Why The K3 Spousal Visa is Obsolete

10 Oct 2017

Okay so the K3 Spousal Visa, we want to touch on that. You know, technically we like to say it’s obsolete, technically it’s still out there. A brief history on the K3 is that there was a time, many years ago, it’s probably been seven, eight years, or longer now, when the CR1 Visa was taking much longer than it is now. It was taking much longer than a year, sometimes two or three years. By CR1, I mean a regular green card application for a spouse. To try and speed things up a little bit they created kind of a loophole, or backdoor method, where if you had an I13 application pending, which would be a CR1, or IR1, and it was already approved at the first step, and you were just waiting it, and because of this big backlog they said, “Okay, if you’re waiting, and you know there’s a long wait, so as kind of an end run to help you out, go ahead and follow the I-130 up with an I-129F which is typically meant for fiance Visa.” They called it a K3.

What would happen was that would allow your spouse to get here a little quicker, because there was a little bit of, perhaps some people might have seen at that time, unfair situation where the K1, which is the fiance Visa folks were getting in here in much less than a year. Where spousals who were married, and felt like maybe they had a slightly higher status because they were married, were actually taking longer. They said, “Okay, if you have … If you’re waiting on your I-130, it’s already been approved the CIS, you’re waiting on the state department, we will let you file an I-129F and bring your wife here as a basically a non-immigrant just as we do with a K01,” then you could apply for the adjustment status.

That’s what was going on. Since then the wait times have dramatically decreased, now they’re always under a year unless you have a specific problem with your case. Because of that, now, what happens is while you can technically still follow up the I-130 with an I-139F, it doesn’t speed anything up. Because what’s going to happen, what we’ve seen happen, is that as soon as the NVC approves your addition, NVC being the National Visa Center, the second step of the process. They will then cancel your K3 and you’ll go back to your I-130 application. Anyway, probably getting in the weeds a little bit here, but the bottom line is, how many, Rick, were done last year? K3s? I saw the numbers, there were 160, or something, of the thousands and thousands of spousal Visas done. They very rarely, it very rarely benefits you to do a K3. It usually ends up getting approved at the state department level before it ever gets adjudicated as a K3, which means you’ve kind of wasted your time and effort on the K3.

Even worse, there are some problems if there are children involved and you do a K3. It becomes problematic too. It costs you more money, because you’ve got to do an adjustment status which you wouldn’t do with a straight CR1, or IR1. For all of these reasons, not only is it almost never works, and is not necessary, because it’s not going to speed anything. It’s also going to cost you a lot more money. It’s just not a wise thing to do, but because for several years it was the right way to go, there are still people out there who talk it up. Even sometimes if you call the helpline for the CIS, somebody will mention that, because they’re just reading from a script.

That’s what we know about it. It’s probably … It’s not necessary. It’s basically obsolete. Is it technically still available? Yes it is.


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