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K-3 Marriage Visa Overview


The K-3 visa permits the spouse and unmarried, dependent children of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrants and adjust to permanent resident status later provided they are the beneficiaries of a pending or approved alien relative petition. The application process is very similar to the K-1. Once the petition for alien relative is approved, the beneficiary can apply for immigrant visa processing at the appropriate Consulate abroad or adjustment of status within the U.S.

A K-3 visa is issued to the spouse of a U.S. citizen provided that: a) the beneficiary is already married to the U.S. citizen; b) the U.S. citizen spouse has filed a petition for alien relative on behalf of the alien spouse with CIS for the purpose of obtaining an immigrant visa; and c) a petition for alien fiancée must also have been filed and approved by CIS.

Once CIS approves the fiancé(e) petition, the appropriate Consulate is notified and a letter is issued to the beneficiary outlining the next set of steps for the visa application. Once the required documents are submitted to the Consulate and the necessary security clearances are conducted, the applicant is interviewed and the K-3 visa will be issued. The K-3 visa is a multiple-entry visa with a validity of up to 10 years. Once the visa is “activated” at the port-of-entry, the alien spouse will be admitted to the U.S. for a two year period. Please note, the petition for alien relative may have been approved but not actually received at the Consulate. At the K-3 interview, the consular officer may ask if the beneficiary wants the status of the petition for alien relative checked to see if it has been received by the National Visa Center (“NVC”). If is has been approved and received by the NVC, the applicant will then have the opportunity to process an immigrant visa rather than the nonimmigrant K-3.

The application for permanent residence, either through adjustment of status or immigrant visa processing abroad, may be filed only after the petition for alien relative is approved.


Page Summary: The K-3 Visa allows a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident to bring their foreign-born fiance(e) to the United States.