K3 Visa Application Process
The process for applying for a K-3 Marriage visa for a Thai wife is complicated.
Step 1: K3 marriage visa in Thailand (USCIS petition)
This is the very first step in the K3 Visa process. As the petitioner, you have to gather all the required documents to prepare for the K3 Marriage Visa Petition. These include documents pertaining to your citizenship, legality of your marriage, financial position and the identity of your Thai spouse being petitioned. Marriage certificate, Income tax and other pertinent documents are among the documents to be included in your petition.
File your I-130 petition for your spouse at the appropriate USCIS service center which is determined in the area of the US where you reside.
Petitioners who reside in AK, AZ, CA, CO, Guam, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, or WY must file their stand-alone Form I-130 with the Lockbox using the following address:
P.O. Box 804625
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
Petitioners who reside in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, Puerto Rico, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, U.S.Virgin Islands, WV, or District of Columbia must file their stand-alone with the Lockbox using the following address:
P.O. Box 804616
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
File a follow-up petition called I-129 F. Mail your petition to the Service Center where the underlying I-130 petition is currently pending. Use the address listed on your most recent receipt notice or transfer notice, and include a copy of that notice in your Form I-129F.
Step 2: K3 marriage visa (National Benefits Center)
Once USCIS has given you a notice of receipt of your petition you can file your K3 Marriage Visa petition with the USCIS (National Benefits Center). The National Benefits Center processes all K-3 Marriage Visa applications in the United States. There is only one center so it makes no difference where you live.
Step 3: K3 marriage visa (National Visa Center)
Once NBC (National Benefits Center) has approved your petition it is forwarded to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center will then process the K3 Marriage Visa petition and forward it to the US Embassy in Bangkok. Your Thai wife will be notified by the US Embassy about the pending K3 Marriage Visa and a date will be set for the interview. Other issues could arise if your wife has ever had any immigration issues in the United States or if she has a criminal record.
Step 4: K3 marriage visa (US Embassy Bangkok)
Once she has had her interview at the US Embassy in Thailand and has been granted a K3 visa, she will be able to come live with you in the United States. As the K3 Marriage Visa is a "multiple entry" visa, she can travel using her K3 Marriage Visa, and she can obtain permission to work with her K3 Marriage visa. Once in the United States it is best to apply for an adjustment of status to ensure that she becomes a legal permanent resident (or at least have an application filed to become a legal permanent resident) before her K3 marriage visa expires.
Can a K3 marriage visa spouse work?
Yes, the K3 marriage Visa Spouse will be able to work upon entry after getting a social security card and an EAD (Employment Authorization Document).
Can a Thai spouse holding a K3 marriage visa travel outside the US?
Yes, she is free to travel outside United States. No advance parole is needed for travelling outside the U.S. The K3 Marriage Visa and and K4 visa's are in valid status for 2 years and the visa is a multiple re-entry visa.
If you wish to apply for a Spouse Visa, it is highly recommended to apply for a CR-1 Visa instead of a K3 Visa. The K-3 has mostly been phased out and replaced by the CR-1 Visa. Please click here for more information.