A K3 visa allows a spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States as a non-immigrant, and wait for the green card petition to complete processing. It is a multiple entry two-year visa. The K3 visa holder can also bring their children under the age of 21 to the United States through the K4 visa. Upon entry into the United States, the K-3 visa holder can file for adjustment of status to obtain their permanent residency status.
Who is eligible for a K3 Visa?
Foreign spouses of United States Citizens who currently have immigration petition filed by the U.S. citizen are eligible for a K3 visa. The K3 visa was created to alleviate the separation time for the U.S. Citizen and their foreign spouse.
Overview of the K3 Visa Application Process
To obtain a K3 visa in Thailand for the Thai spouse, the U.S. citizen must first file an immigrant visa petition with the USCIS. After filing the package with the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office, USCIS will send the applicant a receipt for the immigration application.
With the I-130 receipt, the U.S. citizen must then file the K-3 visa petition with supporting documentation at the appropriate USCIS office. Once USCIS has processed and approved the I-129F, the K3 visa petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then forward the documents to the US Embassy in Bangkok.
The U.S. Embassy will send your spouse further instructions to complete online forms and a document list from the U.S. consulate. The spouse is required to bring the required documents to the interview at the U.S. Consulate. The consular officer will review the documents and ask questions. After the interview, a visa will be issued that will allow the foreign national spouse to enter the United States and reunite with the U.S. citizen spouse.
If the K3 Visa has been granted to your spouse, the spouse can travel to the United States and wait out the immigration process and apply for adjustment of status.
Benefits of K3 Visa
The K3 visas may have shorter waiting periods compared to IR-1 immigration petitions. However if the IR-1 is approved prior to the K3, the IR-1 will be given processing preference and the K3 petition will be closed.
The children under 21 of K3 visa holders can accompany you to the U.S. on the K-4 dependent visa as long as they are named in the visa petition.
The K3 visa holder is given a multiple entry 2-year visa which means that they can travel in and out of the United States during the period.