K3 Spouse Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What is K-3 visa?

The K-3 spouse visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows the spouses of U.S. citizens to enter into the U.S. and await the availability of an immigrant visa.

2. How do I qualify for K-3 visa?

To qualify for K-3 visa, you must be:

  1. The foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen
  2. Residing outside the U.S.
  3. Seeking to enter the U.S. to await the availability of an immigrant visa
  4. Your U.S. citizen spouse must have filed a petition for alien relative, which must be pending
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3. What privileges do I enjoy on K-3 visa?

On K-3 visa, you may:

  1. Reside in the U.S. with your family while waiting for the approval of your immigrant visa petition
  2. Apply for a work permit
  3. Travel outside of the U.S. on short trips and re-enter
  4. Study in the U.S.

4. What are the limitations of K-3 visa?

On K-3 visa, you may not:

  1. Change to any other nonimmigrant status
  2. Enter into the U.S. if you have been temporarily barred for previous violation of the U.S. immigration laws

5. How long can I stay in the U.S. on K-3 visa?

The K-3 visa is valid for two years with multiple entries.

6. Can I extend my stay on K-3 spouse visa?

Yes, you may apply for extension of stay while on K-3 spouse visa using Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant status, 120 days prior to the expiration of your authorized stay. Extension will be granted in two-year intervals.

7. Can I work on K-3 visa?

Yes, you may apply for Employment Authorization using the USCIS Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

Note: You cannot begin work until the EAD has been issued.

8. Can I study on K-3 visa?

Yes, you may study in the U.S. on K-3 visa while awaiting the issuance of an immigrant visa.

9. Are there any travel restrictions on K-3 visa?

No, you may travel outside of the U.S. and re-enter on your K-3 visa. If you have filed for Adjustment of Status in the U.S. prior to your departure from the U.S., the USCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of your adjustment application.

10. How do I apply for K-3 visa?

To apply for a K-3 visa, your U.S. citizen spouse must:

  1. File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS in the U.S. on your behalf
  2. File a second petition, Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance, together with a copy of the receipt notice for the I-130 with the USCIS in the U.S. on your behalf

Note: Confirmation of USCIS approval of the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance is required before a K-3 visa may be issued.

11. What is the K3 visa processing time?

The K-3 visa processing time varies with each individual’s circumstances. Under normal circumstances, it takes around 3 to 5 months at the USCIS plus 2 to 3 months at the Consulates to process the K-3 visa.

12. What are the documents required for K-3 visa?

The documents required for a K-3 visa are:

  1. Form DS-160 application form completed electronically
  2. Local police certificate for each place you have lived since you turned 16.
  3. Birth certificates for each K-3 and K-4 visa applicant
  4. Local marriage certificate
  5. Divorce or Death certificates if you married before
  6. Standard immigrant visa medical examination except vaccinations (which must be completed by a US consulate panel physician)
  7. Valid passport

13. Which USCIS office processes K-3 visa petition?

The USCIS Service Center where the underlying I-130 petition is currently pending. Use the address listed on your most recent receipt notice or transfer notice and include a copy of that notice with your Form I-129F.

14. Is a medical exam required for K-3 visa?

Yes, a medical exam is required and must be completed by one of the consulate’s panel physician.

15. Does the Form I-130, Immigrant Visa Petition, have to be filed before I apply for a K-3 visa?

Yes, the Form I-130, Immigrant Visa Petition must be pending with the USCIS when you apply for K-3 visa.

16. Do I need to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, along with my K-3 visa application?

No, you do not need to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, until you file for adjustment of status to legal permanent resident in the U.S. The Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, for nonimmigrant visas may be deemed appropriate by the consular officer.

17. Can a consular officer approve Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance?

No, the Form I-129F , Petition for Alien Fiance, must be approved by the USCIS in the U.S. Neither consular officers nor USCIS offices overseas are delegated the authority to approve these petitions.

18. Can I apply for K-3 status in the U.S. once the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance is approved?

No, applicants in the U.S. may not change to K-3 status. K-3 status must be obtained at an American Consulate abroad.

19. Why is Form I-129F, Fiance Petition, also used for K-3 spouse visa?

To avoid any delay in the implementation of the K3 visa process the USCIS decided to use the I-129F, Fiance Petition, to process K-3 visa applications.

20. How long is the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance valid?

The Form I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of USCIS approval. If the petition has expired, the consular officer may revalidate the petition for an additional four months.

21. Can I bring my dependant child to the U.S. if I am on K-3 marriage visa?

Yes, your child may accompany you to the U.S. on K-4 visa provided your child is:

  1. Less than 21 years old
  2. Unmarried
  3. Seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

22. Can I apply for adjustment of status while on K3 marriage visa?

Yes, you may file for Adjustment of Status at any time following entry into the U.S. on your K-3 Visa of your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

23. What happens if I have accrued unlawful presence in the U.S. before applying for a K-3 visa?

You would be subject to the three year bar if you have accrued more than 180 days, or a ten-year bar if you have accrued one year or more of unlawful presence in the U.S. However, you may apply for a waiver.

24. Where do I apply for K-3 visa when the American Consulate in the country where my marriage took place does not issue visas?

You may apply for K-3 visa at the consular post designated to handle “homeless” immigrant visa cases for nationals of that country.

Note: If your marriage occurred outside the U.S. your K-3 visa must be issued by the American consulate in the country where the marriage occurred

25. Can I change status from K-3 to another nonimmigrant visa status in the U.S.?

No, you may not apply for change of status from K-3 status to another nonimmigrant status, in the U.S.

26. Can my K-3 status be terminated?

Your K-3 status will automatically be terminated 30 days following the denial or revocation of:

  1. The Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on your behalf
  2. The immigrant visa application filed by you
  3. Your application for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident