A K-2 visa permits children of a K-1 fiance visa holder to enter into the United States until an immigrant visa is available to them. In order to be eligible for one of these nonimmigrant visas, the applicant must be under the age of 21 and be an unmarried child of the K-1 applicant.
Children of a fiancé(e) have the opportunity to be granted a K-2 visa from his/her parent’s fiancé(e) petition. The United States citizen who is petitioning is mandated to have the names of the children on the I-129F petition. Once the fiancé(e) and American Citizen are married, the children of the fiancé(e) are required to obtain a separate Application to Register Permanent Residence (Form I-485) or an Adjustment of Status.
The children have the option to either accompany the K-1 parent or join the K-1 parent within one year from the visa’s date of issuance. Another petition is not obligated if the children follow either of the previously stated options. If the child(ren) bypasses the one year limit then a separate immigrant visa petition will be necessary. Again, for the child to qualify for the K-2 visa, he/she is required to be unmarried. Also, the marriage between the fiancé(e) and U.S. citizen is mandated to occur before the child reaches 21 years of age. Previously, the age limit was 18, but the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) extended that to 21 years old.
Click here to read Fiance Visa vs Spouse Visa.
Benefits of K-2 Visa
There are a number of advantageous that the K-2 visa creates. On a K-2 visa, you may live in the United States with your parent until their marriage occurs. You can apply for work documents, otherwise known as an EAD by completing and submitting Form I-765. You are allowed to study in the country and apply for permanent residence once the K-1 visa holder marries the U.S. citizen. It’s best to contact a K-2 visa lawyer to learn about other privileges exclusive to a K-2 visa holder.
Limitation of K-2 Visa
There are a few drawbacks with this visa. You may not change to another nonimmigrant status or enter into the country if you have a previous immigration violation which has temporarily or permanently barred you from the U.S. If your find yourself in this situation, contact a K-2 visa lawyer immediately to explore alternative options.
K-2 Visa Requirements
The following K-2 visa forms are required for a K-2 visa application:
- Form DS-160 (completed online) submitted with recent photograph
- Passport (valid)
- Copy of birth certificate
- Completed Form I-134, Affidavit of Support and sponsor documents
- Medical exam
There are other documents required which may vary from case to case. Contact a K-2 visa lawyer to learn what those are.
K-2 Visa Interview
The U.S. Consulate or Embassy that is processing the K-1 fiancé(e)’s visa will likely require all K-2 children over the age of 14 to attend the consular interview along with his or her parent. This might also include asking the child questions to help verify the fiancé(e)’s relationship with the U.S. citizen, so keep this in mind before appearing for your interview.
Here are some sample questions that may be asked:
- What is the name of the person that your parent is going to marry?
- Have you ever met the person?
- Can you tell me anything about this person?
As with all consular interviews (and all immigration dealings), honesty is the best policy. Answering “I don’t know” to a question is far better than making up an answer or exaggerating the truth, since that could easily affect your ability to apply for further visas or to adjust your status to legal permanent resident.
K-2 Processing Time
The processing times for any visa or green card are rarely set in stone. These times usually vary based on the caseload of the service center that is processing your petition. On average, however, the I-129F takes between four and six months to process.
Even though premium processing (the optional service that expedites your processing time to 15 calendar days) is made available for many visas and green cards that use the I-129 and I-140 petitions, the K-2 makes use of the I-129F, which is not eligible for premium processing.
On the whole, expect your K-2 visa processing time to be as long as it takes to adjudicate the fiancé(e)’s K-1 visa since the two are connected.
How Much Does a K-2 Visa Cost?
The K-2 has several costs attached to it including:
- The I-129F filing fee of $535
- A possible biometrics fee of $85
- A possible fee from the embassy of $265
Other costs may include travel expenses as well as attorney fees. To view our flat K-2 rates, you can visit our fees page.
K-2 Visa to Green Card
The process of obtaining legal permanent residence through the K fiancé(e) visa is relatively straightforward. Marrying a U.S. citizen makes you an immediate relative of that citizen, and there are certain benefits to having this designation. Unlike other family-based green cards (such as the F1 or F2), which require you to wait until your priority date is considered current before filing to adjust your status, the USCIS states that “immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are always immediately available”.
This means that, as long as you and your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) are married within 90 days of your arrival in the U.S., an immigrant visa number will be available right away without having to mess with priority dates. To apply, you need to file an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This can take about six months to process and premium processing is not available. You need to file an application for you and for each one of your K-2 children.
Once your I-485 is approved, you will become a legal permanent resident and your marriage-based green card will be mailed to you along with green cards for your K-2 children in the following six months.
If you are over the age of 21 and unmarried, you will no longer be considered an immediate family member. You will instead be eligible for the F1 green card. However, this visa is subject to priority date waiting times, which can be up to several years depending on your country of origin.
K-2 Visa FAQs
Below are a number of K-2 visa frequently asked questions. For additional questions, contact one of our K-2 visa lawyers for further details.
Q. What is the time limit on a K-2 visa?
On a K-2 visa, you are allowed to stay in the United States for a maximum of 90 days, beginning on the day you enter.
Q. What happens if my parent (K-1 visa holder) doesn’t marry their fiancé?
If the K-1 parent visa holder does not get married within the 90 day window, the K-2 visa holder must leave the U.S. within 30 days.
Q. Are you allowed to extend your visit on a K-2 visa?
On a K-2 visa, you may not file for an extension of stay if for whatever reason your K-1 visa holder parent does not get married.
Q. Are you permitted to study or work on a K-2 visa?
You may study and work in the United States on a K-2 visa. In order to work you’ll be required to file the appropriate documents to receive Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Children do not need separate Petition for Alien Relative, I-130 petitions, but the petitioner, must take care to name all his/her children on the Petition for Alien Fiance, I-129F petition.
The petitioner must file separate I-130 immigrant visa petitions for his/her children before they qualify for permanent residence. When they adjust status in the United States, they must file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status with the USCIS Office that serves the area where the petitioner lives. In immigration law children must be unmarried and under 21 years of age.
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
The process of obtaining a K-2 visa and the process of adjusting your status to a green card is a long and complicated process. Making a simple error on a petition or filing the wrong fee to the wrong place can delay your immigration, costing you both time and money. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to hire an immigration attorney to help you with your case
The experience team of family-based immigration lawyers here at SGM Law Group have been helping people like you make the transition to the U.S. through marriage for years. From filing the petition to dealing with any obstacles that might come up, we will be with you every step of the way.
To get in touch with one of our attorneys, you can complete this simple contact form and schedule your consultation with our office today. If you are an immigrant fiance that would like to bring your children with you to the U.S., then the K-2 visa is the route to take.