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K3 Visa Process and K3 Visa Requirements

What is a K3 visa?

K3 visas are issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to allow the alien spouse of a U.S. citizen and their minor children to enter the United States and obtain employment authorization while waiting for their permanent residency status to be approved.

Experts on JustAnswer have answered a vast number of questions related to the K3 visa application process, requirements, and so on. A few of the most common queries and Expert responses are given below.

How do I apply for K3 visa?

The K3 visa process requires the U.S. citizen to file Form 1-130 in the U.S. Once a receipt for the application has been received, it must be attached to and filed with Form I-129-F. Once a K3 visa is granted the spouse may enter and reside in the U.S for a period of 2 years.

The K3 visa timeline, from start to finish is approximately 6 to 12 months, although in some cases the process can take longer.

How much does a K3 visa cost?

There are two possible options available. The first requires a $430 fee for Form I-130 and a $320 fee for Form I-129. There will also be consular processing fees, and these vary depending consular location.

A less expensive but often more time consuming option would be to file the I-130 in the U.S. and then forward the approved I-130 to the relevant U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The spouse will then be required to complete the K3 visa application process and go through an interview. If approved, the spouse may then enter the U.S. as a legal permanent resident.

How long is a K3 visa valid?

A K3 visa is valid for two years from the date of issue. If the spouse wishes to adjust status to permanent resident and remain in the U.S., the process should be completed within the validity of the visa.

The K3 visa is a multiple entry visa and during its validity the spouse may leave and re-enter the U.S.

What happens if a K3 visa expires?

If a spouse wishes to apply to adjust status to permanent resident while in the U.S. on a K3 visa, it is advisable to submit Form I-485 as early as possible while the K3 visa is still valid. The I-485 process can be time consuming as it involves a medical examination, fingerprints, and other formalities. However, if Form I-485 has not been submitted while the K3 visa is valid, it is possible the damage can be repaired. Unlike the K3 visa, Form I-130 does not expire. Even after the K3 visa has expired, Form I-485 can be submitted. It is possible the delay in applying and the time in the U.S. out of status would be forgiven because the visa holder is married to a U.S. citizen. If the applicant entered the U.S. legally, there is normally no need for the applicant to leave the U.S. and file the I-485 from the country of origin. It can be done in the U.S.

Although the process may appear simple, obtaining the services of an immigration lawyer to ensure that all formalities are completed correctly is a good idea.

My spouse is applying for the K3 visa. I have sent in both I-130 and I-129f and we are awaiting approval. Can my spouse initiate the visa application paperwork while the application is being approved?

While you have started the process, neither you nor your spouse can expedite the process further while the I-130 is being approved. The spouse cannot do anything until the application is approved, at which time the U.S. Embassy should contact your spouse to provide further instructions on the next steps.

The K3 visa allows U.S. citizens to bring their alien spouses and children into the country legally while awaiting a change in status to permanent resident. For some, the process is not user friendly but rather complex procedure with many formalities and requirements to be completed. Obtaining advice and guidance from experts can minimize the chances of making mistakes K3 visa application and avoid applications being rejected or approvals delayed.
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