K-3 visas are non-immigrant visas that permit the spouses of US citizens to get into the United States as non-immigrants. Likewise, K-4 visas permit the eligible minor children of the K-3 spouses of US citizens to enter into the country as non-immigrants.
US immigration laws permit the spouses and the children of US citizens to enter into the country on non-immigrant visas. This applies to the ones for whom their US citizen immediate relatives have already filed immigrant petitions. Beneficiaries of immigrant petitions, who come to the United States as non-immigrants can complete processing for permanent resident status in the United States.
A US citizen can sponsor his/her spouse and children living abroad for K-3 and K-4 visas, if the immigrant petitions, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed for them are accepted by the USCIS and if their petitions are being processed. Spouses and children of US citizens who get into the country on K-3 and K-4 visas can remain in America while waiting for the approval of their immigrant petitions.
Who can Apply for K-3 and K-4 Visas?
The beneficiary of an immigrant petition, who seeks to enter into the United States to await the availability of an immigrant visa, can apply for a K-3 visa. To get a K-3 visa, a foreign citizen must legally be married to a US citizen. An immigrant petition must be filed by the US citizen spouse on behalf of the foreigner. The child of the K-3 visa applicant can apply for a K-4 visa if he/she is a minor below age 21 and is unmarried.
US citizens can get their spouses and children K-3 and K-4 visas if the immigrant petitions filed on their behalf get delayed. USCIS was processing Form I-130 filed by US citizens within six months and there were no delays in the processing of these petitions. But now the agency is experiencing delays.
Earlier Form I-130 filed by US citizens for their spouses and children were processed in few months. The beneficiaries were not required to wait for more than a year to immigrate to America and unite with their families. But now there are long delays in the processing of immigrant petitions.
As the I-130 petitions are now getting delayed, many are now looking to file Form I-129F for their spouses and children who are beneficiaries of immigrant petitions. K-3 and K-4 visas were designed by the US Congress to permit the spouses and children of US citizens to travel to America as non-immigrants and remain there while they wait for the approval of their immigrant petitions.
As the immigrant petitions filed by US citizens were processed in a few months, K-3 petitions were not used by US citizens to bring their spouses and children to the United States. And many are still unaware of the K-3 and K-4 visas. They do not know that applications for these visas can be filed while Form I-130 is pending.
US citizens who have filed Form I-130 to get their spouses and dependent children Green Cards, can consider filing Form I-129F to get them K-3 and K-4 visas. This can be done if their petitions are taking too long. These K-3 and K-4 visas will help the ones who have been waiting for a long time to travel to the United States and to reunite with their family members.
The Texas and the California service centers process K-3 and K-4 applications within five months. These visas will help the ones whose immigrant petition are taking too long, to travel to America. After entering into the country, the K-3 spouses and K-4 dependent children can file applications for adjustment of status and become lawful residents.