K-3 Spouses of U.S. Citizens
When a United States citizen marries a foreign citizen or foreign national, it is not always easy for the married couple to enter or remain in the United States together.
While United States citizens can always return to or stay in the United States, their foreign-born spouses may have trouble obtaining the necessary visa to enter or legally stay in the United States. As a result, these couples can experience lengthy separations, particularly if the couple intends to take up residence permanently in the United States.The K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse Visa
To partially alleviate the burdens caused by this separation, the U.S. provides a means for a foreign-born spouse to obtain what is called a K-3 non-immigrant visa. The idea behind the K-3 visa is to allow the foreign spouse to legally enter the United States without fully completing the lengthy and complicated process of obtaining an immigrant visa.
The K-3 visa allows a foreign-citizen spouse to enter the United States, where they can then continue the process of applying to become a legal permanent resident (LPR, often referred to as the holder of a “green card”) of the United States and, if desired, to eventually become a United States citizen through the naturalization process.How Do You Go About Obtaining a K-3 Visa?
The K-3 visa application process must be initiated by the U.S. citizen spouse and the visa must then be applied for in the country in which the marriage took place.
While the application process for a K-3 visa is less onerous than undertaking the process of obtaining an immigrant visa, many of the preliminary requirements for both visas are the same. This is because the purpose of the K-3 visa is, ultimately, obtaining LPR status for the foreign-born spouse.
The K-3 visa process involves a lot of paperwork, including obtaining and, if necessary, translating, many documents such as birth records, marriage records, police records, and vaccination records.
Once the initial application is initiated in the United States, the K-3 visa applicant must continue the application process in the overseas U.S. embassy or consular offices where he or she lives. The overseas embassy or consulate then receives, reviews, and processes the required documents.Retaining the Services of a Qualified Immigration Attorney to Assist K-3 Visa Applicants Is Strongly Recommended
The K-3 application involves much more than simply filling out an application and waiting for results. There are a number of procedural and material requirements for obtaining a K-3 visa, and navigating through the process can be very daunting and time-consuming. For this reason, it is advisable to obtain the advice and assistance of a qualified immigration law attorney to handle the matter.
To those unfamiliar with the extensive paperwork and legal requirements, the K-3 non-immigrant visa application process can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. An attorney experienced in all aspects of K-3 applications can make the process more manageable, as well as provide relevant context to the married couple as to how the application is proceeding and what they can reasonably expect in terms of both time frame and success in obtaining the K-3 visa.
Further, the advice and assistance of an attorney can be invaluable when problems creep up in the consular process, such as missing or lost documentation, miscommunication between immigration officials working in the United States and abroad, and time differences that make efficient communication difficult.The Lyttle Law Firm Can Help with Your K-3 Visa
The Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas, has experience in handling K-3 non-immigrant visa applications, and can alleviate both the practical and emotional burdens of navigating through the process. Moreover, because immigration law deals solely with federal law and not state law, the Lyttle Law Firm can handle cases for any U.S. citizen, no matter what state they currently reside in or where they intend to reside in the future.
Austin, Texas immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian fluently, and can communicate directly with clients and officials in these languages, as well as read documentation in these languages, if the need arises. If you need the assistance of a competent immigration attorney to handle a K-3 non-immigrant visa application, please call the Lyttle Law Firm for a consultation.