The K4 visa
The K4 visa falls into the category of US family visas. It is a nonimmigrant visa that allows children of a spouse holding a K3 visa to enter the United States pending the availability of an immigrant visa.
Qualifying children must meet the following requirements:
- Under 21 years old
- Trying to immigrate to the United States
- Child of a K3 spouse visa holderNot married and doesn’t have a self-sufficient existence
What is a K4 visa?
The K4 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the child of a spouse holding a K3 visa to accompany their parents to the United States. For the spouse of an American citizen, there is a nonimmigrant visa known as the K3. Spouses of U.S. citizens and their dependents are permitted to remain in the country while their application for permanent citizenship is being processed, thanks to the K3 and K4 visas.
Holders of K3 and K4 visas can apply for a green card (also known as an immigrant visa), after USCIS approves the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relatives filed on their behalf by a U.S. citizen.
A K4 nonimmigrant visa can only be obtained by minors under 21 who are single and not in a marriage. This status can also be extended to the K3 spouse visa holder’s stepchild, adopted child or biological child if they meet the requirements.
With a K4 visa, you can legally reside in the United States while you wait for your immigration status to change. You can also attend schools, travel outside the United States, and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will be granted a work visa to enable you to work and make a livelihood in the US if your EAD application is accepted.
Once you have submitted an application for a K4 visa, you can apply for a green card by submitting an application to change your status. K4 visa holders must have an I-130 form to be eligible for a green card.
What qualifications are needed to be eligible for a K4 visa?
Eligibility requirements for a K4 visa include:
- The applicant must be under 21 years of age.
- He must be celibate
- He should be planning to emigrate to the United States
- Must have no record of prior immigration violations
- It is crucial to remember that children of married couples are the only ones eligible for the K4 visa status. You and your kids could still be able to enter the country if you just became engaged to someone who is a citizen of the United States but haven’t married them yet. In that case, a dependent child will need to go through the K2 visa process for foreign fiancé(e) dependents in order for your children to join you. Children of candidates for K1 fiancé visas are eligible for K2 visas.
Which papers are required in order to apply for a K4 visa?
Documents required to apply for a K4 visa include:
- Local police certificates of main K3 and K4 visa applicants
- Two passport-sized photos with a white background of the main applicant for the K3 and K4 visa.
- certifications of birth for the primary K3 and K4 visa applicants
- K3 applicant’s marriage certificate
- Death or divorce certificates of the primary K3 applicant (applies if the K3 applicant was previously married).
- Medical report from one of the doctors of the Embassy college
- Legitimate passports that are separate from the primary K3 and K4 visa applicant.
What is the K4 visa application process?
The first step in the K4 visa application process is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. You (a citizen of the United States) may also submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, while the I-130 is still pending. You can also submit both forms at the same time.
The two petitions must be filed by a U.S. citizen who wishes to bring his or her foreign spouse and children to the United States. Since the K4 is a stand-alone visa, the applicant (US citizen) is not required to file a separate petition for K4 applicants. You just need to include the names of any children you wish to accompany your spouse to the United States. The process is as follows:
Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative):
- Send Form I-130 to the correct U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) address.
- Go to the Where to File section on the Form I-130 page to find the correct address. A message indicating that USCIS has received your Form I-130 will be sent to you.
- Form I-129F, Petition for Foreign Fiance:
- Send Form I-129F to the correct USCIS address.
- Go to the Where to File section on the Form I-129F page to find the correct address. You can submit Form I-129F with or after filing Form I-130.
- If you submit Form I-129F after completing Form I-130, attach a copy of Form I-797 as proof that USCIS has received Form I-130.
- If you file Form I-129F for your spouse to be granted a K3 visa, there is no cost. To obtain a K4 visa for your spouse’s children, you do not need to file a separate Form I-129F or Form I-130.
How long does it take to process a K4 visa?
Your qualifying children will receive a K4 visa at the same time as your K3 spouse visa. As a result, there are several processes involved in the K4 visa processing period. These cover the duration of consular processing at the American Embassy or Consulate as well as the processing periods for petitions on Forms I-130 and I-129F.
Please note that all children over the age of 14 must attend a visa interview. Generally speaking, participation is not mandatory for minors under the age of 14.
If USCIS approves the I-130F before or at the same time as the I-129F, your children will not be able to apply for a K4 visa. They must directly change their status to become permanent residents.
Am I likely to lose my K4 visa status?
While it is not likely that an eligible K4 holder will lose their status, it is not entirely impossible. As a K4 visa holder, your legal stay in the United States may automatically end 30 days after one of the following events:
- Denial or revocation of Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed on your behalf
- Get married before becoming a lawful permanent resident.
- Revocation or refusal of the application to change one’s status as a lawful permanent residence
- Rejection or revocation of your immigration visa application
- You turn 21
- Divorce your K3 parent from US citizen
- Note: If any of these requests or petitions by your K3 parent are also denied, this may result in the termination of your K4 status.
What are the benefits of a K4 non-immigrant visa?
Regardless of their nonimmigrant status, all children with a K4 visa are eligible to study in the country after being admitted without having to wait for an immigrant visa. However, to receive a work permit, your child must apply for employment authorization by completing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.
A K4 visa has no limits on where it can be used. But a K4 child cannot enter the United States for the first time before the K3 parent.
What are the limitations of the K4 visa?
With a K4 visa you cannot:
- Transfer to any other nonimmigrant status.
- Enter the United States if you have been temporarily barred due to a prior violation of U.S. immigration laws.
Can I remain longer if I have a K4 visa?
Yes, you may request an extension of stay using Form I-539, Application for Extension or Modification of Nonimmigrant Status, 120 days before the end of your authorized stay. Extensions will be granted every two years.