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K3 visas are appropriate for spouses of US citizens residing outside of the US. Congress created the K3 visa to reduce the long wait that the US citizen and her spouse experienced, while waiting for an immigrant visa. The K3 visa allows one to enter the US in nonimmigrant status to eventually adjust status to lawful permanent residency while in the United States. USCIS will grant the applicant with a two-year admission period when the K3 visa holder enters the United States. Foreign national spouses present in the United States can travel outside of the United States and return using their K3 visa. While in K3 status, if one has filed for adjustment of status in the US prior to departure from the US, USCIS will not presume that the departure constitutes abandonment of an adjustment application.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE K3 VISA:
1. Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
2. An immediate relative petition, that is pending, must have been filed in the United States.
3. A K3 petition must be completed and submitted by the US citizen and submitted to USCIS.
K3 VISA PETITIONS:
To obtain K3 status for your foreign national spouse an immediate relative petition is filed by the U.S. citizen with USCIS. After the applicant receives a receipt of the initial petition, (s)he may file a K3 petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign national. Once USCIS approves the petition, the application is sent to the National Visa Center to perform security checks. The National Visa Center will forward the petition to the US embassy. If your marriage occurred abroad, a K3 visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE K3 VISA PETITION IS APPROVED?
The consulate will send a letter to your spouse requesting a list of documents necessary to obtain the K3 visa. The consulate will also commence security clearance processing. The security clearance will partly determine whether or not the beneficiary is inadmissible to enter the United States on a K3 visa. The consular officer may deny the K3 visa if the officer determines that the beneficiary is inadmissible. Alternatively, the officer may deem that a waiver of inadmissibility is necessary. In this situation, the USCIS must approve an I-601 waiver, before the consular officer will issue a K3 visa.
Once all processing is completed, and the applicant has all necessary documents, a consular officer will interview your spouse to determine if she is eligible for the K3 visa. The officer will review all of the documents and question the K3 visa applicant to determine if the marriage is bona fide, ensure the applicant is not inadmissible and will not become a public charge. If the consular officer finds that your spouse is eligible she will issue a K3 visa. The K3 visa applicant may adjust status to lawful permanent residency or obtain an immigrant visa at the consular post in the country of where the marriage took place. The K3 visa admits an applicant to the United States for two years.