A K-3 is a form of nonimmigrant visa, which allows a foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen to come into the United States and be here with the spouse while he or she awaits the adjustment of status. While it is not a requirement to obtain a K-3 visa if you married outside of the U.S. and in order to adjust your status to a permanent resident, it is an option available to shorten the physical separation between spouses.

K-4 Option

If your foreign spouse is applying for a K-3 and she or he has eligible children, they may also apply for a K-4 visa for the children. This will allow the children to come into the United States as well and await approval of the immigrant visa here.


  1. The U.S. citizen spouse must first fill out the Form I-130 and send it to the USCIS office that serves that area. Once the form is received, the spouse should receive Form I-797, confirming that they received it.
  2. Then, the U.S. citizen spouse must fill out the Form I-129F, which is a Petition for Alien Fiancé.
  3. Once both petitions are approved, USCIS will send them to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.
  4. A. If NVC receives both approved forms, the need for the nonimmigrant K-3 visa ends and the spouses will be notified of the next steps they need to take to continue the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.

B. If NVC receives the approved Form I-129F, before it receives the I-130 approved form, it will process the I-129F and send it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country the marriage took place. The foreign spouse will then receive instructions on how to obtain their visa.

Required Documents

If the petition for visa is approved, the foreign spouse will need certain documents for their visa interview. Those include:

  1. Form DS-160, an application for nonimmigrant visa;
  2. Passport valid for travel, with at least six months validity date beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S.;
  3. Civil documents, which must be either originals or certified copies, that include:
      1. Birth certificate;
      2. Marriage certificate;
      3. Divorce or death certificates of any previous spouses (if applicable);
      4. Police certificates from present country or where you lived for six months or more since the age of 16. Also, police certificates are required for any children 16 or older.
  4. Medical examination;
  5. Affidavit of Support;
  6. Two passport photos;
  7. Evidence of relationship with the U.S. citizen;
  8. Payment of fees.


While the fees are subject to change at any time, fees will be charged during the following steps:

  1. Filing a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130;
  2. Filing an Alien Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F;
  3. Form DS-160 (required for each K visa applicant) processing fee;
  4. Medical examination (required for each K visa applicant);
  5. Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.

We Can Help!

Have further questions about K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa option? Contact Sobon Law LLC today at 216-586-4246, to have your questions answered.

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