The Pr0cess of Extending a K3 Visa

Typical Visa application form and blue pen on paper calendar page close up

For those who are unfamiliar, a K3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States to wait for the approval of the immigrant visa petition that has been filed for them. The K3 visa is a derivative of the K1 visa, which is for the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen. The K3 visa was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and went into effect on December 2, 2005. The Act allowed spouses and children of U.S. citizens who were unmarried and under 21 years old to come to the United States while they waited for their immigrant visas to be approved.

The application process for a K3 visa is very similar to that of a K1 visa, and in most cases, the same documentation is required. If you are in the United States on a K3 visa and would like to stay longer, you will need to apply to extend your stay.

Benefits of K3 Visa in staying Abroad

There are many benefits to holding a K3 visa while staying abroad. For one, the K3 visa holder is allowed to enter and exit the United States as often as desired. The K3 visa provides the holder with an opportunity to live and work in the United States for up to two years. Lastly, if the holder of a K3 visa marries a U.S. citizen, he or she may be eligible to adjust their status to permanent resident status.

Applying for an Extension of Stay

If you are in the United States on a K3 visa, you may be wondering if it is possible to extend your stay. The good news is that K3 visa holders are eligible to apply for an extension of stay. The process of applying for an extension of stay is relatively simple, but there are a few things you will need to keep in mind.

  1. K3 visas are valid for two years. However, to extend your stay on a K3 visa, you will need to file Form I-539 120 days before your current authorized stay expires.
  2. You will need to prove that your Form I-130, I-485 or immigrant visa petition is still pending. If it is not, you will not be able to extend your stay on a K3 visa.
  3. Note that Form I-539 must be filed to extend your stay on a K3 visa. This form can be filed either with USCIS or the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country of residence.

Form I-539 Instructions

The Form I-539 Instructions outline the specific process for extending a K3 Visa on vacation to the United States. To be considered, you must have been admitted into the U.S. on a K3 Visa and must have remained in lawful status since your last entry.

  • Meet the following requirements: 
  1. A valid passport and K3 Visa
  2. Apply before your current visa expires
  3. Pay the applicable filing fee.
  4. complete and submit Form I-539, 

Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, along with all supporting documentation. The most important part of this process is ensuring that your application is complete and accurate, as any mistakes could lead to delays or even denial of your application.

Documents to Submit with the K3 Extension

If you are a K3 visa holder and would like to extend your stay in the United States, you will need to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. You will also need to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport and visa
  • A copy of your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94
  • Proof of your continued relationship with your spouse or fiancé
  • Two passport-style photographs
  • A fee of $410

Processing Times for K3 Visa Extensions

Processing times for K3 visa extensions can vary significantly depending on several factors. It is important to note that all requests for visa extensions must be submitted at least 12 weeks before the expiration of the original visa. Furthermore, applicants should expect it to take between 3 and 8 months for their request to be processed, although this time frame can increase substantially in certain circumstances.

Moreover, it is important to note that applications may be delayed due to high volumes at specific USCIS offices or if requests are incomplete or incorrect. USCIS may request additional information or documents after the initial application has been filed, so it is important to remain patient while they review the request.

What to Do After the Extension is Approved? 

Once your extension has been approved, you should receive a notification approving your I-129F petition. At this stage, you should take all of the necessary steps for obtaining a new K3 visa. Depending on where you are in the US, you may be eligible for an expedited visa process called “Adjustment of Status”; otherwise, you will need to apply for another K3 visa at a US Consulate or Embassy in your country. Once your visa is issued, you may legally remain in the United States until its expiration date.

Extending K3 Visa 

When you extend your K3 visa, you are essentially renewing your status as a nonimmigrant in the United States. The process is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • File a petition for an extension of status with the USCIS. You will need to include all of the required documentation, such as your passport, proof of your relationship with your spouse, and proof of financial support.
  • Apply for an extension of stay with the USCIS. Again, you will need to include all required documentation, such as your passport and proof of financial support.

If your extension is approved, you will be granted an extended period of stay in the United States. You will need to maintain your status as a nonimmigrant during this time, which means following all applicable laws and regulations.

When individuals want to extend their K3 visa, it is important to follow the specific steps that are associated with the process. Doing so will ensure that the individual does not experience any problems or delays with the extension. By understanding the process, individuals will know exactly what they need to do to get the extension completed.