Integrity Legal

13th September 2009

An extremely common topic on this blogs involves the US K1 visa. The K1 visa is designed for fiances of American Citizens. This visa allows the foreign fiancee to travel to the United States of America for the express purpose of getting married and adjusting status to lawful  permanent resident. It is a “dual intent” visa meaning that it is non-immigrant, and therefore temporary, but converting to an Immigrant visa is statutorily allowed and in a way somewhat encouraged as K1 visa holders who leave the United States cannot reenter on the same K1 without first obtaining permission to do so, this permission is known as advance parole.

With this in mind, there is another visa related to the K1 fiance visa. This visa is referred to as the K2 visa. A K2 visa is designed for the children of the holder of a K1 visa. It is a “derivative visa,” in that the benefits conferred in the K2 visa are entirely dependent upon the K1 visa holder’s status. For example, if a Thai fiancee has a child and they are each applying for a K1 visa and K2 visa respectively, then if the K1 visa application is denied the K2 application will be summarily denied as well.

The K2 visa is also derivative in that it “piggy backs” on the K1 visa during the adjustment of status process. This means that if the K1 visa holder and the K2 visa holder enter the United States together, then they ought to adjust their status at the same time as the process is likely to be more streamlined.

Those holding a United States K2 visa must abide by the same conditions as one holding a K1 visa. The K2 visa is non-immigrant, but the dual intent doctrine applies (this allows for the visa holder to intend to adjust status upon entry). Further, the K2 is also a single entry visa, so the K2 holder would also need to obtain advance parole before leaving the United States. The derivative nature of the K2 creates a difficult situation if the K1 holder leaves the United States without obtaining advance parole. In this situation, the K2 holder would fall out of status the moment the K1 holder leaves and falls out of status. That being said, unlawful presence generally does not accrue against minor children so the child in the US unlawfully would likely not be barred from later reentering based upon a legal grounds of inadmissibility due to an overstay.

It should also be noted that the K2 beneficiary will need to accompany their parent to the K1 visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok. In all likelihood, the Consular officer will not wish to speak with the child, but they will want to physically see them.


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