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American K-3 Visa For Thai Spouse

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I started digging into the papers for a K-3 Visa and it is very confusing to say the least. Is there anywhere on the Internet to download a proper checklist for accomplishing this?

I have already had multiple communications with the American Embassy and with Homeland Security but neither office has answered my direct questions.

What Thai documents do you need for the initial package to be turned into Homeland Security?

I have been told by some old guys you need a Police Check and a Medical but if Homeland Security is charging me 350 Bucks to do a background check why would they want some document from the Thai Police?

I also understand one needs a physical from a Doctor but I have yet to see what is required in the physical, is there a checklist for the physical or a form for the Doctor to fill out?

Do they need certified copies of the Thai Nationals Tabien Ban?

Certainly they will want to see a Marriage Certificate but will copies need to be certified?

Are there any other Thai Documents one needs to have?

After the package clears Homeland Security do they send it back to you or do they forward it to the American Consulate in Bangkok for the next step in getting a K-3?

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It sounds like you havm't even gotten started yet.

I suggest you look at this webpage on the embassy website http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/immigrant_vis...sa-process.html

It gives the 3 steps of the application process.

Step1 is I130 petition: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...00045f3d6a1RCRD

There is a checlist for step 3: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/immigrant_vis...structions.html

You will need to have your marriage certificate translated and the translation certified by the Ministry of Foreign affairs for the I130.

I think when you look at the checklist I mentioned you will find the anwers to the rest of your questions.

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Ubon Joe, Big Thanks for the Process Link! Don't know how I missed it before having been to the website many times. Your right about me just getting started with this mess of documents. I have most everything needed and have had a couple important questions answered too. It looks pretty deep till you wade in, after that its not so bad.

Step One, File at Homeland Security.

Form I-130

Form G 325-A

350 Dollars

Step Two, File at Consulate.

I-129-F Fiance Visa. (Also available to Married Spouses)

455 Dollars

I have uploaded the I-130 and Instructions along with the G-325-A Biographic Form.

I have also uploaded the I-129-F and its instructions. Click to Download.

Below is the relevant link to the K Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiance or Spouse, contents are also posted in blue


How Do I Become a K-Nonimmigrant as the Spouse or Child of a U.S. Citizen? (K-3 and K-4 Visa Classifications)


The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act and its amendments (LIFE Act) established a new nonimmigrant category within the immigration law that allows the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen to be admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant category. The admission allows the spouse or child to complete processing for permanent residence while in the United States. It also allows those admitted in the new category to have permission for employment while they await processing of their case to permanent resident status.

Where Can I Find the Law?

The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs immigration to the United States. For the part of the law concerning K-3/4 nonimmigrants and their process of applying for permanent residence status, please see INA § 214 (nonimmigrant status); and, § 204 and § 245 (immigration petition and adjustment of status). The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for qualifying as a K-3/4, obtaining that status and applying for permanent residence are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 214, 204, and 245.

Who is Eligible?

A person may receive a K-3 visa if that person has:

Concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States;

A relative petition (Form I-130) filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for the person;

Seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of the petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status; and,

An approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, forwarded to the American consulate abroad where the non-citizen wishes to apply for the K-3/K-4 visa. NOTE: the consulate must be in the country in which the marriage to the U.S. citizen took place if the United States has a consulate which issues immigrant visas in that country. If the marriage took place in the United States, the designated consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the current residence of the non-citizen spouse.

A person may receive a K-4 visa if that person is under 21 years of age and is the unmarried child of an alien eligible to be a K-3.

How Do I Apply?

So that the non-citizen spouse and child may apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa for a spouse and a K-4 nonimmigrant visa for a child, the citizen must file Form I-130 on behalf of the non-citizen spouse with the applicable Service Center having jurisdiction over the citizen’s place of residence. The citizen petitioner will then receive a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that the I-130 has been received by the USCIS. The citizen should then file a copy of this I-797, along with a Form I-129F on behalf of the non-citizen spouse and any children, to the Service Center where the underlying I-130 petition is pending. Use the address listed on the most recent receipt notice or transfer notice and include a copy of that notice with your Form I-129F.

Petitioners should be careful to follow all instructions on each form and provide the Service with all necessary documentation. Following adjudication of the Form I-129F, the petition will be forwarded to the applicable consulate so that the alien beneficiary or beneficiaries may apply to the Department of State for nonimmigrant K-3/K-4 visas.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

Persons in K-3 or K-4 status and applicants for adjustment to permanent resident status from K-3 or K-4 are eligible to apply for a work permit while their cases (Form I-130 or Form I-485) are pending. You should use USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) to apply for a work permit. If you are in K-3/K-4 status, you must submit the application by mailing a Form I-765 along with the application fee to the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over the state where you live. See the instructions for Form I-765 for more details.

You do not need to apply for a work permit once you adjust to permanent resident status. As a lawful permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will prove that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. Please see "How Do I Get a Work Permit?" for more information.

