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Frequently asked questions about K-3 spouse visas

Applying for a visa to enter the United States can be an intimidating process. Whether you are a U.S. citizen looking to help your spouse enter the country or a foreign national who recently married a U.S. citizen, you probably have a lot of questions.

Below we provide answers to basic questions about K-3 spouse visas, a common method married couples use to ensure they can legally live together in the U.S.

How does U.S. immigration define “spouse?”

According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, a spouse is someone you are legally married to. Same-sex couples have the same immigration rights as opposite-sex couples. Although a common-law marriage can qualify depending on the laws of the country the immigrant spouse is from, just living together is not enough.

How long does it take to obtain a K-3 visa?

It depends. Applications that are missing information or are not filled out correctly often take longer.

Is there anything that could disqualify me from getting a K-3?

These are called “visa ineligibilities.” You may be ineligible for a K-3 visa if:

  • You work for a foreign government
  • Your application does not comply with the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • You have not had the required vaccines
  • You have been convicted of a serious crime, such as drug trafficking

What do I do with the sealed packet that comes with my new visa?

Do not open it. A Department of Homeland Security immigration official must be the one to open it when you enter the country. All you need is the K-3 visa, which is inside your passport.  

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Applying for a visa involves tracking down a lot of documents and following complicated immigration rules. It is easy to get overwhelmed. Working with a skilled immigration attorney can help. Learn more about K-3 spouse visas before taking the next step towards your new life in the U.S. 

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