What is a K3 Spouse Visa?
The K3 Spouse Visa allows foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States while they await their Green Card. If their application is successful, they receive temporary legal status that allows them to live near their partners while awaiting their partner’s decision. ‘USCIS.
In the past, U.S. citizens and their foreign spouses were separated for many months. Now, thanks to the K3 Spouse Visa, foreign partners of U.S. citizens can come to the United States before receiving an immigrant visa and the right to permanently settle in the country. Many people, however, do not need to apply for the K3 visa as the processing time of an immigrant visa application can be similar to the K3 visa processing time.
Furthermore, as an alternative to the K3 spouse visa, many people decide to apply for the IR1/CR1 visa. This immigrant visa allows you to come to the United States to live and work there permanently.
Who is eligible for a K3 spouse visa?
If you are a foreign national married to a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for a K3 spouse visa if you meet the following requirements:
● You and your US partner are officially married
● Meet the requirements outlined in the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act 2005
● Your US spouse is able to support you financially after you join them in the US
● Your U.S. spouse filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for you
● You plan to enter the United States while awaiting approval of your Form I-130.
Both heterosexual and same-sex couples can apply for the K3 spouse visa. In addition to these requirements, general entry requirements must also be met. These include not having a criminal record and not having previously violated the conditions of your US visa.
How long is the K3 spouse visa valid?
If you are granted the K3 spouse visa, you will be allowed to enter the United States and stay for two years. During this period you will be able to leave and re-enter the United States as many times as you want. However, during these two years, you will not be eligible for any other nonimmigrant visas.
It is possible to receive a K3 spouse visa extension. If you want to request one, you must submit Form I-538 to USCIS. If your extension request is accepted, you will have the option to remain in the United States for an additional two years. However, if you get divorced during this period, your K3 visa will be revoked.
What is the processing time for the K3 spouse visa?
Getting a K3 spouse visa can be a long process. After submitting Form I-129F you should be prepared to wait approximately 30 days for USCIS to issue acknowledgment of receipt. The receipt indicates that your application has been received and that processing of your visa application has begun. Considering all other steps, on average K3 spouse visa processing takes 6 to 9 months.
As for the interview, it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to receive the interview date.
How to apply for the K3 visa?
If you wish to apply for the K3 visa, you must complete the following steps:
- Your spouse who is a U.S. citizen must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf. To do this they will need to present proof of their US citizenship and a marriage certificate or other document proving that your marriage is genuine. As a foreign citizen, you will also need to attach a birth certificate and a copy of a valid passport.
- Then, after receiving an acknowledgment of receipt for the first form, your U.S. spouse must also file Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). Again, they will need to provide proof of their US citizenship and a legal marriage certificate. If you as a foreign spouse have previously been to the United States, you will also need to include Form I-94. Additionally, passport-sized photographs of both you and your U.S. spouse will be required.
- After you receive approval of your Form I-129F, you must submit your Form DS-160 electronically. To do this you need to create a user account on the US State Department website. Once submitted, be sure to keep a barcode shown on the confirmation page.
- After successfully submitting all the forms, you need to pay the visa processing fee. You can do this online or during the interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Then you need to schedule an interview at a US embassy or consulate in your home country, prepare for it, and attend it. While waiting for your interview appointment you will also need to undergo a medical examination and take all the required vaccinations. These differ depending on where you are from, so be sure to check the country-specific information.
How to prepare for the K3 spouse visa interview?
When preparing for your K3 spouse visa interview, be sure to gather the following documentation:
- An original birth certificate
- The confirmation page showing that you have submitted Form DS-160
Your valid foreign passport
- Confirmation attesting to having attended the medical examination
Two color passport-size photographs
- Evidence showing that any previous marriages have been officially dissolved (if applicable).
- It is not necessary for your spouse to accompany you during the interview.
- The purpose of the appointment is to ensure that the visa is granted to you for legitimate reasons and that your marriage is genuine. There is no specific list of questions for the K3 spouse visa interview, but you are likely to be asked questions about your background and your relationship with the US citizen. You may also need to answer questions about how you see a future in the United States with your partner.
After the interview, you can expect to receive your decision the same day or sometimes within a few days. Once you receive formal approval of your K3 spouse visa, you can begin preparing for your trip to the United States.
If an official has reason to believe that you entered into a marriage for the purpose of receiving a U.S. green card, or if he or she suspects that your marriage was forced, your K3 visa application will be denied. Likewise, if you lie during the interview, you risk not receiving a visa.
Can I bring children to the United States on the K3 spouse visa?
If you want your children to come to the United States with you, they can apply for a K4 visa. This nonimmigrant visa is for dependent children of K3 spouse visa holders. To qualify for the K4 visa, your children must meet the following conditions:
- They are 21 years old or younger
- They are not married and do not live an independent life
- They want to move to the United States with you.
- If their request is granted, your children will be able to stay in the United States for two years or until their 21st birthday, whichever is shorter. If you extend your K3 spouse visa, your children may also be able to extend their K4 visa.
Only children of married couples can apply for the K4 visa. If you and your partner are engaged but have not been officially married for a year, your children will need to apply for a K2 visa instead.
What is the cost of the K3 spouse visa?
K3 Family VISA
- Completing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative – $535
- Completing Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiance(s) – $460
- Expenses related to attending a medical examination
- Fee for biometric services
- Other services, for example, translation and costs associated with issuing all documents necessary for the application.
- Overall, the total cost of a K3 spouse visa is approximately $994 but varies depending on the additional services you need.
Unfortunately, if your visa application is rejected, the processing fees you paid will not be refunded. Consult an immigration lawyer for help to prevent financial loss. They will help you make sure your application is complete and that you have filled out all forms correctly.
Can I work in the United States while on the K3 visa?
Once you receive your K3 spouse visa, you will not automatically be allowed to work in the United States. However, you will be able to apply for employment authorization when you arrive in the United States. You can do this by completing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You can apply immediately after joining your spouse in the country, but it can take about four months to receive approval to allow you to work.
Is the K3 spouse visa worth it?
The K3 Spouse Visa allows foreign citizens to join their spouses in the United States while awaiting USCIS’s decision regarding their immigration visa to the United States. The main reason why many people believe that it is not worth requesting is the long processing time.
On average, the K3 spouse visa takes six to nine months to process. The wait time depends on the workload of the US consulate or embassy where you apply, but is comparable to the processing time of your green marriage card application. This is why many people decide not to apply for the K3 spouse visa and choose an alternative route to join their spouses in the United States.
Will I lose my status if I leave the United States while on the K3 visa?
If your application for the K3 spouse visa is approved, you will be able to stay in the United States for two years. During this period you will be able to travel and leave the country as many times as you want, without having to worry about losing your status.
Can I bring my children to the United States on the K3 spouse visa?
It is possible for K3 visa holders to bring their children with them to the United States. Your unmarried children under the age of 21 can come to the United States with you on K4 visa status. Both your biological and adopted children can apply for the K4 visa. If their request is approved, they will be able to stay in the United States for two years with the possibility of extending their visa.