The K3 Spouse Visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows the spouse of a US citizen to enter to US and await the availability of an immigrant visa. K3 visa is processed at the US Consulate abroad. The K3 visa holder could enter US, await the availability of an immigrant visa, then adjust her status to conditional residence.
The advantage of this type of visa is that this visa will get the spouse of US citizen to swiftly get a visa to the US without waiting for an immigrant visa to become available.
The foreign spouse will be able to reside in US while waiting for the approval of the immigrant visa petition.
For visa validity, K3 visa is valid for 2 years with multiple entries.
If you are on a K3 visa and you wish to work you may do so provided that you have applied for Employment Authorization. You cannot begin work until the EAD has been issued.
With the K3 visa, you can travel outside US and re-enter US again. There is no travel restrictions for a K3 Visa. You are allowed to travel outside US and re-enter on your K3 visa. If you have filed for Adjustment of Status in the U.S. prior to your departure from the US, the USCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of your adjustment application.
You are allowed to study in the U.S. on K-3 visa while awaiting the issuance of an immigrant visa.
The downside of K3 visa is that though it seems faster up front, the adjustment of status demands additional investment of time and money.
Requirements for you to qualify to apply for a K3 Spouse visa:
- the applicant must be a legal spouse of a US citizen
- the foreign spouse must be currently residing outside US in the time of application
- applicant’s purpose of entering US would be to await the availability of an immigrant visa
- your US citizen spouse have filed a petition for alien relative
- Form DS-160 application form completed electronically
- Local police certificate for each place you have lived since you turned 16.
- Birth certificates for each K-3 and K-4 visa applicant
- Local marriage certificate
- Divorce or Death certificates if you have been married before
- Standard immigrant visa medical examination except vaccinations (which must be completed by a US consulate panel physician)
- Valid passport
To apply for a K3 visa, your U.S. citizen spouse must:
- File Form I-130 (Immigrant Visa Petition), Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS in the U.S. on your behalf
- 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 K3 visa may be issued.
Processing of K3 visa will take around 3-5 months at the USCIS, plus 2-3 months at the Consulate. However, it might vary depending on the individual’s circumstance.
See also K3 Spouse Visa from Siam Legal International.