Part 3 – K-3 Living With Spouse Abroad
Welcome to the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram. We’re delighted to have you review part three of our Fiancé (e) Visa and Green Card by Marriage series. In this presentation, we’re going to talk about the K-3 visa for aliens living abroad who are already married to a US citizen.
The purpose of the K-3 visa is almost identical to that of the K-1 visa, which is to bring the alien into the US to settle with their American spouse (on a K3) or fiancé (e) (on a K1). The K-3 visa was designed to enable the alien to relocate to the US with their spouse as quickly as possible, rather than wait in their home country until the entire green card process could be completed. At the time the K-3 visa was introduced, couples filing for spouse green cards abroad were waiting 1-2 years to get them. The K-3 visa was introduced to reduce that wait time to that of the K-1 visa, some 6 to 9 months.
Over recent years, the processing times for the K-1 fiancé (e) visa, the K-3 spouse visa and the spouse green card, are now all taking pretty much the exact same time as each other. This confluence of processing times has, for the most part, made the K-3 visa redundant – since any alien spouses looking to stay abroad until the visa/green card is approved, may as well just file directly for their spouse’s green card. Otherwise, having filed and obtained a K-3 visa, they still have to, in effect, duplicate the attorney fees and process again upon arrival in the US to get their green card.
There are two primary reasons why fiancés and spouses will file in their home country. The first reason is often because the American fiancé (e) or spouse is currently living in the same country. Secondly, is when the alien has a great job that they don’t want to leave until the very last minute, and want to enter the US with either a visa or a green card.
Let’s explore the work issues a little deeper. When an alien enters the US on a K1 or K3 visa, they can apply for a work permit on arrival. This work permit takes about 8 weeks to get processed. Once they get married and file for their green card, they’ll probably have to also apply for a new work permit, because their K visa-based work permit may only run until the end date of the K visa, which is only 90-days. In short, the work authorization situation within the first three months or so is a little messy.
In contrast, those spouses entering the US with their green cards will have the right to work immediately upon arrival with no delays of any kind, because they are already in green card status. So, if having the ability to work as quickly as possible upon arrival is an extremely sensitive issue, then it may be better to get married abroad and apply for your green card there.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
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Tel: 310 496 4292
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Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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