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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawWhy K-3 Visas May Not Be Optimal: Adjustment of Status

Why K-3 Visas May Not Be Optimal: Adjustment of Status

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing the K-3 Marriage Visa. We are going to be specifically discussing it in the context of, if there are other videos which discuss the pros of the K-3, this video is really going to discuss the cons.

I have kind of gotten into this in other videos but in my opinion professionally K-3 often times is not exactly the most optimal visa to seek and I will explain why throughout this video.

Let me go ahead and start at the beginning. K-3 was created under the provisions of the Life Act signed into law by President Clinton back in the 90s and basically it was created at a time when processing of US marriage visa cases was going really slowly. Back then, INS which was to become USCIS under the Department of Homeland Security, they had a backlog, they had a significant backlog.  It could take years to process, I mean multiple years like three or more to process just a regular American citizen married to a foreign spouse type of Visa. Meanwhile, sort of counter intuitively I guess you could say, the K-1 fiancée visa would often times take 6 to 8 months to process all the way through so I even heard of cases where folks actually got divorced in order to  seek a fiancée visa; it was just faster. 

So basically Congress created the K-3 as an expedient. They said, “look we're going to type take certain types of marriage visas, specifically marriage to American citizens, those foreigners married to American citizens, they can now file a supplemental K petition through the K line and they can go ahead and get fast-tracked.” Now when it was created that was a great idea because again regular I-130 based marriage petitions were taking a substantial period of time to process and subsequently the K-3s  creation sort of sped that up but the K-3 is not an immigrant visa; hence the title of this video.

So upon entry to the United States, the foreign spouse has two choices. They can either adjust status to lawful permanent residence which requires about a thousand dollars just in Government filing fees alone and various other, you have got to go through another immigration process or the foreign spouse can choose to undertake Consular processing outside the United States. In my opinion a real downside to this is their immigrant status is not locked in so the K-3, although a brilliant decision in my opinion at the time it was created as an expedient to fast-track through marriage visas, and frankly remain search. I actually think it should stay on the books  as a visa category at least under the system as we have it because if there comes another time where there just gets to be this massive marriage visa backlog, it can act as sort of a pressure release valve to allow certain types of cases to get fast tracked through.

But that being said, in a general context as cases are being processed at the time of this video, I don't think it is overly optimal. One of the major reasons is, it requires adjustment of status whereas as a CR-1 Visa or an IR-1 Visa does not require an adjustment. That individual who enters the country is going to be admitted in lawful permanent residence either conditional or unconditional, and they go from there. No need for further filing fees, no need for further basically dealing with any further process. The case is on file and you are an immigrant status upon entry into the United States.