The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen spouse of a United States (U.S.) citizen. This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition in the United States.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is the difference between a K-3 and a K-1?
The K-1 is intended for fiancés who are not married yet. It allows a fiancé to come to the United States to get married to their U.S. fiancé, and then adjust status to a legal permanent resident in the U.S.
The K-3 is designed for people who are already married. Theoretically, it should shorten the time that the married couple would need to be separated as it allows for the foreign spouse to enter the United States to wait for the approval of legal permanent resident status rather than waiting overseas.
How much time does a K-3 save over normal immigrant visa processing?
In many cases, the K-3 process may reunite the couple in the United States approximately 1 to 3 months faster than simply waiting overseas for the immigrant visa to process. However, this does not happen in all cases. In some cases, the immigrant visa is actually processed before the K-3 can be approved. In these cases, the K-3 is denied and a foreign spouse can simply come over on the immigrant visa to receive their legal permanent residence (green card).
Where does the interview take place for the K-3 visa?
The foreign spouse must apply for the visa and have the interview at the U.S. Consulate in the country in which the marriage took place. This rule can add complications to cases where the couple had a destination wedding in a third-party country.
Can a K-3 visa applicant bring their children to the U.S.?
Yes. Unmarried children under the age 21 can apply for a K-4 visa to travel with the K-3 beneficiary.
How long does a K-3 last for?
The K-3 is granted for two years. By then, the adjustment of status application should be approved and the K-3 applicant should be a legal permanent resident of the U.S. If not, the K-3 can be extended for two years at a time.
Can I work or travel on a K-3 after entering the U.S.?
Yes. A person on K-3 status can work in the United States but they must first apply for an employment authorization document (“EAD”) before doing so. With the EAD approved, the K-3 beneficiary can work for a United States employer without formal sponsorship.
The K-3 beneficiary can also travel outside the United States without advance parole as long as there is a valid, unexpired K-3 visa in his or her passport.
What if I have more questions on K-3 visas?
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding K-3 that you may have.