A K visa might be a great way to an expedited process to bring your significant others to the United States. The K visa allows either a fiancé or a spouse to come to the United States to process their permanent residence. In the post I will discuss the K visa process, things to watch out for, and things to expect.
What is a K visa?
As I mentioned before the K visa is a visa that allows fiancé’s or spouses to come to the United States to process their permanent residence applications. The K visa allows derivatives, minor children under 21, to come to the United States with their parents. There are four categories K-1, K-2, K-3, and K-4. The first two are usually issued to fiancés and their dependents and the other two are issued to spouses and their dependents.
How do I apply for a K visa?
The application process is straightforward. The Petitioner must file form I-129F with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. A K-3 application, however, should include proof of filing the I-130 petition with USCIS, since it is for a spouse.
Once, the petition is approved, the visa process moves to the Department of State, which receives the approval notice from USCIS and the appointment is scheduled before the consulate.
K1 and K2 visas:
The K-1 and K2 visas are issued for fiancé’s and their dependents. The requirements for the K-1 are as follows:
- The Petitioner must be a United States citizen
- The couple intends to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival to the United States
- The couple is free to marry, in other words, all prior marriages must be terminated
- You and your fiancé have met each other within 2 years of the application, or you qualify for an exception. Exceptions include violations of customs or meeting results in extreme hardship to the United States citizen.
All beneficiaries under the K visa must apply for adjustment of status in the United States after marriage. The adjustment does not have to include a new immigrant visa petition (I-130). The approval notice of the I-129F should be enough. Also, the applicant does not have to go through immunizations, since they would have been taken before their arrival in the United States.
K-3 and K-4:
As I mentioned, the K-3 and K-4 petitions are intended for spouses of United States citizens. There is a nuance here though. If USCIS approves the I-130 before or at the same time as the I-129F, the government will schedule the beneficiaries for immigrant visa appointments at the consulate and will not receive a nonimmigrant visa.
As I said, the advantage to this process is that the processing times used to be much shorter. However, with the ability to e-file the I-130 form and the short processing times, the K-3 application has diminished in value.
How long does k1 visa take in 2020?
According to government estimates, the I-129F process is taking between 5 and 7 months. You should also factor in the State Department’s timeline in this situation. Due to COVID-19, appointments at consulates around the world have decreased, leading to some backlogs. However, this should not deter you from applying anyways, since things will return to normal soon.
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