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K Visas

The K-1 fiance visa allows a US citizen to bring his or her foreign national fiancé into the United States for the purpose of getting married. The K-1 visa allows a foreign finance to enter the US one time within six months following the date on which it was issued.
 
Once a foreign-born fiance enters the US, he or she has a period of ninety days within which to get married. If the couple does not get married within the 90-day period, the foreign-born fiancé must leave the US prior to the end of the 90-day period. If the marriage does take place within the 90-day period, an application for adjustment of status must be filed to adjust the status of the foreign spouse to that of a legal permanent resident.
 
In order to qualify for a K-1 fiance visa, the following requirements must be met: (1) the sponsoring souse must be a US citizen, (2) the couple must have met within the past two years, (3) the couple must both be legally free to marry, and (3) the couple must have a bona fide intention to marry each other within 90 days of entry into the US by the foreign-born spouse.
The children of the beneficiary of a fiancé visa may be included in the petition and obtain a K-2 visa to enter the US.  Following marriage, the children of the fiance also must adjust their status to that of lawful permanent residency.
 
The first step in the fiancé visa process is for the US citizen to file a petition with the appropriate USCIS service center.  Following approval of the K-1 fiance visa petition, the Petitioner and fiancé must submit several additional forms to the local US Consulate.  Following the completion of a routine background check of the foreign fiancé, he or she will be instructed to obtain a medical examination at a designated hospital or clinic and to appear at the US Consulate to present the required documents and undergo an interview with a consular official.  Once the application is approved by the Consulate, the consular official will issue a K-1 visa to allow the fiancé to travel to the United States.
 
K-3 Visas – Spouses of US Citizens
Under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) and its amendments, the K-3 visa allows the spouse and unmarried children (below the age of 21 years) of a US citizen to enter, live and work in the U.S. as nonimmigrants until they receive Lawful Permanent Resident status. The spouse is given a K-3 visa and the children are given a K-4 visas.
 
The K-3 visa process is similar to the process for K-1 visas.  One major difference is that the K-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for spouses (not fiances) of US Citizens.  In order to apply for a K-3 visa, the foreign spouse must be married to a US citizen and the US Citizen must have filed an I-130 visa petition.  The K-3 visa is valid for two years and may be renewed in two-year increments as long as the I-130 petition still is pending. Once the I-130 petition is approved the K-3 beneficiary must apply for adjustment of status.
 
K-3 and K-4 visa holders are allowed to work in the US while waiting for their permanent resident status as long as they obtain a work permit. To apply for a work permit, the K-3/K-4 visa holder must file an Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS.
 
A K-3 beneficiary may bring his or her unmarried children to the US in K-4 (dependent) visa status as long as they are under 21 years of age.