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Visa for a spouse of an American citizen K3.

American citizens have two ways to bring their foreign husbands or wives to the United States to live.
Immigrant visa for a person married to a U.S. citizen: IR1 and CR1 visas.
Nonimmigrant visa for a husband\wife: K3 visa.
K3 visa for a husband or wife.

The purpose of new K visa is to reunite families that have been or could be subject to a long period of separation during the process of immigrating to the United States. Holders of the new K visas will be able to wait in the US for the immigration process to be completed.

The new parts of the K category are intended for use by both a spouse of a United States citizen and by the spouse's children. The nonimmigrant visa for the spouse is called a K3 visa and the visa for the spouse’s children is called a K4.

Spouses of U.S. citizens, and the spouse's children, can come to the United States on nonimmigrant visas, K3 and K4, and wait in the United States to complete the immigration process. Before a K-4 visa can be issued to a child, the parent must have a K-3 visa or be in K-3 status.

US immigration law defines a spouse as:

A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. Cohabiting partners do not qualify as spouses for immigration purposes. Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs. In cases of polygamy only the first spouse qualifies as a spouse for immigration.

US law does not allow polygamy. If you were married before, you and your spouse must show that you ended (terminated) all previous marriages before your current marriage. The death and divorce documents that show termination of marriages must be legal and verifiable in the country that issued them. Divorces must be final. In cases of legal marriage to two or more spouses at the same time, or marriages overlapping for a period of time, you may file only for the first spouse.

Filing K3 visa petitions.

You must first file an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, form I-130 for your spouse with the BCIS Office that serves the area where you live. The BCIS will send you a Notice of Action (Form I-797) receipt notice. This notice tells you that the BCIS has received the petition. You next file Petition for Alien Fiance, form I-129F for your spouse and children. Send the I-129F petition, supporting documents and a copy of the Form I-797 receipt notice to this Department of Homeland Security BCIS Address on their web site.

National Visa Center.

After the BCIS approves the I-129F, it sends it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC sends the petition electronically to the embassy or consulate in the country where the marriage took place. If your marriage took place in the United States, the NVC sends the petition to the embassy or consulate that issues visas in the country of your spouse's nationality.

If your marriage took place in a country that does not have an American embassy, or the embassy does not issue visas, the NVC sends the petition to the embassy or consulate that normally processes visas for citizens of that country.

A spouse of a US citizen K3 is also an Immigrant.

The spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant visa K3 must have an immigrant visa petition on his/her behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse. Therefore, the spouse of the U.S. citizen (the K-3 applicant) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.

The embassy or consulate where you, the spouse of an American citizen, will apply for a K3 visa must be in the country where your marriage took place. The embassy or consulate will let you know any additional things to do, such as where you need to go for the required medical examination. The following is required:

Two copies of form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
One DS-156K, Nonimmigrant Fiance(e) Visa Application form
Police certificates from all places lived in since the age of 16
Birth certificates
Marriage certificate for spouse
Death and divorce certificates from any previous spouses
Medical examination (except vaccinations)
A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States.
Two nonimmigrant visa photos two inches/50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background)
Proof of financial support (Form I-134 Affidavit of Support may be requested.) Payment of fees, as explained below.

The consular officer may ask for additional information. It is a good idea to bring marriage photographs and other proof that the marriage is genuine.

Documents in foreign languages should be translated. Take clear, legible photocopies of civil documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, to the visa interview. Original documents can then be returned to you.

The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval. A consular officer can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires before you finish processing the visa.

Children of a K3 visa holder have derivative status.

Children do not need separate Petition for Alien Relative, I-130 petitions, but you, the petitioner, must take care to name all your children on the Petition for Alien Fiance, I-129F petition. If you do not name the children on the petition, they may find it difficult to prove their identity as children of a K 3 applicant or person in K 3 status.

You must file separate I-130 immigrant visa petitions for your children before they qualify for permanent residence. When they adjust status in the United States, they must file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status with the BCIS Office that serves the area where you live. Remember that in immigration law children must be unmarried and under 21 years of age.

Work permit for a K3 visa holder.

As a K-3 visa holder, you can file form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the BCIS that serves the area where you live for an employment authorization document (work permit).

Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a K3 visa.

Drug trafficking
Overstaying a previous visa
Practicing polygamy
Advocating the overthrow of the government
Submitting fraudulent documents
The consular officer will inform you, the visa applicant, if you are ineligible for a visa, whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility and what the waiver process is.

A child of a spouse with a K4 visa status.

To qualify for K4 issuance, an applicant must be the minor, unmarried child under 21 years of age of a qualified K3 visa applicant. The U.S. citizen who files an I-129F petition for an alien spouse does not have to file a separate I-129F petition for a child of his/her spouse. These children should be listed on the I-129F petition for the spouse. While the U.S. citizen must also file an I-130 petition for the alien spouse, there is no requirement to file a Form I-130 immigrant visa petition on behalf of the alien's children seeking K4 nonimmigrant status. The K4 child will not be able to file for adjustment of status in the United States until the U.S. citizen parent/step-parent files a I-130 on behalf of the child. If the U.S. citizen parent/step-parent never files the I-130 petition, the immigrating parent may do so once he/she has obtained legal permanent resident (LPR) status, but the child would have to wait for an available visa number.

K3 and K4 visa holders cannot change status in the United States to another non-immigrant visa category. Aliens present in the United States in a K3 or K4 nonimmigrant visa status can travel outside of the United States and return using their K3 K4 visa. If they have filed for adjustment of status in the U.S. prior to departure from the U.S., BCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of an adjustment application.


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