K-3 Visa Guide – Texas Immigration Attorneys
K-3 Visa Guide
If you’re a foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for a K-3 visa. A K-3 visa allows you to shorten the time you’re apart from your spouse by allowing you to enter the U.S. while you wait for approval of your immigrant visa petition. If you receive a K-3 visa, you’ll later apply to adjust your status and become a lawful permanent resident, or LPR.
Your spouse must file for your K-3 visa for you – you can’t apply for it yourself. Additionally, you must still meet certain requirements.
What is a K-3 Visa?
A K-3 visa is an immigration document that allows you to enter the country while you wait for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to make a decision on your immigrant petition.
You do not have to file for a K-3 visa unless you want to; you are allowed to wait abroad in your home country (or in any other country where you’re lawfully present) while USCIS makes its decision in your case.
This is a voluntary petition, and its purpose is to shorten the time you and your U.S. citizen spouse must remain apart.
What is the Period of Stay on a K-3 Visa?
If the U.S. government grants you a K-3 visa, you can stay for two years. If your children receive K-4 visas, they can stay as long as you do – unless they reach their 21st birthday during the two-year period for which you received your visa. The K-4 visa expires the day before a child reaches his or her 21st birthday.
Does a K-3 Visa Automatically Terminate?
The K-3 visa automatically terminates after two years. You can, however, petition the U.S. government to extend your visa before it expires. Your Houston or Dallas immigration attorney can help you do so.
Do You Need Employment and Travel Authorization if You’re in the U.S. on a K Visa?
A K-3 visa comes with work authorization. You don’t have to file any separate paperwork.
K-3 Visa FAQ
Some of the most common questions we answer about K-3 visas include the following. If you don’t see your question listed here, please feel free to call our office and ask – we’ll be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation.
Can I extend a K-3 visa petition if it has expired?
You can extend your K-3 visa if you do so before it expires.
Does my spouse need to file separate K visa petitions for my kids?
Your children can apply for K-4 visas based on the approval of the K-3 visa your spouse petitioned for on your behalf. Your spouse should have listed your children on that petition.
Do my children have to travel with me?
Your children can travel with you or travel after you do. They must always travel within the validity of their K-4 visas.
Do You Need to Talk to a Houston or Dallas Immigration Lawyer About a K-3 Visa?
If you’re interested in petitioning the U.S. government for a K-3 visa on behalf of your foreign spouse, or if you’re the foreign spouse and you’d like to get help for your spouse, we may be able to help. Call our office today for a free consultation with an experienced professional.