Can I Travel Outside the United States?

If you are in K-3 or K-4 status, you may travel using your unexpired K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant visa to travel outside of the United States and return, even if you are applying for adjustment of status simultaneously.

How Can I Check the Status of My Application?

Please contact the USCIS office that received your application. You should be prepared to provide the USCIS staff with specific information about your application.

Can Anyone Help Me?

If advice is needed, you may contact the USCIS District Office near your home for a list of community-based, non-profit organizations that may be able to assist you in applying for an immigration benefit. Please see our USCIS field offices home page for more information on contacting USCIS offices.






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The I-130 filing fee is $355. After filing, you will receive a NOA1 (I-797) telling you it has been received by USCIS. Once you have that, you can file the I-129F (the I-129F fee is $455 but is waived for K-3 applicants).

A faster route (if you are married and living in Thailand) is to do as Thaihome stated and file the I-130 direct with the US Embassy in Thailand (DCF - direct consulate filing).

Another website with lots of guides and info specific to US immigration is www.visajourney.com

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(the I-129F fee is $455 but is waived for K-3 applicants)

Can anybody confirm this fee is waived for K-3? I have never heard this but I sure would like to save the money as this is getting expensive with all the add on costs.

That's what it says on this webpage. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...00045f3d6a1RCRD

Also if anybody wants address and contact info for US immigration office in Bangkok it's all here.


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The I-130 filing fee is $355. After filing, you will receive a NOA1 (I-797) telling you it has been received by USCIS. Once you have that, you can file the I-129F (the I-129F fee is $455 but is waived for K-3 applicants).

A faster route (if you are married and living in Thailand) is to do as Thaihome stated and file the I-130 direct with the US Embassy in Thailand (DCF - direct consulate filing).

Another website with lots of guides and info specific to US immigration is www.visajourney.com

In Thailand it is not a DCF, you still file the I-130 with the USCIS, but you do so at the Bangkok office. The processing time is a couple of weeks at the most compared to the many months, up to year, for processing at a US Service center.


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  • 5 months later...

Is this a valid summary of the K visa types?

K1 - fiance, non-immigrant, valid 6 months, single-entry

K2 - spouse, immigrant, valid 6 months, single-entry

K3 - spouse, non-immigrant, but allows change of status and work permit, valid 2 years, multiple-entry

K4 - dependent, non-immigrant, but allows change of status, valid 2 years, multiple-entry

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If you are married, qualify and are living in Thailand go for CR-1 (married < 2 years) or the IR-1 for married for more than 2 years. It saves paperwork later. When it is approve you go straght to green card, ssn and the works. With the K3 you need to adjust status and so on for longer times and more paperwork and money.

The only fee involved (so Far) was $355 with the I-30. My wife just got her IR-1 in June. We are leaving for the US in November. Did all of the paperwork myself except translations. Do your homework and do it yourself. The police check is a requirement and can only be done at one place in Thailand--the Special Branch. It is only a couple of 100 baht. Takes about 30 minutes to fill out the form and get a picture taken and they mail it in about 2 weeks. The whole process in BKK was 31 March 2009 submitted and visa issued on 23 June 2009.

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Although K-3 Visas serve an important purpose in some situations. For the most part, I try to steer clients toward the IR-1 or CR-1 Visa. In my opinion, the benefit of the expedited visa is outweighed by the fact that adjustment of status is unnecessary with an Immigrant visa and the K-3 requires the filing of a supplemental petition (double the paperwork).

When it used to take three years in some cases for USCIS to adjudicate an I-130 application, the K-3's utility was plainly apparent, but where the difference in processing time is only a matter of months, it creates a situation in which one must weigh speed versus less hassle with adjustment of status in the USA. Also, by entering on a CR-1 IR-1 from the outset, the clock immediately begins ticking with regard to the Thai national's physical presence requirement for naturalization.

The K-3 has other benefits, but where USCIS is efficiently processing I-130 petitions, it is generally good advice to stick with the Immigrant visa.

One interesting phenomenon that I have noticed here in Thailand is visa companies will push those otherwise qualified to file locally into filing for a K-3 in the USA. I think this is due to the fact that only the petitioner or an attorney can go before USCIS, even in Bangkok. Word to the wise: if you have lived in Thailand for more than one year on a visa which implies residence (O, B, ED, F, etc.), the local USCIS office will likely accept the petition and save a great deal of processing time.

I hope this has been informative.

All the best,

Ben Hart

US Immigration Attorney

Integrity Legal

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cash, US $ or baht, credit card or US Postal money order. I had my sister send me the US Postal money order and the cashier appearantly had never seen one before and asked for cash. I asked her to check with a supervisor and showed her the words the money order and the USCIS instructions, but she kept insisting that is was a check. The supervisor had her read the big words across the top of the money order and then she said it was ok.

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