K-3 visa

Tag • Immigration Law Blog

Types of Visas Available to Immigrants in Los Angeles

There are many different types of visa available to individuals who are considering emigrating to the United States. If you are considering making this move, it is important that you apply for the correct visa for your circumstance. Otherwise, you can face problems entering and remaining in the United States.

Determining the correct type of visa for you can be difficult and confusing. Make it easier for yourself by consulting with an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney about which type of visa is right for you. By working with a lawyer who has experience handling the various legal difficulties that new immigrants to the United States can face, you can avoid many of these problems yourself and have an easier time overcoming them if you do find yourself facing one.

There are two types of visas that foreigners can use to gain entry to the United States: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas allow individuals to reside in the country temporarily to vacation, attend school, and work. Below are the types of visas available to immigrants entering the United States to live permanently.

I-129F Fiance Visa and Related Visas

This visa is used to bring one’s fiance and the fiance’s children to the United States so the individual and the fiance can marry. It can also be used to bring a spouse and the spouse’s children into the country. A fiance must use a K-1 visa to enter the United States, a spouse must use a K-3, and the fiance/spouse’s children must enter using K-4 visas.

Visas that start with the letter K are meant for spouses and children of United States citizens. When an individual who is not yet a United States citizen but instead a lawful permanent resident wants to bring his or her loved ones into the country to reside, his or her loved ones must use visas that begin with the letter V. A V-1 visa is for the spouse of a lawful permanent resident and a V-2 visa is for his or her child.

H-1B Visa

This type of visa is a visa for professionals in specialty professions who come to the United States to do work for up to three years. Although this is not an immigrant visa per se, an employer may opt to sponsor an employee who is in the country on an H-1B visa for a green card if it feels the individual should continue to reside in the United States permanently.

T-1 Visa

This type of visa is a temporary visa for individuals who are victims of human trafficking. As long as the holder complies with law enforcement in prosecuting the suspects charged with trafficking him or her, the holder may remain and work in the United States. The holder may also apply to become a lawful permanent resident and eventually complete the naturalization process to become a citizen. Children, spouses, parents, and minor siblings of a T-1 holder may also apply for other types of T visa.

Other Visa Types

The other types of visa that are available to immigrants entering the United States are divided into multiple categories. The type an individual may obtain depends on his or her relation to a United States citizen or reason for entering the country. For example, visas numbered IR-1 through IR-5 are for immediate family members of United States citizens, such as their parents and children. SB-1 visas are for permanent resident aliens who left the country and failed to return while their green cards remained viable for reasons they could not control. Certain types of visa are only for individuals coming from certain countries, such as visas numbered F-21 through F-25, those numbered B-21 through B-25, and those numbered FX-1 through FX-3 and BX-1 through BX-3. There are 185 types of visas available to individuals seeking entry to the United States, many of which are only for individuals coming to the country for temporary reasons.

Work with a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney

You might not know which type of visa you need or how you can obtain it to take the next step toward becoming an American citizen. Determine what you need to do by seeking guidance from an experienced Los Angeles visa lawyer. At The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we are dedicated to working with recent immigrants and can help make the visa procurement and immigration processes easier for you. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation with Mr. Goldstein to learn more about the right type of visa for you.

The K3 Visa is a Waste of Time and Money

The K3 visa and the K-4 visa are completely useless, particularly for Massachusetts residents.  I say this with confidence as an immigration lawyer in Boston with extensive experience in marriage-based immigration.  I’ve prepared countless green card cases at consular posts around the world.  To explain why I believe filing a K-3 or a K-4 visa is a waste of time and money, let me first provide some background information on the K-3 and K-4 visas.

The K-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. while an immigration petition (Form I-130) is pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS; the immigration agency formerly known as the INS).  The I-130 is a petition that U.S. citizens with foreign spouses must have approved in order for their foreign spouse to be eligible for an immigrant visa in the United States. The K-4 visa is available for the children (unmarried and under 21) of a K-3 visa holder. Ideally, a U.S. citizen would submit the I-130, get the receipt notice shortly thereafter, and then apply for a K-3 and/or K-4 visa so the non-american citizen spouse and/or children could reside in the U.S. while the I-130 is pending.

However, the process does not work so smoothly. If you live in Massachusetts, you can file for a K-3 or K-4 visa by filing Form I-129F with the USCIS Vermont Service Center. In order to do so, you need to have a receipt notice of your I-130 application (a document from USCIS that confirms they have received your I-130 application), which takes a minimum of 3 weeks from the date you submit your I-130. But, if you look at the current processing times for the I-130, the K-3 and the K-4 visas on the USCIS website, it currently shows it takes about 5 months to process each of those applications. In other words, it is likely that an I-130 would be approved before the K-3, or K-4 visas approved!

Let me rephrase this because I know that what I’m saying may sound a little crazy.  But accordingly to USCIS’s own website, the I-130, K-3 and K-4 visa are all processed in exactly the same estimated time frame.  Since you would have to wait about three weeks after filing an I-130 receipt to file for the K-3 or K-4 visa, and all three applications take about the same amount of time to be processed, your I-130 application will almost certainly be approved before your K-3 and K-4 visa. What this means is that if you file an I-130 immigrant petition for your husband or wife and then apply for a K-3 non-immigrant visa, it is almost certain that your I-130 will be approved before your K-3 visa.  Given these estimated processing times, why would anyone apply for a K-3 or K-4 visa?

I hope my insight saves you from needless frustration.  And if you have any further questions about consular processing, immigration through marriage or anything else.  And if you are seeking an immigration attorney, I can always be reached in my Boston office at (617) 722-0005.