Spouses of US citizens who are living abroad may be sponsored for K3 visas by their citizen spouses. Their children may be sponsored for K4 visas.
These visas shorten the time that they must remain separated from their citizen spouse/parent who is residing in the US.
Eligibility for K-3 Visas
- Married to a US Citizen
- Pending Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- Approved I-129F Petition (No filing fee)
Eligibility for K-4 Visas
- Under 21
- Child of a Qualified K3 Visa Applicant
- Must be listed on form I-129F
Benefits of K3 and K4 Visas
There are various benefits that come with a K3 visa or K4 visa. Those who hold these visas may apply to adjust status to a permanent resident at any time. In addition, they may obtain employment authorization.
K3 and K4 Visa Limitations
There are, however, some limitations that come with a K3 Visa or K4 Visa. For example, K3 or K4 visa holders can not change status to another temporary visa category. In addition, there are several instances in which a K3 visa can automatically expire after 30 days such as: denial of either form I-130 or form I-485, and a divorce or annulment with the US citizen spouse. K4 status expires when the K3 status expires. K3 and K4 visa holders are admitted to the US for a maximum of 2 years. They may, however, apply to extend their status.
Applying for a Green Card
K-3 and K-4 visa holders must have an approved Form I-130 to be eligible for a Green Card to become a lawful permanent resident. You may apply for a Green Card at any time (even while the Form I-130 is pending) by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If you have a K-3 visa, you may only apply for a Green Card based on your marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse who petitioned for your K-3 status.
If you have a K-4 visa, you may only apply for a Green Card based on the step-parent/step-child relationship created when your K-3 parent married the U.S. citizen who petitioned for your K-4 visa. You may also benefit from certain age-out protections under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). For more information on CSPA, see our Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) webpage.
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- D. Chen, Phoenix, Arizona
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K3 Visas: Required Documentation
- Birth Certificate
- Current Marriage Certificate
- Past Divorce/Death of Spouse Certificates
- Police Certificates
- Medical Examination
- Valid Passport for Travel Evidence of Financial Support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support) may be required
- Form Form DS-160 (Online Non-immigrant Visa Application)
- Two 2×2 Photographs
- Evidence of Relationship with U.S. Citizen Spouse
K3 Visas: Government Resources
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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