The K-3 visa is a visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to be admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant while waiting to complete the permanent resident process. K-3 visas are issued following the filing of an immediate relative petition (Form I-130) and approval of a petition for alien fiancée (Form I-129F). Foreign nationals admitted to the United States on a K-3 visa may reside in the United States while waiting for the immigrant visa petition to be adjudicated.
Once a U.S. citizen has filed a relative petition (I-130) for their foreign national spouse, a U.S. citizen also has the option of filing a separate petition for their husband or wife to come to the U.S. as a K-3 nonimmigrant. Since it can take some time to process the I-130 and then for the Department of State to issue an immigrant visa, this option allows the family to be together in the U.S. while they go through the process. Simply said, the K-3 visa classification allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. in order to adjust status to permanent resident instead of waiting for the U.S. Consulate to process and issue them as an immigrant visa abroad.
Requirements For The K-3 Visa
A. Who May Apply For A K-3 Visa?
The foreign national spouse of U.S. citizen may be eligible to receive a K-3 visa if:
- He or she has entered into a valid marriage to a citizen of the U.S.;
- The spouse of U.S. citizen seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of the relative immigrant petition and subsequent adjustment to that of lawful permanent resident;
- The U.S. citizen spouse has filed a relative petition (Form I-130) on behalf of his or her foreign national spouse; and
- An approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, has been forwarded to the U.S. consulate abroad where the spouse of U.S. citizen wishes to apply for the K-3 visa.
NOTE: Apply at the U.S. consulate in the country in which the marriage to the U.S. citizen took place if the United States has a consulate which issues immigrant visas in that country. If the marriage took place in the United States, the designated consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the current residence of the foreign national spouse.
B. Ineligibility To Apply For K-3 Visa
There are certain conditions and activities that may make the foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen ineligible for a K-3 visa. Examples of these ineligibilities are:
- Trafficking in Drugs
- Overstaying a previous visa
- Practicing polygamy
- Advocating the overthrow of the government
- Submitting fraudulent documents
NOTE: The consular officer is required to inform the foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen whether or not he or she is eligible for a K-3 visa, whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility available, and what the waiver procedure is.
K3 or K1 Visa Comparison
|Features||K-3 Visa||K-1 Visa|
|Visa type Filing Petition Forms Processing time||Nonimmigrant||Nonimmigrant|
|I-129F and I-130||I-129F|
|3 to 5 months at the USCIS plus 2 to 3 months at the Consulates||3 to 5 months at the USCIS plus 2 to 3 months at the Consulates|
|Multiple Entries Visa Validity||Yes||No|
|Valid for 24 months||Valid for 4 months; must marry petitioner within 90 days of entry to the United States|
|Marriage Place||Outside or Inside the U.S.||Inside the U.S.|
|Extension of Stay Green Card||Yes||No|
|May obtain permanent Green Card if marriage is more than 2 years old at time AOS is approved||Conditional Green Card|
What VisaPro Customers Are Saying
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