K4 Visa Application Process from Thailand
A K4 visa allows the children of a U.S. citizen’s Thai spouse to accompany their parent to the U.S. K4 visas are only available if the child’s Thai parent successfully applies for a K3 (spouse of a U.S. citizen) visa. A K4 visa is valid for two years.
Once the child is in the U.S. they can apply to become a permanent resident. Only unmarried children of a K3 visa applicant who are under 21 years old are eligible for a K4 visa. K4 visa applicants are allowed to study in the United States and may work there once they apply for work authorization.
K4 visas are only available while your Thai spouse has a K3 visa. Once your spouse becomes a permanent resident, their children will be ineligible to receive a K4 visa.
Step 1: Filing the I-130s
Form I-130 is a petition where a U.S. citizen sponsors a foreigner for immigration. You need to file a Form I-130 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to start the application process for all K visas. Although you are only required to file an I-130 for your spouse at this point, U.S. Immigration strongly recommends that you file a separate I-130 for everyone applying for a K visa at the same time. Filling an I-130 for everyone will ensure the whole family is allowed to immigrate together.
Step 2: Filing an I-129F
The second step in the K4 visa application process is filling out and filing a Form I-129F, which is a petition for your spouse’s K3 Spouse visa. You cannot file Form I-129F until USCIS sends you an I-797 confirming they received the I-130 you filed for your spouse. You only need to file one I-129F for the whole family, but make sure to name your spouse’s children on the form so that they can receive a K4 visa. The I-129F petition will processed and forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.
Step 3: Document Gathering
Once you or your spouse receives the K visa instruction packet from the U.S. Embassy, you should start gathering the required documents and filling out the required forms. The quickest way to complete the K visa application process is to gather K3 Visa documents for your spouse and K4 documents for your stepchildren at the same time. Separate application forms are required for each K visa applicant, so follow the instructions carefully and make sure you submit a set of forms for everyone who needs a K visa.
Your Thai spouse is required to show that they have permanent custody of any minor children applying for K visas. If the child applying for the K visa is 16 or older, you also need to obtain a certificate from the police showing whether or not they have a criminal record.
Step 4: Medical Examination and Interview
Everyone applying for a K visa needs to complete a medical examination at an approved location in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Applicants may be required to receive additional vaccinations before they travel to the United States.
Once the medical examination is complete there will be an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. When the embassy schedules the appointment they will let you know who needs to attend and who does not. Although some of the children may be required to come to the interview, their Thai parent will end up answering most if not all of the questions. If the interview is successful all K visas should be available for pickup at the embassy in about two business days.
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Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.