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Can an alien spouse, children enter the U.S. while awaiting a visa? - II

In our last post, we started discussing how the alien spouses of U.S. citizens and their minor children can be admitted to the U.S. while waiting for the State Department to process their documentation thanks to the K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa.

In today's post, we'll continue our discussion of these visas, focusing on both their advantages and limitations.

Aside from allowing families to stay together, what are some of the other advantages afforded by K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas?

Once an alien spouse holding a K-3 nonimmigrant visa is admitted to the U.S., they are free to seek an adjustment of status -- i.e., attempt to become a lawful permanent resident.

While a K-4 nonimmigrant visa holder can do likewise, they must do so either concurrently with or any time after their citizen parent files the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on their behalf.

What about employment, and the K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas?

Subsequent to their admission to the U.S., both K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders may seek employment authorization. This is accomplished by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

What are some of the limitations of the K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas?

As we've discussed in previous posts, U.S. immigration law provides that those people considered "immediate relatives" of citizen have immediate access to visas granting them permanent resident status.

Accordingly, once the Form I-130 filed originally by the citizen spouse on behalf of their alien spouse is finally processed by the State Department, the alien spouse effectively loses their nonimmigrant status under the K-3 visa and, in its place, is awarded LPR status.

However, if the citizen spouse did not file a separate Form I-130 on behalf of any children holding a K-4 visa, then the child cannot immigrate with their alien parent. It's for this reason that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recommends a citizen spouse file Form I-130s for all family members.

Consider speaking with an skilled legal professional if you have questions or concerns concerning this or any other family immigration issue.

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