K-3 Visa for Marriage Explained

If you’ve found your perfect match from another country and you want to take him or her with you to the United States to start a new life together, then you might think of getting a K3 marriage visa.

The K3 marriage visa falls under a non-immigrant visa category that allows spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States until they can lawfully adjust their status into a permanent residence status.

There are many benefits of getting a K3 visa. First, it takes shorter waiting periods for everything to be processed as opposed to marriage-based immigration visas. Also, your spouse can engage in employment by applying for a work permit, and your children can enter the United States through the K4 visa, given that they are listed in the visa petition.

To be eligible to get a K3 visa, one has to be legally wed or married to a U.S. citizen. The U.S. citizen spouse should file a family based immigration petition (I-130) on the non-citizen spouse’s behalf. Another requirement is if the non-citizen spouse wishes to enter the U.S. while waiting for his/her green card petition approval and the succeeding lawful change in status to permanent resident.

On behalf of your non-U.S. citizen spouse, you should file Form I-130 with the USCIS service center that has authority over your non-citizen spouse’s place of residence. Afterward, you will get Form I-797, stating that the Form I-130 was received by the USCIS. A copy of this form should be sent together with a USCIS Form I-129F to the USCIS in Chicago, Illinois for adjudication. This is then forwarded to the appropriate American Consulate so your spouse can apply for a K3 visa.

9 thoughts on “K-3 Visa for Marriage Explained

  1. I am from nigeria,actually my question is what do i need to do to enable me travel with my wife to the states as i just won the diversity visa lottery for 2010 but i wasn’t married when i participated last year,
    and secondly the diversity web told me i won and that they have sent a notification letter to me which i haven’t received till this moment…had it been was stolen or lossed what will be done?


  2. Hi Orji,
    I apologize for the delay as I only just returned to the US now from overseas and am working my way through all the messages.
    Congratulations on winning and you should receive your notification letter soon and if you haven’t contact the USCIS. As for the situation regarding your new wife, that shouldn’t be an issue and again the USCIS should be able to advise you on anything you may need to do prior to your Consulate interview where you would mention dependents like a spouse on the application forms.

  3. Thanks for your reply, I do hope you had a pleasant trip…please explain this to me for im kind of wandering.

    What’s this interview all about? I hope it does base on what I know and maybe what I field in the dv lottery form when I submitted it, if not what is it based on?

    Much obliged

  4. Hi Orji,
    When you apply for the green card (as with most US visas) you have to attend an interview at the US consulate outside the US. Here they go through your documents to ensure everything is in order prior to you being able to fly to and enter the US. They will also ask you questions based on the information you have provided them.

  5. I now understand very well what it’s all about, if it’s based on my information I provided, then fine. Do KCC issue appointment letter based on the rank of case number?, I am newly admitted student in the university as what i filled in the selectee letter I received from KCC, now my questions is the only thing I have to show at my interview as a university student is my admission letter and probably student ID card, however I also have my high school diploma, will my admission letter and student ID card be sufficient to convince the consular officer that Im truely a University student?


  6. Hi Orji,
    My best advice is take all your documents you mentioned. It is better to be prepared than not.
    Good Luck,

  7. My boyfriend’s E3 visa expires June 30 2013. We plan to get married May 31, 2013. If I file the I-130 and I-485 immediately after our wedding, will he still have to leave the country on June 30 when his visa expires while they process the forms? How long does it take to process the Petition and Adjustment Status?
    Thanks CJ

  8. Alexa I assume you mean 2014 with those dates but the logic is the same. Legally speaking you would have to file the petition and get the receipt number saying it has been received prior to the expiry date of his current E-3 visa. Practically speaking if this happens slightly after expiry it should still be fine. This is not for the K-3 marriage visa here this is for a permanent adjustment of status to conditional Permanent Resident though. All things going normally with processing, biometrics for him, interview date it seems to take on average 4-6 months at this point from the moment they receive the application.

  9. My fiancé is in Mexico and has a tourist visa already. We visit regularly. Will the K1 or CR1 application process interfere with her tourist visa?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.