The LIFE Act expands the criteria for “K” visas beyond status for fiancés of U.S. citizens. Under LIFE, a new K3 status is created for spouses of U.S. citizens. The K3 visa is not intended to be a prerequisite for the admission of U.S. Citizens’ spouses. It is meant to be a speedy mechanism for the spouse of a U.S. citizen to join that U.S. citizen spouse and obtain the immigrant visa/status in the United States, rather than wait for long periods of time outside the United States.
The K3 visa allows these spouses to enter the United States to await BCIS approval of the I-130 petition. K3 issuance may further depend on BCIS approval of some type of petition for non-immigrant status filed in the United States by the U.S. citizen petitioner, the exact nature of which has not yet been determined by BCIS . For those couples married outside the United States, the non-immigrant K3 visa must be “issued by a consular officer in the foreign state in which the marriage was concluded,” according to the LIFE Act. An unmarried child of a K3 applicant only needs to demonstrate that he/she is the child of an alien entitled to K3 status in order to obtain a K4 visa. No petition filed on the child’s behalf is required.
Unlike the V visa classification, the K3 visa is a permanent addition to the list of NIV categories. Under the LIFE Act, an alien spouse of a U.S. citizen who is the beneficiary of a classification petition filed under section 204 of the INA before, on, or after the date of enactment of the LIFE Act is eligible for K3 classification.
The regulations have been issued on this visa, and therefore, people can now use this visa to bring their spouses to the U.S. The unmarried children under 21 years of age can come into the U.S. on the K-4 Visa.