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K-3 Visa

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
States.

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.

Process

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.

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