US K2 and K4 Visa in Thailand

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when the child of a Thai fiancé or a Thai spouse arrives in the United States?

Following the approval of your visa petition, each child must submit their own application in order to acquire a green card. You must file for the I-130 petition within 90 days of arrival into the US to apply for permanent resident status.

What should I do after filing the I-130 petition?

The child as the K-4 visa holder will not be able to file for Adjustment of Status in the United States until the US citizen who is the child’s parent (biological or otherwise) files a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of the child. If the US citizen parent never files the I-130, the immigrating parent may do so once they have obtained legal permanent resident (LPR) status. In order to proceed, however, the child would have to wait for an available visa number to be issued.

Finally, the immigrant parent, upon adjusting status, will no longer be under K-3 status after this is successful. As a result, the child will no longer be under a lawful K-4 status, since this is merely a derivative classification. Unfortunately, this would lead the child to accrue unlawful presence.

What if the Thai fiancé or spouse’s child is over 21 years of age or married?

K-2 and K-4 visas are only applicable to children of a Thai fiancé(e) or spouse who are below the age of 21. Children who were over the age of 21 or married when their visa petition was filed don't qualify as stepchildren and will not be able to immigrate to the United States at the same time as you. As a US Citizen, your Thai spouse may file visa petitions for them if they are your spouse’s biological children or legal stepchildren, but they will be subject to mandatory quotas and waiting periods.

What if I don't apply for my child at the same time as the K-1 or K-3 visa in Thailand?

If you do not apply for your child at the same time as the K-1 or K-3 visas, then the petitioner must file a separate petition for each child.

What if I don't file the Adjustment of Status for the child at the same time as mine?

Your child’s K-2 visa is valid for a maximum period of 90 days from the date of entry into the United States. Therefore, your child can choose to apply for the K-2 visa Adjustment of Status after their parents (the K-1 visa holder and the US citizen) have gotten married, or they can apply for it 90 days before their K-2 visa expires.

If your child is a holder of a K-4 visa, they may file for the K-4 Adjustment of Status at any time following the approval of your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

What are the limitations of the K-2 visa?

Much like any other visa type, the K-2 visa carries limitations of its own:

  • The holder of a K-2 visa may not change to any other nonimmigrant status.
  • Holders of a K-2 visa may not be able to enter into the US if they have been barred for previous violations of the US immigration laws.
  • K-2 visa holders can only stay in the United States up to 90 days.
  • Applicants of the K-2 Visa are not permitted to enter the US if they have committed previous infractions of US immigration law. This can possibly be waived with the correct form.

How long can children of a K-1 Visa holder stay on a K-2 visa?

Children of a K-1 visa holder may stay in the United States on a K-2 visa for a maximum period of 90 days from the date of entry into the country. If the K-1 visa holder and US citizen do not marry within the span of 90 days, then their children are required to depart the US within 30 days.

How long can K-3 children stay on a K-4 visa?

The K-4 visa is valid for two years with multiple entries, letting the child or children of a K-3 visa holder stay for an extended period of time within the borders of the United States of America. Another option is for the K-4 visa holder to reside in the country until the age of 21.

What are the fees involved for the K-2 and K-4?

Applying for a K-2 visa or a K-4 visa isn’t free and often involves some fees that need to be paid by the applicants. The breakdown of expenses is as follows:

  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee
  • Medical examination (costs vary from post to post)
  • Fingerprinting fees, if required
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, and fees for getting the documents required
  • Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or to file an application for the Adjustment of Status.

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Ken Graham
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Linda Pringpuangkeo
Senior US Visa Consultant
Siam Legal International

For Thai language assistance call:

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