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

Last week, our blog began discussing how U.S. immigration laws are drafted in such a way as to facilitate family unity, as evidenced by the K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas, which allow the alien spouses of U.S. citizens and their minor children to stay in the country while the State Department processes their Form I-130s.

In today's post, we'll conclude this discussion, exploring supplemental information that K-3 and K-4 visa holders would likely want to know.

How long are K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas valid?

K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas are valid for approximately two years. However, alien spouses and their children may request extensions of stay for up to two years at a time provided that the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, visa application or adjustment of status application is still being adjudicated.

Under what circumstances could a K-3 nonimmigrant visa be revoked?  

K-3 nonimmigrant visas -- and, by extension, K-4 nonimmigrant visas -- automatically expire within 30 days of any of the following:

  • The termination of the marriage to the citizen spouse via annulment or divorce
  • The denial of Form I-485 -- the application filed by the alien spouse to adjust their immigration status -- by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • The denial of the visa application filed by the alien spouse by the State Department
  • The revocation or denial of the Form I-130 by USCIS

Are there any other important points to keep in mind?

K-3 and K-4 visa holders are permitted to travel outside U.S. borders, and re-enter accordingly.

Furthermore, they may not change their status to another nonimmigrant category at any point after initially being granted entry to the country.

Here's hoping the foregoing conversation provided some much-needed insight into an admittedly complex area of immigration law. If you would like to learn more or have encountered any difficulties with this process, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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