K-3 SPOUSAL VISA
The K-3 spouse visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring his or her Canadian husband or wife to the U.S. to obtain a green card (adjust status). They can also bring all unmarried children under the age of 18 through a K-4 visa. Both K-3 and K-4 visa petitions must be filed by the American spouse in the United States. The K-3 visa was developed in order to keep families together when a U.S. citizen marries a non-citizen and wants to return with their spouse to the United States. 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.
Processing changes made by the USCIS drastically reduced I-130 Petition processing times for spouses of U.S. citizens. Processing of K-3 petitions now closely tracks processing of the underlying I-130 petition, and usually the K-3 visa petition is approved slightly after the I-130 petition is approved. As a result, the NVC center administratively closes most K-3 visa petitions after they arrive there, since the I-130 petition has been approved and is the preferred petition in this situation. K-3 visas nonetheless remain a useful alternative, worth pursuing as a back-up plan in case there are any problems with or changes to the way the USCIS processes I-130 petitions in the future. This is true for the following reasons:
1) There is currently no separate filing fee for K-3 visa petitions. The fee for the I-130 petition covers filing a K-3 visa petition as well;
2) K-3 visa petitions are substantially similar to the underlying I-130 petition, so that even though they involve some extra work, it is not as much work as one might think;
3) It is always possible that the USCIS backlog for I-130 petitions will return, or that USCIS might suddenly change the way it processes I-130 petitions, leading to long delays in their approval.
We have helped many people from around the world re-unite using the K-3 spouse visa. Call or email with any questions you have. We are always happy to let you speak directly with a K-3 visa immigration expert.
K-3 Visa Eligibility
The foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen must be married at the time of filing. There must be no legal reason that the marriage is not legally valid, for example, one of the persons is still married to someone else, or the persons were too young when married. The foreign spouse must have no criminal, health, or other issues that would prevent them from getting U.S. immigration benefits.
Children of a K-3 Visa holder
Minor children of the foreign spouse may accompany them and are issued a K-4 visa.
K-3 spouse visa holders and K-4 minor children are authorized to work after entry to the U.S. Employment authorization may be applied for prior to or at the same time as the green card application (adjustment of status).
K-3 Visa Services
We provide full service representation for filing in the U.S., processing at the consulate in the foreign country, and entering the U.S. We defend against actions and requests for evidence from the government and guide the case through the processing to ensure it is handled properly. Due to the federal nature of immigration law, we serve clients in all U.S. states and throughout the world. Contact us for more information or to start your case.