The K3 Visa is to allow the foreign national spouse of a United States citizen to reside in the United States with his or her spouse with temporary legal status. This temporary status is valid for two years. During this time, he/she will be pursuing their immigration visa. If the couple was married outside the United States, petition must be made within that country.
How Long Does It Take To Get A K3 Visa?
With the K3 Visa, the holder will be able to travel out of the country and still return to the United States on the same visa. However, it should be noted that, if the K3 Visa is to expire during the out of country travel dates, prior approval should be obtained.
Starting The Forms
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé are to be completed and submitted to the correct United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) location. Both forms may be submitted together or separately. They may be received and acknowledged at the same time or one in advance of the other. If they are not filed simultaneously, you will need to include the Notice of Action that will be sent to you acknowledging receipt of your Form I-130. If you are unsure of which form to file first or where to file, an immigration attorney at Johnson and Masumi can provide guidance.
The Processing Route
Once the forms have been sent to their correct USCIS location, they are reviewed. At this stage, the petition will be reviewed for any omission, inaccuracy, and that all required documents have been provided and to determine if further documentation is required. The Notice of Action letter does NOT grant any immigrant status or benefits. It will communicate one of several things, such as acknowledging receipt of your application, notice that it is being transferred, a request for additional information, or possibly setting an interview. It is important to read the letter in its entirety to ensure timely compliance with any requirements that may be set forth in the letter. If you have not yet received a Notice of Action and you have concerns about the status, you may check the status at the USCIS website.
The National Visa Center
Once the petition is found to have all the necessary components, it will be sent to the National Visa Center for approval. The National Visa Center will thoroughly review the petition and supporting documents. This is the stage where all the documents will be examined to confirm the validity of all statements and documentation.
The NVC will then send the request to the United States Embassy or Consulate applicable to the foreign citizen applicant provided that the legal marriage took place in the United States. If the marriage took place outside the United States, the petition will be sent to the country in which the marriage occurred. If that country does not have a United States Embassy or does not issue visas, then the petition will be sent to the country that serves in that capacity on behalf of the non-embassy country.
Embassies and Consulates
Once your petition arrives at the United States Embassy or Consulate office, a consular officer will review the petition and supporting documents to determine that the petitioner is legally compliant and qualifies per all United States laws, for the requested visa. Once the petitioner is found to be qualified, the consular officer completes the processing and the visa is granted.
Should your petition be deemed ineligible, you will be notified verbally and in writing, outlining the reasons for denial. Reasons for denial may include failure to provide all documentation, having violated any US laws, or previously having overstayed a visa. This is not a complete list of ineligibilities and not all issues of ineligibility are final. Some applications may be placed on an administrative hold. If you are able to re-apply, you will be required to pay application fees again. An immigration attorney at Johnson and Masumi can assist you with understanding the ineligibilities, refiling, or possible measures to meet compliance.
Estimating the amount of time it will take for petition approval varies by individual case as no two are the same. Then the petition will pass through multiple agencies and will not only be screened for proper accompanying documents but also for the validity of those documents and statements, and finally, a legal review.
To ensure your petition takes the least amount of time possible, make certain it is thoroughly completed, that your supporting documentation is attached, and that all answers are truthful. This will also assist with the interview process.
The K3 Visa is issued for a period of two years, should it become necessary, an extension may be requested.