Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    K3 or Green Card/K3 Petition/Preparing the Petition

    K3 or Green Card

    Because the process of bringing your alien spouse into the US can take quite a long time, in 2000 US Immigration introduced the K3 visa. The K3 visa is an interim visa that enables the US Citizen to petition for and bring their spouse into the US with authorization to work while their green card application package is being considered.

    The consideration time for this green card application package varies from service center to service center. As mentioned above it can take as long as one year, sometimes more. However, it can also take less than six months.

    Your attorney will be able to work out which service center you are required to use based on the US Citizen spouse’s US residence. Also if the US Citizen is deemed to be a resident outside the US then the entire application can be made through various departments of the US Embassy. US Embassy applications are typically much faster than service center applications due to the significant volume differences. As one can imagine there are millions of applications being filed within the US , whereas there may only be several hundred being filed in each Embassy at any given time.

    Therefore to decide whether you should apply for a K3 visa or Green Card as your first step you attorney will: –

    1. Determine whether the US Citizen is actually a US resident or off shore resident (living permanently up to that point outside of the US). If the US Citizen is deemed an off shore resident then the application should be made at the US Embassy.
    2. If the US Citizen can be characterized as being a US resident then your attorney will review the processing times of the service center where the application must be filed. If the processing time is within six months then your attorney will probably decide to file the green card package instead of a K3 application. If the processing time is greater than six months to over one year then your attorney will probably advise that you file a K3 application and then a green card package.
    3. If the US Citizen and alien spouse do not have any urgency then your attorney will probably recommend filing the green card package.

    his guide will focus on the scenario where applying for the K3 visa is deemed the best course of action. See the green card guide if that course of action is more appropriate.

    K3 Petition

    In order to begin the immigration process through USCIS the US Citizen has to first satisfy the Attorney General of three important things.

    1. You are a US Citizen
    2. Prove you are currently married to your alien spouse
    3. Show evidence that any previous marriages by either party have been judicially decreed ended.

    These are the big picture issues. However, USCIS require additional forms completed that will also outline the parties’ history going back initially five years but ultimately, for the alien, going back to the alien’s 16 th birthday.

    Preparing The Petition

    Here we have to prepare two separate petition applications, one for the K3 interim visa and one for immigration as an alien relative. Remember, the K3 visa provides interim immigration status pending a formal petition application that when completed will enable the alien to obtain green card status.

    Your attorney will apply the information outlined below for both petitions as required.

    We establish US Citizenship by including in the package copies of the citizen’s US passport, US birth certificate or certificate of naturalization. Any one of these documents will suffice.

    We then have to explain with the aid of photographs, testimonials, phone bills etc, how the parties met and how their relationship developed culminating in an marriage.

    A duly notarized copy of the wedding certificate will prove marriage to alien.

    When all the required information is completed your attorney will write a brief (letter in support of the petition) that will argue before USCIS the merits of your petition and refer to all the documentation in support of your petition.

    Even though we will be only at the petition phase, your attorney will also be gathering additional information from you to cover all the other phases as far as possible so that work can continue on your case after your petition has been filed. The following are some of the items that your attorney will instruct you to prepare and send in.

    1. Copy tax returns over the last three years. Both parties.
    2. Police Report. Alien only.
    3. Evidence of net worth

    Information on any potential co-sponsors to the application (see later).