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K4 Visa

The K4 visa allows eligible children of K3 visa applicants to enter into and stay in the United States. The K4 visa permits the visa holder to immigrate to the United States to stay with their foreign citizen parent (the K3 visa holder) and their parent’s U.S. citizen spouse until legal permanent resident status can be obtained. .

Can a K4 visa holder permanently live in the U.S,?

The K4 visa is not permanent, but allows the children of a foreign citizen who is married to a U.S. citizen to enter the United States. The K4 visa holding children may apply for permanent resident status at the same time as their foreign citizen parent. In order to become a permanent U.S. resident, K4 visa holders must apply for adjustment of status with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after arriving in the United States. Children who have been issued a K4 visa may still travel on the K4 visa even if their K3 visa holding parent has already adjusted their status to legal permanent resident.

Who is Eligible for the K4 visa?

To qualify for the K4 visa, an applicant must be a child under the age of 21 to a K3 visa applicant. Thus, a K4 visa holder must continue to be unmarried and under the age of 21 in order to be admitted to the United States and throughout their stay in the United States as K4 nonimmigrants.

What is the process for obtaining a K4 visa?

The process for obtaining a K4 visa for eligible children of the K3 visa applicant can occur simultaneously to the K3 visa applicant’s petition, or after.

Generally, the K4 application process involves the same steps as the K3 visa application process.

  1. Step One: Filling out Form I-129F, Form I-130, and Form DS-160 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    When the U.S. citizen spouse submits the Form I-129F, the children seeking a K4 visa must be listed on the form. A separate Form I-130 must be filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for each K4 visa child applicant.

    Eligible children may apply for K4 visas once the Form I-129F is approved for the K3 visa applicant(s). If the K4 visa applicant’s Form I-130 is approved before or at the same time as the Form I-129F, then the K4 visa applicant(s) may also forgo the K4 visa and immediately qualify for an immigrant visa.

    If the Form I-129F is approved before the Form I-130, approval of the Form I-129F applies to all eligible K4 visa applicant(s) listed. However, each K4 visa applicant must have his or her own Form DS-160 completed and submitted, and each must pay the required fee.

  2. Step Two: Attend an Interview at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy

    The K4 visa applicant(s) over the age of 14 will likely be required to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to them, along with his or her foreign citizen parent.

    At the interview, the K4 visa applicant and his or her parent will be asked questions to verify their relationship and the K4 applicant’s eligibility.

    The K4 visa applicant should bring the following documents to the interview:

  3. Step Three: Entering the United States

    After the K4 visa is approved to receive the visa, the Consular Officer will provide the applicant with a passport containing the K4 visa and a sealed packet that contains the documents the applicant provided as well as documents prepared by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The new K4 visa holder must not open the sealed packet. The sealed packet will be opened by the DHS immigration official when the new K4 visa holder enters the United States with their K3 visa holding foreign citizen parent . The new K4 visa holder must seek entry into the United States within 6 months from the date the visa was issued.

    The K4 visa holder may enter the United States at the same time as their parent or may enter the United States at a later date, so long as entry is made within the validity period of the K4 visa. The K4 visa holder may join their K3 visa holding parent in the United States based on the same petition so long as the K4 visa holder joins the K3 visa holder within one year from the date the K3 visa was issued. If the K3 visa holder’s child(ren) seeks entry more than one year from the date the K3 visa was issued, they may not use the K4 visa and apply for an immigrant visa petition instead.

  4. Step Four:Application to Adjust Status to Legal Permanent Resident

    After the K4 visa holder(s) arrives in the United States, the U.S. citizen spouse will need to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to the USCIS so that the K4 visa holder can become a legal permanent resident.

    While a K4 visa holder must generally apply for adjustment of status before they turn 21 years old, the Child Status Protection Act may allow the K4 visa holder to apply for adjustment of status after their 21st birthday if the U.S. citizen spouse (the K4 visa holder’s spouse) filed Form I-130 on the K4 visa holder’s behalf before the K4 visa holder turned 21 years old.

    After the U.S. citizen spouse submits the Form I-485 with accompanying documents, the application to register for permanent residence is reviewed by the USCIS. The K4 visa holder is usually required to appear for an interview, along with their foreign citizen parent and the U.S. citizen spouse. Approval of the Form I-485 will grant the K4 visa holder a Green Card valid for 10 years.

Can K4 Visa Holders Study in the United States?

Yes. K4 visa holders may study full-time or part-time at all levels of education while in the United States so long as the original conditions of the K4 visa are adhered to. K4 visa holders are not permitted to change their status to a nonimmigrant student visa, or any other nonimmigrant visa category. If the educational program lasts longer than the period of validity for the K4 visa, the visa holder will have to receive legal permanent resident status to continue the educational program. Continuing education is not a valid basis for extending the K4 visa.

Can K4 Visa Holders Work in the United States?

In order for a K4 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.

K4 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 K4 Visa Valid?

The K4 visa is valid for two years or until the day before the K4 visa holder’s 21st birthday, whichever occurs first. The K4 visa will expire when the visa holder turns 21 years old.

How much does it cost to get a K4 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 $750-$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.