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K-2 Visa: Bringing Children of K-1 Fiancé(e) to the U.S.

Planning to marry a U.S. citizen and want your children to join you in the United States? The K-2 visa allows unmarried children under 21 to accompany or follow to join their K-1 visa-holding parent.

In this guide, we’ll learn the K-2 visa process, from eligibility to application, ensuring your family stays united as you start your new life in the U.S. Let’s dive into the details.

What is a K-2 Visa? 

The K-2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the children of a foreign fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. It allows the children to accompany their parents to the U.S. for the purpose of marriage and subsequent residency.

The K-2 Visa is issued concurrently with the K-1 Visa granted to the foreign fiancé(e). After the marriage, the K-2 visa holder can apply for permanent residency (a green card) in the U.S. States.  

Can a K-2 visa holder permanently live in the U.S,?

This is not permanent and does not provide the visa holder with permanent residency status in the United States. This 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), The holders must apply for adjustment of status at the same time as their K-1 visa-holding parent. Applications for adjustment of status are filed with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after The holder arrives in the United States. 

Who is Eligible for This? 

To qualify for This, an applicant must be a child of a K-1 visa applicant and under the age of 21.  Thus, such a holder must continue to be unmarried and under the age of 21 throughout the application process to be admitted to the United. 

What is the process for obtaining a K-2 visa? 

The process for obtaining such a visa for eligible children of the K-1 visa applicant can occur simultaneously with the K-1 visa applicant’s petition or afterward.

Generally, the K-2 application process involves the same steps as the K-1 visa application process.

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

The first step to receive this is for the U.S. citizen fiance(e) to file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien fiance(e)(e) with the children seeking this 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 K-1 and K-2 applicant(s). Eligible children may apply for this visa if the Form I-129F is approved for the K-1 visa applicant. 

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

If the USCIS establishes the applicant’s eligibility for the K-1 and K-2 visa, 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 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 Form I-129F is approved, each applicant must complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application by filling out Form DS-160 and paying the required fee, along with the K-1 visa applicant.

While completing Form DS-160, the applicants must upload a photo that meets certain photograph requirements.

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

After the National Visa Center receives the approved Form I-129F with each K-2 applicant listed, the form will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or consulate nearest to the K-1 and K-2 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. 

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

Any 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 K-1 applicant parent.  

At the interview, This applicant(s) and his or her parent will be asked questions to verify their relationship and the K-2 applicant’s eligibility. 

This  applicant(s) should prepare the following documentation to bring with them to the interview: 

Step Four: Enter the United States 

After K-2 visa(s) are issued to the K-1 visa applicant’s children, the Consular Officer will provide the applicants with a passport containing This and a sealed packet that contains the documents.

This applicant(s) provided as well as documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  The new K-2 visa holder(s) must not open the sealed packet.  The sealed packet will be opened by the DHS immigration official when the new K-2 visa holder(s) enter the United States. The new K-2 visa holder must seek entry into the United States within 6 months from the date the visa was issued.  

Step Five: After the Marriage

In order for any K-2 children to stay in the United States, the K-1 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 K-1 and K-2 visa holder in order for them to become legal permanent residents. 

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

FAQs

Can K-2 Visa Holders Study and Work in the United States? 

Yes. K-2 visa holders may study or work full-time or part-time while in the United States. In order for a K-2 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. 

K-2 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 This  Valid? 

Generally, This 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 K-1 and K-2 visa holders to stay in the United States.  If the U.S. citizen fiance(e) and K-1 visa holder are not married within 90 days, the K-1 and K-2 visa holders must leave the United States. 

How Much Does it Cost to Apply for This? 

  • Form I-129F filing fee: $535 
  • DS-160 fee paid to State Department: $265 
  • Medical examination fee: Varies by provider 
  • Form I-485 filing fee for adjustment of status after marriage: $1,140 
  • Biometrics fee for I-485 filing: $85

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.