U.S. Citizens who have a spouse that is a foreign national who is waiting abroad
for an immigrant visa, can petition the USCIS on behalf of their spouse to allow
them to re-unite with their family and apply for Immigrant status once in the United
Spouses of U.S. citizens, and the spouse’s children living overseas, may come to
the United States on a K-3 visa (spouse) or K-4 visa (child) and wait in the U.S.
to complete the permanent resident immigration process. However, a child is not
eligible for K-4 status, unless their parent maintains K-3 status.
Two petitions must be filed to obtain K-3/K-4 visa status:
- The sponsoring relative must first file an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative
for the overseas spouse with the USCIS Office that serves the area over which s/he
lives. The USCIS will then send a receipt notice verifying that they received the petition.
- Thereafter, the sponsoring relative must file a petition for Alien Fiance for their
spouse and/or children. The relative must send the petition, supporting documentation
and a copy of the receipt notice to the appropriate USCIS office.
- The recipient of the K-3 visa will then apply for their K-3 visa at the embassy
or consulate in the country in which the marriage took place.
- Once approved, the K-3 visa holder may apply for work authorization (Form I-765)
to obtain a work permit, and begin authorized employment in the United States while
waiting to adjust status to that of a Permanent Resident.