K-3 Marriage Visa
The K-3/4 visas permit spouses of US citizens (K-3) and their children (K-4) to enter the US while they wait for their immigrant visas to be processed.
In order to be eligible for the K-3/4 visa, the applicant must be a spouse or child of a US citizen who has filed an immigrant visa petition on his or her behalf. After the K-3/4 visa application is approved, the INS will notify the appropriate consulate abroad. If the marriage occurred abroad, the appropriate consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the place of the marriage. If the marriage occurred in the US, the appropriate consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the residence of the foreign national spouse.
Requirements for the visa include obtaining medical exam results and an affidavit of support. The three and ten year bars imposed for certain unauthorized overstays in the US are applied to people seeking K-3 visas. However, they can apply for a waiver of these bars.
The K-3 nonimmigrant will be admitted to the US for two years. K-4 nonimmigrants will also be admitted for two years, or until their 21st birthday, whichever is earlier. There is no provision for changing status to K-3 from within the US.
K-3 and K-4 status allows employment authorization. To extend employment authorization, the applicant must show that they are continuing to pursue the immigrant visa or adjustment of status. If the immigrant visa or adjustment of status has not been approved after two years, the K-3 or K-4 status may be extended for another two years. If the immigrant visa or adjustment of status is denied, the K-3 or K-4 status will be terminated 30 days after the denial. During those 30 days, the foreign spouse must leave the US and they are not authorized to work in that period.
Applicants for adjustment of status may travel abroad without seeking advance parole by using the K-3 or K-4 visa because the INS presumes that a person married to a US citizen will not be abandoning their adjustment application by traveling abroad.