A K-3 Visa is issued to a non US Citizen who is married to a US Citizen. This is technically a non-immigrant multi-entry Visa with a validity of typically two years. During the two years that the K-3 visa is valid the holder may either file for Adjustment of Status (to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US) or await their I-130 to be approved in which case they can return to their country to be issued an Immigrant Visa (upon entering the US on the immigrant visa they will become a Legal Permanent Resident). If the K-3 Visa Holder files for Adjustment of Status they may reside in the US while their Adjustment of Status application is processed. Children under 21 of a K-3 Visa holder may also be eligible to receive a K-4 Visa allowing them to enter the United States with their non US Citizen parent and ultimately as well apply for Adjustment of Status.
The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act and its amendments (LIFE Act) established a new nonimmigrant category within the immigration law that allows the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen to be admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant category. The admission allows the spouse or child to complete processing for permanent residence while in the United States. It also allows those admitted in the new category to have permission for employment while they await processing of their case to permanent resident status.
Who is Eligible?
A person may receive a K-3 visa if that person has:
- Concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States;
- A relative petition (Form I-130) filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for the person;
- Seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of the petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status; and,
- An approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, forwarded to the American consulate abroad where the non-citizen wishes to apply for the K-3/K-4 visa.
NOTE: the consulate must be in the country in which the marriage to the U.S. citizen took place if the United States has a consulate which issues immigrant visas in that country. If the marriage took place in the United States, the designated consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the current residence of the non-citizen spouse. A person may receive a K-4 visa if that person is under 21 years of age and is the unmarried child of an alien eligible to be a K-3.
How To Apply For A K-3 Visa
Please see the guide on how to submit for a a K-3 visa: Step-by-Step Guide on How to File for a K-3 Visa for your Foreign Spouse
For more information, see: K-3 Visa Useful Tips and Other Information