The K-3 visa applies to an individual who is already married to a U.S. citizen. It allows the applicant to enter the U.S. to join his or her U.S. citizen spouse and wait in the U.S. to complete the lawful permanent residence process.

To qualify for a K-3 visa, the applicant must (1) be legally married to a U.S. citizen and (2) be the beneficiary of an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 filed by his or her U.S. citizen spouse.

Petition Processing

The K-3 visa application process begins with the U.S. citizen spouse filing both an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, form I-130, and a Petition for Alien Fiancé, form I-129F, on behalf of his or her foreign born spouse with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will adjudicate and forward the approved K petition filed by the U.S. Citizen to the designated consular post where the K-3 applicant lives. The K-3 visa applicant will then attend a scheduled visa interview at the consulate to complete the application process.

Duration of Visa Validity

A K-3 visa is valid for two years and for multiple entries into the U.S.

Eligibility to Work

K-3 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization upon arrival in the U.S. based on their K status.

Accompanying Family Members

The unmarried children, under the age of 21, of a K-3 visa applicant are eligible to apply for K-4 dependent status.

Permanent Residence

Following their entry into the U.S., K-3 visa holders can apply for lawful permanent residence by filing an application with USCIS. However, they cannot apply to change their status from K non-immigrant status to any other non-immigrant status or to extend their K-3 status.

K-3 visa holder has up to two years to apply for U.S. permanent residence, although he or she may initiate the permanent residence process immediately upon entering the U.S.  They may also separately apply for work authorization and a travel permit when applying for lawful permanent residence.