An Old Visa Has New Life

An old visa has new life. Immigration attorneys everywhere are dusting off the K visa and using it to get some of their clients to the U.S. faster.

K visas were designed to allow fiancés and spouses of U.S. citizens to come to the U.S. while their green card applications are pending. The processing times have historically been so long, it was quicker just to apply for the green card directly from their country of origin. However, a change in United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures for K visas have made them useful again.

The K-1 visa allows the fiancé of a U.S. citizen to travel to the U.S. and apply for a green card after marriage. K-1 visa holders must get married within 90 days of entering the U.S. to the person who sponsored their visa. They can also bring their unmarried children under the age of 21 years with them on a K-2 visa.

The K-3 visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is living abroad to come to the U.S. before a green card has been granted. The U.S. citizen spouse must first file an I-130 with USCIS, asking to have their marriage recognized. Once the I-130 has been filed, the U.S. citizen spouse can file for a K-3 visa asking for their spouse to come to the U.S. while the green card application is pending. The recipient of a K-3 visa can also bring their unmarried children under the age of 21 years over on K-4 visas.

K visas are currently taking about 5 months to process. That compares to the year or more it can take a U.S. citizen's spouse to get a green card. In addition, the K-1 visa allows fiancés to come to the U.S. prior to marriage – without this visa they would have to marry before filing any application.

Once the spouse or fiancé arrives in the U.S., they can immediately file for a green card and permission to work. If consular processing outside the U.S., they have to wait until the I-130 recognizing the marriage has been approved, currently taking around 8 months.

Contact us at [email protected] to take advantage of this new opportunity.

For more information on the K visas, please see the USCIS website at:

http://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/k3-k4-visa/k-3k-4-nonimmigrant-visas

http://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/fiancee-visa/fiancee-visas

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