K-3 Visa

A K-3 visa applies to the foreign spouse of a United States citizen. The purpose of the K-3 visa is to make the separation of the couple last for a shorter time period while the green card application is pending. K-s visa holders are allowed to immediately apply to adjust their status to permanent resident once their petition has been approved. A foreign citizen who marries a United States citizen outside of the United States is required to apply for a K-3 visa in the country that the marriage took place.

To become eligible for a K-3 Visa, one must be:

  • 1) married to a United States citizen,
  • 2) have a pending Form I-130 filed by the United States spouse on his or her behalf.

Children are eligible to obtain a K-4 Visa if he or she is unmarried and under the age of 21. The child must also be the blood related child of a qualified K-3 applicant. There are two petitions that are required for the United States citizen to file on behalf of the spouse: Form I-130 and Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiancé.  After these forms have been approved, the foreign spouse must then apply for a K-3 Visa.

The benefits for receiving a K-3 Visa include:

  • 1) once the spouse is admitted to the United States, they may adjust their status to permanent at any time,
  • 2) upon admission in to the United States the K-3 visa holder may obtain employment authorization.


The limitations of the K-3 Visa include:

  • 1) when the I-130 that is attached to the K-3 application reaches the Department of State, the immigrant visa is immediately available to the spouse and he or she is no longer eligible for K-3 status, but instead the spouse must immigrate as a lawful permanent resident
  • 2) K-3 and K-4 visa holders are only admitted or a two year period.


A K-3 Visa may be automatically expired thirty days after the occurrence of any of the following events:

  • 1) USCIS chooses to deny or revoke the Form I-130 petition,
  • 2) USCIS denies a Form I-485 filed by the K-3 nonimmigrant or Department of State denies the immigrant visa application filed by the K-3 nonimmigrant,
  • 3) termination of the marriage through divorce or annulment.


For more information regarding K-3 Visas, and the process of obtaining a K-3 Visa, please contact the Law Office of Jeffery Bennett via phone: 816-759-2776 (English), 816-759-2777 (Spanish); or via email: jyb@jybennettlaw.com.