THE NON-IMMIGRANT SPOUSAL VISA
|THE LEGAL IMMIGRATION AND FAMILY EQUITY (LIFE) ACT (December 21, 2001) created two (2) new visa categories, "K" and "V", allowing The Non-Immigrant Spousal Visa.
THE EXPANDED K VISA CATEGORY allows certain wives (K-3) and dependent unmarried minor children under age 21 (K-4) of U.S. Citizens married abroad to enter the U.S. and gain work authorization. To qualify for the K-3 Visa, the foreign spouse visa applicant must show through documents and statements:
The K-3 Visa is issued by the American Consulate in the country where the foreign marriage took place, typically the country of residence of the foreign citizen. If the marriage took place in the U.S., then the visa is issued by the American Consulate where the foreign spouse resides.
For most people, the K-3 Visa option is the only viable and fastest option because: 1. All U.S. Consulates have recently stopped processing I-130 Petitions for Legal Resident Visas for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen through Direct Consular Filing (DCF), if the U.S. Citizen is NOT a resident of his spouse's country due to the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, and 2. Processing the I-130 Petition through the Service Center AND the State Department's National Visa Center AND the U.S. Consulate usually takes longer than the processing of the K-3 Visa Petition through those three locations. (EXCEPTION: For those U.S. Citizens who are a resident of their spouse's country, the K-3 Visa is not necessary and the U.S. Citizen can process the I-130 at the Consulate, such as currently the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the State Department announced the resumption of DCF for those U.S. Citizens. See: USCIS Press Release, March 26, 2007.)
THE V VISA CATEGORY allows certain wives (V-1) and dependent unmarried minor children under age 21 (V-2) of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents married abroad to travel to and from and reside in the U.S. while awaiting the Petition I-130 immigration process. Persons living abroad may now apply at the appropriate U.S. Consulate abroad.
V Visa holders may apply for work authorization. The V-1 visa is a multiple entry visa for 10 years, the V-2 visa for minors is also a multiple entry visa for either 10 years, or until the minor reaches age 21, whichever number of years is less. To qualify for the V-1 Visa, the foreign spouse visa applicant must show through documents and statements:
To qualify for the V-2 Visa, the foreign minor child visa applicant must show through documents and statements that:
For more information on the new K and V Visas, see State Department K and V Visa Information.
Copyright©. All Rights Reserved.
Gary G. Bala, USA Immigration Attorney