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Outdated K-3 Spousal Visas Still Have a Few Tricks up Their Sleeves

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

While these visas have become all but obsolete because of enhanced communication between the U.S. Department of State and its consular posts abroad, they are still useful in some scenarios. One of these scenarios is when a U.S. citizen petitions for a spouse who is physically present in the U.S. to become a permanent resident. The citizen would file a Petition for Alien Relative and follow it up with a K-3 petition. Think of it as a one-two punch! Immigration lawyers have found that this technique, discovered by lawyers through trial and error, helps to expedite the overall process.

Many people wrongly believe that they need to file K-3 applications for foreign spouses living abroad. Usually, however, it's much better to begin the process of applying for an Immigrant Visa rather than a K-3 nonimmigrant spousal visa. (See my blog post titled "The 4 Routes to U.S. Permanent Residence." which discusses Family-Based, Immediate Relative petitions). In recent years, Immigrant Visa applications have become cheaper and faster than K-3 applications, rendering them all but obsolete as previously mentioned.

Photo by Amish Thakkar on Unsplash

Indian wedding celebration under a decorated mandap


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