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K3 Visa Basics

DUE TO USCIS CHANGES IN 2004-2006, OUR FIRM NO LONGER RECOMMENDS FILING A K3 VISA FOR MARRIED COUPLES SINCE THERE ARE NEGLIGIBLE BENEFITS FOR FILING A K3 VISA PETITION.
We have left some of our K3 Visa Basics information below for those who are curious. However, please see our section titled Fiancee Visa vs. Spousal Visa vs. K3 Visa for a more detailed explanation.

What is a K3 Visa?

A K3 Visa is a travel document that allows the spouse of a U.S. Citizen (not a U.S. Resident), who has an I-130 Immigration Visa Petition pending, to enter the United States prior to USCIS approval of the I-130 Petition. The K3 Visa was created by the U.S. to create a way to allow spouses to enter the U.S. while they waited for the U.S. Citizen Petition to be approved.

What are the necessary steps to obtain a K3 Visa?

There is one prerequisite and two major steps to obtaining a K3 Visa: the prerequisite is the filing and receipt of a pending I-130 Immigration Visa Petition with the USCIS. After receipt of the I-130 Petition filing, the first step for obtaining the visa involves the additional filing of an I-129F Petition by the U.S. Citizen (also known as the “Petitioner”). This petition is also filed with the USCIS, but this petition is filed at The National Service Center, instead of the jurisdiction in which the U.S. Citizen lives. Once the I-129F Petition has been approved by the USCIS, the second step involves the filing of the foreign spouse’s K3 Visa application, the foreign spouse’s interview and the eventual issuance of the visa in the country where the couple was legally married. It is important to note that a K3 Visa may only be issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the couple was married.

Once the K3 Visa is issued, how does it work?

The spouse is free to enter the United States and wait for the I-130 Petition to be approved, but also must file all adjustment of status documents including adjustment of status, affidavit of support, and travel and work permits if applicable.
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