USA and the UK
The K4 Visa
The K4 Visa is part of the U.S Family Visa category. K3 Visa holders can bring their children to the U.S. by filing a K4 Visa application. Eligible children must meet the following requirements:
- Be less than 21 years old
- Be unmarried and not be living an independent life
- Seeking to migrate to the U.S.
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What is the K4 Visa?
The K-4 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for the child of a K-3 Visa holder. The K3 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for the Spouse of a U.S citizen. K-3 and K-4 visas allow spouses of U.S citizens and their dependents to live in the United States whilst they wait for availability of an immigrant visa.
Both K-3 and K-4 Visa holders can be eligible for an immigrant visa, also known as a Green Card, once Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) has been filed on their behalf by a US citizen and approved.
All biological or adopted minor children of the K-3 Spouse Visa holder may qualify for a K-4 non-immigrant visa.
To be eligible, your children must be under the age of 21 and not be married or be living an independent life. This status can also be extended to stepchildren if they meet the specific requirements.
Once in the U.S., they can attend public schools and seek Employment Authorization. The K-4 Visa is valid for a two-year period, or until the child’s 21st birthday, whichever is shorter. In some circumstances, K-3 and K-4 visas can also be extended.
Once an application for a K-4 visa has been made, an application for adjustment of status to an immigrant visa can be made. K-4 visa holders must have an approved Form I-130 to be eligible for a green card, but the application can be made whilst the form is still pending.
What are the K4 Visa requirements?
If your children want to follow you in the U.S., they must meet the following requirements:
- They must be unmarried
- They must be under the age of 21
- In the case of stepchildren, the relation with you must be created before they reach the ages of 18
It is worth noting that the K-4 visa status applies only to children of married couples. If you are engaged to be married to your US partner, you and your children could still be eligible to enter the US but you will need to follow the K-2 visa process for dependents of foreign fiancé(e)s in order for your children to join you.
What is the K4 Visa application process?
Applications for a K-4 visa must be made at the same time as for the K-3 visa and they must be filed by a US citizen. The U.S citizen spouse must file two petitions for their spouse to join them in the US. These include form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) and Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)).
To obtain the K-4 Visa, details of the eligible children must be included on the Form I-129F that was filed for the overseas spouse. There is no need to file a separate Form I-129F for your spouse’s children.
However, K-4 visa holders may only apply for a Green Card based on the step-parent/step-child relationship created when their K-3 parent married the U.S. citizen who petitioned for their K-4 visa. This means that in order for them to obtain a Green Card, you must file a separate Form I-130 for your spouse’s children before they apply for a Green Card. In order for you to create an eligible step-parent/step-child relationship, the child must have been under 18 years of age when you and your spouse married.
Once admitted to the United States, K-4 non-immigrants can file an application for adjustment of status at the same time as or anytime after Form I-130 has been filed on their behalf by the US sponsor.
What documents are required for the K-4 Visa application?
There are a number of documents that you will need when applying for a K-4 Visa, these include:
- Two copies of the DS-156 application form. This an application form that is required for all non-immigrant visas
- Two passport-sized photographs of the principal K-3 and K-4 visa applicant(s)
- Local police certificates of the principal K-3 and K-4 visa applicant(s)
- Birth certificates of the principal K-3 and K-4 visa applicant(s)
- Local marriage certificate of the principal K-3 applicant
- Divorce or Death certificates of the principal K-3 applicant (applicable is the K-3 applicant was previously married)
- Medical reports
- Separate valid passports of the principal K-3 and K-4 visa applicant(s)
What is the K4 Visa processing time?
A K4 Visa will be released for your eligible children at the same time as you are granted your K-3 Spouse Visa. Thus, the K4 Visa processing time is based on several steps.
- First, you will need to file the names of your eligible children in your Form I-129F
- When the USCIS confirms that they have received the application, you can fill out an I-130
- Every child over the age of 14 will be asked to attend the US Embassy interview with their mother. Children under the age of 14 are not normally required to attend
If the USCIS approves the I-130F before or at the same time as I-129F, your children cannot apply for a K-4 Visa. They must directly adjust their status as permanent residents.
How can IAS help?
The U.S immigration system is incredibly complex and can be difficult to navigate. Our attorneys are highly trained in all areas of US immigration law and can be there to guide you through the process of applying for a K-3 or K-4 Visa.
Our lawyers can explain how to file an immigrant visa petition and which petitions must be filed for K-3 and K-4 visa applicants. They can also assist the US sponsor with completing and filing the petitions and also help you in gathering all of the documents that will be required as part of the application.
Once a K-4 visa has been granted, our lawyers can also assist with application to adjust status if you wish to secure permanent residence for your child in the U.S.
For more information about how out team of immigration experts can help you, get in touch with us today on +1 844 290 6312.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 7:57 am
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Once they have been granted admission to the United States, every child holding a K-4 visa is allowed to study in the U.S. without waiting for the issuance of an immigrant visa despite their nonimmigrant status. However, to be also granted permission to work, your child needs to apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.
There are no travel restrictions on a K-4 visa, but your children cannot enter the country for the first time before you do.
The K-4 visa will automatically expire when your child turns 21 or 30 days after he or she gets married. This status and its benefit will terminate after 30 days if the parents file for divorce.
If they meet the requirements, your children will get a K4 visa. They can stay in the U.S. with you while other immigrant visa petitions are pending approval.
This nonimmigrant dependent status is granted for up to two years, or until they turn 21, in case it is shorter.
Your partner and your children must file the Form I-539 at least 120 days prior to the expiration of their authorized stay. Any extension of K-4 status must be filed coincidently with your K3 visa renewal, and it is only granted in 2 years intervals. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can let your children stay until the day before they turn 21 if this is shorter.
While under their K-4 status, your children cannot apply to adjust their condition to any other non-immigrant visa. They may still seek permanent residence, or request to change to a different immigrant permit.
The K4 Visa application process may be intricate, as there are serval forms to be filled out. At IAS, we can help you through the whole procedure.
Our lawyers can:
- Liaise with you and your family;
- Walk you through every step of the process;
- Check if your children meet the K4 Visa requirements;
- Prepare a Letter of Representation which refers to your supporting documents;
- Liaise with the Entry Clearance Office and the USCIS.
Contact us for more information or to discuss your K4 Visa application. Call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online form.
If you have a K-4 visa, your authorized stay in the United States automatically terminates 30 days after any of the following events:
- Your parent’s K-3 status ends;
- USCIS denies or revokes the Form I-130 filed for you;
- USCIS denies your Form I-485;
- The Department of State denies your immigrant visa application based on Form I-130;
- You turn 21 years old; or
- You marry before becoming a lawful permanent resident.