What is a K-3 Visa?
A K-3 Visa is a type of non-immigrant visa which is available to the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen. This visa was created to shorten the time of separation which spouses might have to endure while an immigrant visa petition is pending approval. The K-3 Visa allows a foreign spouse to leave their foreign country and join their U.S. citizen spouse in the United States.
What is the Process of Getting a K-3 Visa?
Because the K-3 Visa is considered a temporary visa which is issued for the purpose of keeping spouses together during the petition process, the first step in obtaining a K-3 visa is to file Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative, and Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS.
Once these petitions are approved, they will be forward to the National Visa Center. It is important to note that if both the I-130 and the I-129F are approved at the same time, or if the I-130 is approved before the I-129F, the K-3 visa application will be administratively closed. This is because if the I-130 is approved, a visa becomes immediately available to the foreign spouse.
If the I-129F is approved before the I-130, the foreign spouse will receive instructions which direct them on where to go for a medical evaluation and where they will have to report for their visa interview.
How Long is the K-3 Visa Good For?
Because the K-3 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is only valid for a period of two years. Typically, the K-3 visa is applied for when the applicant anticipates that their family-based petition will take a longer time to be approved and they do not want to remain separated from their U.S. citizen spouse for that duration.
What are the Advantages of K-3 Visas?
A K-3 Visa holder can join their U.S. citizen spouse without having to wait for a family-based petition to be approved. The K-3 Visa holder may also apply for employment authorization and freely travel in and out of the U.S since it is a multiple entry visa.
What are the Disadvantages of a K-3 Visa?
A K-3 Visa holder’s status in the country is temporary while their petition is pending. This means that if their petition is rejected while they are in the U.S., or if they get divorced to their U.S. citizen spouse, they will have to return to their foreign country. A K-3 Visa holder would still need to undergo the process of adjusting their status to a green card.
There is a substantial amount of documentation which is included in the applications. For this reason, it may be wise to consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure that the application is in good order before it is sent. Consider setting up a consultation with an immigration attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.
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