Do You Know the Limitations of the K-3 or K-4 Spouse Visa?

kissing couple with kid

While the K-3 and K-4 visa offers many benefits, there are some other considerations to think about, depending on your personal situation.  For example, did you know that even though an immigrant visa is immediately available when a K-3 Petition for Alien Relative reaches the Department of State, but then your spouse’s children are no longer eligible for K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant status?  In that situation, the children must immigrate as lawful permanent residents.  If the K-4 visa holder does not have an approved Petition for Alien Relative at the Department of State at that time, he or she will be ineligible to immigrate with the spouse of the USC.

It is advisable that the U.S. citizen petitioner file a separate green card petition on the child’s behalf concurrently with the green card petition that is filed for the spouse.     While there is no requirement that a separate application needs to be filed for the child’s petition, it is advisable if a K-4 visa is desired.

K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders are only admitted for a 2-year period.  A K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holder may apply for an extension of status in 2-year increments as long as the marriage-based green card visa petition or a corresponding application for adjustment of status or visa application is still pending adjudication.  A K-4’s authorized stay automatically expires when the K3’s status expires.

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