Integrity Legal

15th October 2010

Those American Citizens with an Indonesian spouse sometimes posit: “Would it be possible for me to obtain a K3 visa for my Indonesian husband or wife?” Although, the answer to this question is not exactly “cut and dried” it is a qualified No. However, this does not necessarily mean that there is not another US Marriage Visa category available to the Indonesian husband or wife of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

The reason that a K3 marriage visa is likely unavailable to the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen (K visas are not available to lawful permanent residents, this includes the popular K1 visa which is often used to bring fiances of American Citizens back to the USA) is due to the fact that the US State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) has promulgated a policy whereby all K3 Visa applications will be administratively closed if the I-129f petition arrives contemporaneously with, or before, the arrival of an I-130 petition. As the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has recently reduced their backlog when adjudicating I-130 petitions this has lead to a situation where I-130 petitions are arriving at NVC prior to their I-129f counterparts. In a way, circumstances as they exist under the aforementioned scenario negate the need for the K3 visa in most situations.

The K3 visa was created under the language of the so-called “Life Act” which was promulgated during the latter part of the Clinton Administration. At that time, the backlog of I-130 petitions was rather large and the K3 visa was created to allow expedited marriage visa processing for the spouses of US Citizens. As technology improved and USCIS overcame their I-130 backlog the USCIS processing time for the K3 visa and the Immigrant visa categories (CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa) came into alignment. Therefore, the K3 visa became somewhat redundant and the National Visa Center seems to have made the decision to “phase out” these types of visas when they are no longer needed.

This does not mean that American marriage visas are no longer available at all. Instead, more and more couples seek visa benefits by using the classic I-130 petition. This petition, if approved, can be used to obtain a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa for the spouse of an American Citizen (Lawful Permanent Residents are eligible to petition for CR1 or IR1 immigration benefits, but it generally takes longer to process such requests). Currently, it takes approximately 11-12 months to obtain an Immigrant visa for the Indonesian spouse of a US Citizen taking into account USCIS adjudication (currently taking approximately 5-6 months), NVC processing, and Consular Processing at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.

For related information please see: K1 Visa Indonesia or K3 Visa Indonesia.


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