US K3 Marriage Visa / K3 Visa Philippines
A US US citizens who want to bring their foreign spouse into the US can apply for a non-immigrant US K3 marriage visa, also known as a K3 spouse visa. Once the K3 marriage visa is issued and the K3 visa holder is allowed to enter the US. Then the alien spouse may apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS) to convert from non-immigrant status to that of an immigrant and become a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the US.
The K3 visa is valid for two (2) years, but may be renewed in 2 year increments if needed. K3 visa holders are allowed to work while in the US once they get the required Employment Authorization Document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
How to apply for a K-3 Marriage Visa
A K-3 marriage visa application will be granted only if the US citizen spouse has filed Form I-130 “Petition for Alien Relative” and Form I-129F “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)” with USCIS. Thus the American spouse must initially file two petitions before you can file the K3 visa application.
The US citizen spouse must possess the following qualifications to sponsor a K3 visa application:
- A U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age.
- Must be married to the beneficiary (foreign spouse).
- There must be a valid, pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and
- Form 1-129F Petition for Alien iancé(e); and
- The US petitioner must pass the minimum income requirement provided under the law
On the part of the alien spouse, the following requirements must be present on application:
- Must pass the medical exam before the interview at the US Embassy or Consulate is conducted.
- Must be legally married with the US petitioner.
- Must intend to live in the US.
- Must be of legal age to marry, with no legal impediments to marriage;
- Must be legally admissible to the US or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility
“Relative Visa” vs K3 Visa
US immigration law provides that the primary form which must be submitted by an American spouse wanting to sponsor a foreign spouse to immigrate to the US is Form I-130 “Petition for Alien Relative” (sometimes referred to as the “relative visa,” “CR1 visa,” or “IR1 visa”). Thus, even though the Form I-130 petition is not filed by the foreign spouse, it is the first step in the K3 visa application process.
However, the processing of Form I-130 can be somewhat slow. The main advantages of a CR1 or IR1 visa, are that they are immigrant visas and do not require that Form I-129F be filed as well. So the applicant will does not have apply for adjustment of status either, if a CR1 or IR1 visa is issued.
The only problem with CR1 and IR1 visa applications is that the foreign spouse is not allowed to enter the US until the immigrant visa is approved, which can take longer than approval of a K3 visa.
Thus, some applicants choose the K3 visa which takes only around eight months to process, allowing the couple to be together in the US in a relatively short period. Then the K3 visa holder can adjust status from non-immigrant to that of an immigrant.
Derivative Visa for US K3 Visa
If the K3 visa applicant has unmarried, dependent children who are 21 years of age or below, they may qualify as K4 visa applicants. The US spouse should include the K4 application in the Form I-129F petition, but need not file a separate I-130 petition for each child’s application. This is because a child’s K4 visa application is a derivative non-immigrant classification based on the K3 visa applicant’s status.
In order to qualify for permanent residence, however, a separate Form I-130 petition must be filed by either the US citizen or the parent who has LPR status. Thus we recommend filing a Form I-130 petition for each K4 visa applicant as soon as possible to start the application process for permanent residence.
Both the K3 and K4 visa holders are given multiple-entry visas and are allowed to travel outside the US for short periods during the processing of their applications for adjustment of status.