If you are currently married to a citizen of a foreign country, it can seem forever between the time of immigration and the time where your spouse is granted permanent residency in the United States. To help alleviate the stress of separation, spouses are able to apply for what is known as the K-3 visa, a category of nonimmigrants visas that allow spouses to reside together while the visa petition is pending. Those who apply for admission into the U.S. under a K-3 visa must also file for permanent residency (LPR) at the same time; this visa is not designed to be used in lieu of a green card.
To be considered married under immigration law, there must be more than proof that a couple lives together. The couple must be legally wedded, although there are some exceptions where a common law marriage is acceptable (completely dependent on the country where the marriage occurred). Currently, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the law and polygamists are only allowed to file for a K-3 visa for their first spouse, not for multiple.
When looking to file for a K-3 visa for your spouse, it is required that you first file the petition with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To file this petition, you will need to completely fill out the Form I-130, which is also known as the Petition for Alien Relative. Upon receiving it, the USCIS will send you a Form I-797 Notice of Action.
Upon receiving this, you will need to file a Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) on behalf of your spouse and send it to the UCSCIS. After it has been approved, it will be sent forward for processing with the National Visa Center (NVC). At this point, you will need to begin the actual process of applying for the visa. If both of these forms are approved, the application for a K-3 visa will be closed.
At this point, both spouses will be sought to being applying for the IR-1 or CR-1 immigrant visas. If not, however, you can file for the K-3 visa to bridge the gap. To apply for this visa, there is certain documentation that will be required. This will include two nonimmigrant visa applications (Form DS-156), as well as Form DS-230 Application for Immigration Visa and Alien Registration.
Other documentation that will be required upon filing:
If you have children that live in the foreign country with your spouse, it is required that they be applied to receive a K-4 visa. Should they be accepted, they will either be able to travel with your spouse to enter into the United States or they can even travel later. However, if you have plans for them to travel a year later, they will not be eligible to file for a K-4 visa and will instead have to file a separate petition. Have more questions? Want to file for your spouse? Pozo Goldstein, LLP has the answers that you are looking for. With years of experience in immigration law and a full-bodied comprehension of the law, you can rest assured knowing that should you choose to work with us that you will have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.
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