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K2 Visa

The K2 visa allows certain eligible children of K1 fiance(e) visa applicants to come to the United States with the K1 visa holder or to meet the K1 visa holder in the United States later.

Can a K2 visa holder permanently live in the U.S,?

The K2 visa is not permanent and does not provide the visa holder with permanent residency status in the United States. The K2 visa is the nonimmigrant visa available for foreign citizens whose parent is engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. In order to become a permanent U.S. resident (green card holder), K2 visa holders must apply for adjustment of status at the same time as their K1 visa holding parent. Applications for adjustment of status are filed with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the K2 visa holder arrives in the United States. The K2 visa holder must remain unmarried and under the age of 21 throughout their application process for a green card.

Who is Eligible for the K2 visa?

To qualify for the K2 visa, an applicant must be a child of a K1 visa applicant and under the age of 21. Thus, a K2 visa holder must continue to be unmarried and under the age of 21 throughout the application process in order to be admitted to the United States, and must remain unmarried and under the age of 21 throughout their stay in the United States as K2 nonimmigrants.

What is the process for obtaining a K2 visa?

The process for obtaining a K2 visa for eligible children of the K1 visa applicant can occur simultaneously to the K1 visa applicant’s petition, or after.

Generally, the K2 application process involves the same steps as the K1 visa application process.

  1. Step One: Filling out the Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    The first step to receive a K2 visa is for the U.S. citizen fiance(e) to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien fiance(e)(e) with the children seeking a K2 visa must be listed on the form. By filing this form, the U.S. citizen is asking the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to recognize the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the applicant, as well as the parental relationship between the K1 and K2 applicant(s). Eligible children may apply for K2 visas if the Form I-129F is approved for the K1 visa applicant.

    The USCIS will then review the submitted Form I-129F and may request additional information or documentation.

    If the USCIS establishes the applicants’ eligibility for the K1 and K2 visa, the Form I-129F is approved and then sent to the United States Department of State National Visa Center. The approved Form I-129F is valid for four months from the date of approval by the USCIS. A consular officer may extend the validity of the Form I-129F if it expires before processing is complete.

    If the USCIS denies the applicant’s Form I-129F, the applicant will be notified of the reasons why it was denied. Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible, including drug trafficking, overstaying a previous visa, or submitting fraudulent documents. Some ineligibilities may be waived, while others may not.

    After the Form I-129F is approved, each K2 visa applicant must complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application by filling out Form DS-160 and paying the required fee, along with the K1 visa applicant. While completing the Form DS-160, the applicants must upload a photo that meets certain photograph requirements.

  2. Step Two: Schedule Interview at U.S. Embassy or Consulate

    After the National Visa Center receives the approved Form I-129F with each K2 applicant listed, the form will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or consulate nearest to the K1 and K2 visa applicants. The U.S. Embassy or consulate will then notify the applicants of the day and time of their visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate.

  3. Step Three: Prepare for Interview at U.S. Embassy or Consulate

    Any K2 visa applicant(s) over the age of 14 will likely be required to attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the same time as their K1 applicant parent.

    At the interview, the K2 visa applicant(s) and his or her parent will be asked questions to verify their relationship and the K2 applicant’s eligibility.

    The K2 visa applicant(s) should prepare the following documentation to bring with them to the interview:

  4. Step Four: Enter the United States

    After K2 visa(s) are issued to the K1 visa applicant’s children, the Consular Officer will provide the applicants with a passport containing the K2 visa and a sealed packet that contains the documents the K2 visa applicant(s) provided as well as documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The new K2 visa holder(s) must not open the sealed packet. The sealed packet will be opened by the DHS immigration official when the new K2 visa holder(s) enter the United States. The new K2 visa holder must seek entry into the United States within 6 months from the date the visa was issued.

  5. Step Five: After the Marriage

    In order for any K2 children to stay in the United States, the K1 visa holder must marry their U.S. citizen fiance(e) within 90 days of arrival to the United States. After the marriage, the U.S. citizen fiance(e) will need to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to the USCIS for the K1 and K2 visa holder in order for them to become legal permanent residents.

    After the U.S. citizen spouse submits the Form I-485 with accompanying documents, the applications to register for permanent residence are reviewed by the USCIS. Approval of the Form I-485 will grant the foreign citizen spouse and their eligible children a Green Card valid for 10 years.

Can K2 Visa Holders Study and Work in the United States?

Yes. K2 visa holders may study or work full-time or part-time while in the United States. In order for a K2 visa holder to work in the United States, they must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. This form can be filed online or through the mail.

K2 visa holders who are applying for a Green Card for lawful permanent residence can submit Form I-765 when they submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

For How Long is the K2 Visa Valid?

Generally, the K2 visa is valid for 90 days after arrival to the United States. The foreign citizen fiance(e) and his or her U.S. citizen fiance(e) must be married within these 90 days in order for the K1 and K2 visa holders to stay in the United States. If the U.S. citizen fiance(e) and K1 visa holder are not married within 90 days, the K1 and K2 visa holders must leave the United States.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply for the K2 Visa?

  • The Form I-129F filing fee is $535
  • DS-160 fee is $160
  • Potential biometrics fee is $85
  • Embassy fee is $265
  • Form I-485 fee is $1,140
  • Form I-751 fee is $595
  • Medical exam cost varies

Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.