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.
The LIFE Act of 2000, allows an alien who
- has a valid marriage to a U.S. citizen (husband or wife) and who is
- the beneficiary on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and
- 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
- The denial or revocation of the Form I-130 petition;
- The denial or revocation of the immigrant visa application (Forms DS-230) filed by the alien;
- The denial or revocation of the alien’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to that of lawful permanent residence;
- The K-3 spouse’s divorce from the U.S. citizen (final judgment);
- 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.