In the past, spouses of U.S. citizens had to submit an application for a visa from outside the U.S. and wait for their green card to be approved before they could travel to the country. This could be quite upsetting if there was long delay in waiting for the approval and, especially if there were children involved, and it put quite a strain on the family. The K3 visa category has changed all this, now spouses are allowed to enter the U.S. whilst waiting for a nonimmigrant visa category and then are able to apply for lawful permanent residence status. The whole procedure generally takes around six months.
The advantages of applying for a K3 visa is that the process is normally faster than the length of time it takes for marriage-based immigration visa petitions. Your spouse is permitted to look for work and apply for a work permit. As long as your children are under the age of 21 and they were named in the visa petition, they are allowed to travel to the U.S. with you on a K4 dependent visa. Once they reached the legal age they are allowed to seek work too. Before a K-4 visa can be applied for a child, the parent must hold a K-3 visa or be in K-3 status.
To meet the criteria for the K3 visa you have to be legally married to a U.S. citizen and have a family-based I-130 immigration petition filed by your spouse on your behalf, this has to be done with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service center that has authority over your place of residence.
Once this has been accepted you will receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, this will state that the USCIS has received the Form I-130.Your spouse should then file on your behalf a copy of this Form I-797 along with a USCIS Form I-129F.After adjudicating the Form I-129F, the USCIS then forwards it to the correct American Consulate so that the K3 visa can then be applied for.
Once your partner enters the U.S. with a K-3 marriage visa, they can reside there for a 2 year time period. Dependents receive the same length of time, however if they turn 21 sooner, then they will only have the visa until this date.
If you are in the U.S. on a different kind of visa, such as a tourist visa, then it is not possible to change the visa status to a K-3 visa. They will have to leave the country and apply for the K3 visa from there.
Once the 2 years admission are granted the nonimmigrant with the K3 visa can then apply for extensions in 2 year increments to the USCIS. Before giving an additional period of 2 years, the USCIS will want to see that you have filed for a change of status or put in an application for immigrant status. If neither of these has been applied for then they will expect to hear your reason before granting you an additional 2 years.
If you are on a K-3 visa in the U.S. and need to leave the country for whatever reason, then you are eligible to leave and return on your K3 visa, it is not made redundant just because you leave the country. If you are in the process of changing your status this still applies.
The K-3 visa means that it is much easier now to be united with your loved one in your country. For those who are busy and daunted at the thought of all the paperwork involved in getting a K-3 or a K-1 visa just go online and find a reputable and professional visa agency who will help with the application.