K3 visa.

Gary Goodin, Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer at Goodin Law P.A. 702-423-2721.

The American Fiance Visa Petition

K1 visa requirements

The K1 visa process begins when a US citizen files form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a foreign fiance. The petition must be filed and approved before a Consulate can issue a K1 visa to the alien fiance.

Under Section 214(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for the Department of Homeland Security to accept the request, the citizen fiance must prove that the parties:
1. have previously met in person within two years before the date of filing the petition,
2. have a genuine intention to marry, and
3. are legally able and willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within a period of ninety days of the admission to the United States of the foreign national fiance in K1 status.

If the petitioner has a conviction or had a restraining order issued against him concerning certain specified crimes, he must obtain a waiver from the Secretary of Homeland Security the K1 petition can be approved.



What are the specified crimes – K1 visa petition?

The specified crimes are following:
(i) Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse, and stalking, or an attempt to commit any such crime.
(ii) Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this clause.
(iii) At least three convictions for offenses related to a controlled substance or alcohol not arising from a single act.

A waiver is unlikely to be approved if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person.

Supporting documents for the K1 visa petition

You should submit the completed I-129F petition should with proof of your US citizenship, certified copies of all court and police records if you have a conviction for certain crimes, the marital history of you and your fiance the I-129F filing fee and other required documentation. You may need to request a waiver if you have convictions for certain crimes or you made multiple filings. A petitioner who is not in the United States may execute the petition before the United States consular or an immigration officer for forwarding to the Stateside Service office having jurisdiction for adjudication.

Remember that k1 petition is just the first step in the k1 visa process. An approved petition is not a visa. However, if the request is approved, your fiancé will then apply for a k1 visa and attend an interview at a US embassy or consulate. The interview must take place while the petition is still valid. The petition is valid for four months but may be re-validated for extra four-month periods for a good cause, if you still intend to marry. When your fiancé comes to the United States, and you get married within the ninety days period following her admission your fiance will then apply for adjustment of status (a green card) and work authorization.

Consult a K1 visa lawyer for best results

The K1 visa process can get complicated and confusing. To understand k-1 visas and to protect your interests, consult an experienced K1 visa lawyer. If you have any questions about k1 visa requirements, family green cards or more, call us at 702-423-2721 to schedule a consultation with our Las Vegas attorney.