Integrity Legal

23rd Oct 2010

Those American Citizens with Indian husbands or wives often research issues surrounding the US K-3 marriage visa category in an effort to make informed decisions about American travel documentation. Although the term “K-3 visa” has become a common buzzword used as a colloquial synonym for US Marriage Visa on the World Wide Web, the K-3 category was not always the widely utilized travel document for Indian-American couples reuniting in the United States as the Immigrant visa categories often referred to as CR-1 and/or IR-1 visas were once the only travel documents available to the spouses of American Citizens wishing to take up residence in the USA (note: the IR-1 visa category predates the CR-1 visa category as conditional lawful permanent residence status has not always been imposed upon foreign spouses of US Citizens married less than 2 years).

There was a rather significant backlog of Immigrant visa petitions at the agency now commonly referred to as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) when the K3 visa category was created by Congressional legislation sometimes called the “Life Act” which was signed and executed by President William Jefferson Clinton prior to leaving office toward the end of his term (the K-4 visa, similar to the K2 derivative visa attached to the K1 visa, was a derivative visa category also created by the “Life Act” to be utilized by the children of an Indian K-3 spouse).

Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service does not have the backlog that it once had of Immigrant spousal visa petitions. As a result, the K-3′s utility has been increasingly marginalized as the estimated processing time for CR-1 visa petitions and IR-1 visa petitions has decreased. Relatively recently, the American State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) promulgated the policy that K-3 visa applications would be administratively closed if and/or when the adjudicated immigrant visa petition arrives at NVC before or with the supplemental K-3 visa petition. This policy has likely lead to some Indian-American married couples to seek Immigrant visa benefits rather than K-3 visa benefits as “administrative closure” precluded further processing of the K-3 visa petition and application.

Those interested in the K3 visa process or the Immigrant visa process are well advised to research all options prior to making any irrevocable decisions. Furthermore, those seeking immigration advice and/or representation should check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American immigration matters as only licensed American attorneys may practice American immigration law pursuant to U.S. law.

Fore related information please see: K3 Visa India or K1 Visa India.

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