Integrity Legal

22nd Apr 2009

Strategic Uses for K3 Visas

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The Role of the K3 Visa

I have written before about how the usefulness of the K3 Visa is somewhat questionable now that the processing times for both the K3 and CR-1 visas are relatively similar. However, this does not mean that the K3 Visa does not have its uses.

First, the K3 is still an expedited visa and it may be very useful where a couple is already married, but truly wishes to get the immigrant spouse to the United States as quickly as possible. Other positive aspects of the K3 include the fact that it is a non-immigrant visa that has multiple entries, so if the foreign spouse is not particularly interested in working there may be some tax benefits to using a K3 rather than taking permanent residence and thus possibly being liable for more US taxes as a green card holder (this is speculation as I am not a tax expert, so if this idea is appealing first check with an American tax attorney before making any decisions in this regard).

All of these benefits are fairly negligible when compared to the dual facts that a K3 takes longer than a K1 Visa, but does not grant permanent residence to the beneficiary like the CR-1 or IR-1 Visa. The fact is, the K-3′s original raison d’etre is gone: the Immigrant visas no longer take a great deal more time to process and therefore there is really no need for an expedited us marriage visa.

Strategic Use of the K3 Visa For an Unmarried Couple

The K3 has one major strategic advantage over the K1 and Immigrant visas, namely: the right to pick your Embassy for interview. Normally, a US visa will be adjudicated by a consular officer with a diplomatic mission in a fiancee or spouse’s home country (her country of nationality). Some people, for whatever reason, wish to use an Embassy other than their home country Embassy. There are myriad legitimate reasons for wishing to do this, but the usual reason revolves around the fact that a foreign fiancee or spouse may be working in a country other than their home country. This can pose problems because the 3rd country US Embassy may not take jurisdiction over the foreign spouse forcing them to come to their home country for interview, and should a 221 g be issued, a delay may result.

Embedded in the statute promulgating the K3 is a mechanism whereby a couple can choose which Embassy they wish to have jurisdiction over the eventual interview. If not yet married then it may be possible for a couple to use the K3 in order to choose the Embassy they wish to use at interview time. For an issue such as this it is prudent to contact a licensed attorney in order to obtain competent legal advice.  It may be wise to contact an American attorney in Bangkok in order to assist with the process in Thailand.

Note: None of the above should be used as a substitute for legal advice from a competent Licensed US Immigration Attorney in your jurisdiction.

For more please see us visa thailand or us embassy thailand

or contact Integrity Legal by email at [email protected]

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