Sometimes the spouse and children of an American citizen will need to enter the country quicker than the standard immigrant visa process allows, instead, they can enter the country through the K-3/K-4 visa process. The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act established the K-3/K-4 visas to allow for a spouse or child of a U.S citizen to enter the county as a nonimmigrant. Once in the country, the visa holder is allowed to complete processing for permanent residence.
If you are sponsoring a K-3 or K-4 visa, it is best to go through the process under the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney from The Gonzalez Law Group. Our attorneys know how important it is to have your spouse or children with you in the United States and they will fight to make that happen. Call us today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online contact form for a free case consultation.
Overview of Spouse (K-3/ K-4) Visa in Houston, TX
- Who is Eligible for a K-3/K-4 Visa?
- K-3/ K-4 Application Process
- K-3/ K-4 Visa Benefits and Limitations
In order to be eligible for a K-3/ K-4 visa, there are a number of criteria the petitioner must meet. There are minimal requirements for a child to be eligible for a K-4 visa and they include the following:
- The child is under 21
- The child is unmarried and is the legal child of the K-3 visa seeker
Spouses who are seeking a K-3 visa, on the other hand, have a number of requirements that need to be meet in order to qualify. The foreign spouse must meet the following requirements to qualify for a K-3 visa:
- Has a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States
- Has a petition (Form I-130) filed by the spouse who is an America Citizen
- Plans to enter the United States to await the approval of the petition for lawful permanent resident status
As with any visa application, there are a number of steps that involve numerous U.S departments. The application process for a K-3/K-4 visa include the following steps:
- The American citizen spouse must submit Form I-130 (Visa petition) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the spouse in need of a K-3 visa has children that need a K-4 visa, the U.S citizen spouse does not need to file a separate form.
- After the U.S spouse receives a notice of action (I-179) for the I-130, they must then submit a separate fiancé visa (K-1) petition to the USCIS
- Once the USCIS approves the fiancé visa, it will send notice to the National Visa Center (NVC) and then transfer the case to the U.S consulate in the country of the visa applicant
- Once the consulate receives the case files, they will send the visa applicant instructions regarding forms, required documents and schedule an interview. Following an interview, the visa seeker should be approved for the appropriate visa.
- Once the spouse or child has their visa, they may present them at a U.S airport, border or another point of entry. The spouse and child will then be examined by a Customs and Border Patrol agent, and if everything goes well, they will be admitted into the United States.
Once the spouse or child is in the United States they will be expected to apply for adjustment of status within two years of being in the country. It’s worth noting that a child must be filed separately when applying for U.S citizenship.
Aside from being reunited with loved ones, once admitted to the United States, there are a number of limitations and benefits that a K-3/K-4 visa holder has. Benefits of a K-3/K-4 visa holder include the following:
- A K-3 visa holder is eligible to apply for U.S citizenship right away, while a K-4 holder is required to have an I-130 form filed on their behalf before they can apply for adjustment status.
- Both visa holders are also eligible to work in the United States once they file an I-1765, Application for Employment Authorization.
There are only a small number of limitations for K-3/K-4 visa holders, and they include the following:
- Both visa holders are only allowed in the United States for two years before their visa expires. If their I-130 petition is still pending when the two-year mark approaches, the visa holder may apply for a two-year extension.
- In the event of a divorce or annulment of the marriage, the visa will automatically expire.
Additional Spouse (K-3/K-4) Visa Resources in Houston, TX
Nonimmigrant Visa for Spouses (K-3)– Follow this link to the travel site for U.S. Department of State for more in-depth information of K-3 spouse visas. Some of the information includes how much the visa cost, required documentation and proof of financial support. The U.S Department of State is a federal executive department that represents the country in international affairs and foreign policy.
K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa– Visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information regarding K-4 visas. Some of the information includes eligibility, applying for the visa and applying for a green card. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the U.S Department of Homeland Security that administers the country’s immigration services.
Contact a Spousal Visa Lawyer in Houston, TX
Applying for a visa can be a complicated process that requires a number of forms and documentation. By choosing The Gonzalez Law Group to guide you through the process, you can rest assured it will be handled properly. We proudly assist communities in the greater Harris County area including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood, and numerous others. Call us today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online form for a free case evaluation.