Many people who want move their families to the United States have little idea what K-3/K-4 visas are and how they can be beneficial.
The laws in the United States support bringing families together. It may not always feel that way if you are fighting USCIS red tape. K-3/K-4 visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen and children of the citizen to secure a temporary stay here.
On its website, USCIS states the temporary stay must occur during the processing of a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Visa recipients can obtain authorization to work in the U.S. while they are waiting.
To be eligible for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa, the applicant must:
- Be legally married to a U.S. citizen;
- A form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must have been filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on the behalf of the visa recipient.
A child may obtain a K-4 visa if:
- The child is under 21, not married and the child of a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant.
Advantages and Disadvantages of K-3/K-4 Visas
When they are admitted into the United States, holders can apply for permanent resident status. However, K-4 nonimmigrants must have a Form I-130 filed on their behalf when they apply for adjustment of status. To work here, K-3/K-4 visa holders can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
The main drawback of K-3/K-4 visas is their limited duration. K-3/K-4 visa holders gain admittance for just two years. They can apply for two-year extensions on the condition that their I-130 petition remains pending. If their immigrant visa application is denied, their authorization to stay in the United States expires 30 days after the rejection of the application. K-3 visas automatically expire if the immigrant divorces from the U.S. citizen.
If your child marries, his or her K-4 nonimmigrant’s status automatically expires 30 days after the wedding.
Our Texas K-3/K-4 visa attorneys provide more information about the programs here.
The K-3/K-4 visa program is helpful because it keeps families together but there are a lot of overlapping processes as well as potential pitfalls.
If you want to apply for one of these visas it makes sense to contact a highly experienced Texas immigration lawyer who can assist you with every step of the process. Call Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445.