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

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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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If You or Your Spouse “Entered Without Inspection,” There May Still Be Options!

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All noncitizens entering the U.S. are required to present themselves to a USCIS immigration officer for inspection.  This inspection meant that they will be assessed and that they must demonstrate the right to enter the country based on approval obtained prior to entry in the U.S.  If you do not have an approved means for entering the United States, then the Customs and Border Patrol or USCIS officer may refuse entry to you.

If you have entered without inspection (EWI) and without the proper documentation, there are a limited number of legal immigration options available to you.  If you or your spouse EWI, that means that you do not have legal immigration status in the United States.   That also means that you cannot file to change or adjust your status, as you do not have a legal status to begin with.  It is not possible to adjust status even if you marry a U.S. citizen or have U.S. citizen parents or children that will petition for them. However, there are a few exceptions that might allow an adjustment of status. The two most common are the LIFE Act and a waiver implemented in new immigration law as of 2012.

Marriage Based U.S. Immigration: You’ve Got Options!

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Every year, tens of thousands of United States Visas are issued to people who live overseas and are married or engaged to be married to an American Citizen.  A U.S. visa allows them to move to the United States and be with their loved ones.  There are a number of ways to obtain a U.S Visa to join your spouse or fiancé(e).    If you are a foreign citizen and are engaged to a U.S. citizen, the most common way of coming to the U.S. is with a K-1 fiancé(e) Visa.   For a foreign citizen spouse, there are several common ways to come the U.S., each with their own benefits.  Below is a list of visas that can be obtained to bring a foreign fiancé(e) or spouse to the U.S. 

Immigration options for a foreign fiancé(e) living overseas:

  • Fiancé(e) Visa K-1

Immigration options for a foreign spouse living overseas:

  • Spouse Visa K-3
  • Spouse Visa IR-1 or CR-1
  • Consular Processing

If you have any questions about obtaining a U.S. visa through your spouse or fiancé(e), call or email Your Immigration Angel for a free initial consultation.  We can assist you today!