I have heard that USCIS is no longer processing K-3 visas, is that correct

U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors in Bangkok, Thailand answers frequently asked complex American Visa questions

Question: I have heard that USCIS is no longer processing K-3 visas, is that correct.

Answer by U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors in Bangkok Thailand: USCIS has not made any official statement regarding K-3 visas as of the date of this writing. However, due to the volume of visas our firm processes and our experience with K-3 and CR-1 or IR-1 visas we can report the following: Observing USCIS practices with the processing of K-3 visas over the last two years we have seen USCIS slowly moving away from this visa type.

Here is what happens when one attempts to process a K-3 visa: USCIS has always required a CR-1/IR-1 visa petition be filed in advance of a K-3 visa petition being filed. When filing a K-3 visa petition a I-797 receipt notice (NOA1) must be submitted evidencing the previous filing of the CR-1/IR-1 visa petition.

Initially, USCIS made it difficult or impossible to file the K-3 visa petition by providing the NOA1 late or by not providing the NOA1. In some cases they would provide it late, several months after the CR-1/IR-1 visa had been processing. In this case the CR-1/IR-1 would be approved first thereby canceling the K-3 visa petition. In other cases the USCIS would not provide the NOA1 making it impossible to file the K-3.

Lately, USCIS will provide the NOA1 in a timely manner and process the CR-1/IR-1 and K-3 visa petitions concurrently and approve both on the same day. By approving both at the same time the K-3 visa petition is automatically canceled.

From our point of view it is not difficult to understand why USCIS has implemented this practice. We have never seen much point in the K-3 visa. Its intent was to enable the spouse of a US citizen to travel to America quickly and complete the adjustment of status to permanent resident in America similar to a K-1 fiancee visa. But with the additional requirement to file a CR-1/IR-1 visa petition first, and submit evidence of that filing with the K-3 visa petition, the process was slowed and thereby eliminating the point of the entire exercise.

Our firm “U.S. Immigration Legal Advisors” has never recommended K-3 visas because the CR-1/IR-1 is far superior. Processing of a CR-1/IR-1 visa includes the beneficiaries: visa, green card, and social security number/card. The green card and social security card automatically arrive at the beneficiaries US address after the beneficiaries arrival in the US. In addition, the beneficiaries passport is stamped upon arrival in the US with a temporary one year green card making travel outside of America and re-entry into America possible immediately.

Visa, green card, and social security number all being processed at the same time and delivered automatically to your home address with reasonable processing at USCIS and NVC, and only one interview. In comparison the K-3 visa requires three appearances, two interviews, and multiple filings. One can easily see the CR-1/IR-1 is the better option.

We continue to monitor this situation and will report any changes.

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