The K4 visa
The K4 visa falls under the category of U.S. family visas. It is a non-immigrant visa that allows children of a K3 spouse visa holder to enter the United States while waiting for the availability of an immigrant visa.
Qualified children must meet the following requirements:
- Less than 21 years old
- Seeking to immigrate to the United States
- Child of a K3 spouse visa holder
- Unmarried and not living an independent life
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What is a K4 Visa?
The K4 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the child of a K3 spouse visa holder to accompany their parents to the United States. The K3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for the spouse of a U.S. citizen. The K3 and K4 visas allow spouses of U.S. citizens and their dependents to live in the United States while waiting for approval of their permanent residence application.
Holders of K3 and K4 visas are eligible to apply for a green card (also known as an immigrant visa), after USCIS has approved the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relatives filed on their behalf by a U.S. citizen.
Only children under the age of 21 who are neither married nor living independently are eligible for a K4 non-immigrant visa. This status can also be extended to the step-child, adopted child, or biological child of the K3 spouse visa holder if they meet the requirements.
With a K4 visa, you can legally reside in the United States while waiting for your immigration status to change. You can also attend schools, travel outside of the United States, and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If your EAD application is approved, you will receive a work permit to work and earn a living in the U.S.
Once a petition for a K4 visa has been submitted, you can apply for a green card by filing an application to adjust your status. K4 visa holders must have a Form I-130 in order to be eligible for a green card.
What are the eligibility requirements for a K4 visa?
The eligibility requirements for a K4 visa include:
- The applicant must be under the age of 21.
- Must be unmarried
- Should intend to immigrate to the United States
- Must not have records of any previous immigration violations
It is important to note that the K4 visa status only applies to children of married couples. If you are just engaged but yet to marry your U.S. citizen partner, you and your children may still be eligible to enter the United States. In that case, a dependent child will need to go through the K2 visa process for dependents of the foreign fiancé (e) for your children to join you. Eligible K2 visa applicants are children of K1 Fiancé visa applicants.
What is the K4 visa application process?
The first step in the K4 visa application process is the submission of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. While the I-130 is still pending, you (U.S. citizen) can also file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance. You may also submit the two forms at the same time.
The two petitions must be submitted by a U.S. citizen who wishes to bring their foreign spouse and their children to the U.S. Because the K4 is an independent visa, the petitioner (U.S. citizen) does not need to file a separate petition for K4 applicants. You only need to include the names of all the children you want to accompany your spouse to the U.S. The process is as follows:
Form I-130 (Petition for Foreign Relative):
- Submit Form I-130 to the right United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) address.
- Navigate to the Where to File section on the Form I-130 page to find the right address. You will receive a notification showing that USCIS has received your Form I-130.
Form I-129F, Petition for Foreign Fiancé:
- Submit Form I-129F to the right USCIS address.
- Navigate to the Where to File section on the Form I-129F page to find the correct address. You can submit Form I-129F together with or after filing Form I-130.
- If you file Form I-129F after completing Form I-130, attach a copy of Form I-797 as proof that USCIS received your Form I-130.
There is no charge if you file a Form I-129F for your spouse to obtain a K3 visa. To get a K4 visa for your spouse’s children, you don’t need to file a separate Form I-129F or Form I-130.
What documents do I need to apply for the K4 visa application?
The documents required when applying for a K4 visa include:
- Local police certificates of the main K3 and K4 visa applicants
- Two passport-size photos with a white background of the main K3 and K4 visa applicant.
- Birth certificates of the main K3 and K4 visa applicant
- Marriage certificate of the K3 applicant
- Death or Divorce Certificates of the principal K3 applicant (applies if K3 applicant had previously been married).
- Medical report from one of the Embassy’s panels doctors
- Separate valid passports of the main K3 and K4 visa applicant.
What is the processing time for the K4 visa?
A K4 visa will be issued to your eligible children at the same time as the K3 spouse visa is issued to you. Therefore, the processing time for K4 visas is based on several steps. These include the processing times for Form I-130 and I-129F petitions, as well as the consular processing at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
Keep in mind that all children over 14 years old must participate in a visa interview. Generally, children under the age of 14 are not required to participate.
If USCIS approves the I-130F before or at the same time as the I-129F, your children cannot apply for a K4 visa. They must directly adjust their status to become a permanent resident.
How can the IAS help you?
The U.S. immigration system can sometimes appear complex and difficult to navigate. Our attorneys are highly qualified in all areas of U.S. immigration law and can assist you with the K3 or K4 visa application process.
Some of the supports we can offer include:
- Check if your children meet the K4 Visa requirements.
- Our lawyers provide a comprehensive explanation on how to file an immigrant visa petition.
- We help you with which petitions must be filed for K3 and K4 Visa applicant.
- We also help the U.S. sponsor file the USCIS petitions
- We help you in gathering all of the documents that will be required as part of the application.
- Prepare a letter of representation that refers to your supporting documents.
- We check if you need a translation of any document that is not written in English.
Once the K4 visa is granted, our attorneys can also help you with the application to adjust your status in order to secure permanent residence for your child’s stay in the United States.
To find out more about how our team of immigration experts can help you, contact us today on +1 844 290 6312.
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Though it is not likely for an eligible K4 holder to lose their status, it is not completely impossible. As a K4 visa holder, your legal stay in the United States could automatically end 30 days after any of the following events:
- Refusal or Revocation of Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed on your behalf
- Get married before you become a lawful permanent resident.
- Refusal or revocation of the request for adjustment of legal permanent resident status
- Refusal or revocation of the immigrant visa application filed by you
- You turn 21 years
- Divorce of your parent K3 from the U.S. citizen
Note: If any of these applications or petitions by your K3 parent is also denied, it may result in the termination of your K4 status.
After they have been allowed into the United States, all children with a K4 visa can study in the United States without waiting for an immigrant visa to be issued, despite their non-immigrant status. However, to receive a work permit, your child needs to apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.
There are no travel restrictions for a K4 visa. But a K4 child cannot enter the U.S. for the first time before their K3 parent.
With a K4 visa, you cannot:
- Transfer to any other non-immigrant status.
- Enter the United States if you have been temporarily barred for a prior violation of United States immigration laws.
Yes, you can request an extension of stay using Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change of Nonimmigrant Status, 120 days before the end of the authorized stay. Extensions will be granted every two years.