A k-1 visa is a great choice for a US citizen fiancé to come to the United States and marry them. But what if the foreign fiancé has a child(ren) and they also want to come to the United States to attend the marriage. For them, the best visa option is a K-2 visa where the US sponsor can also sponsor their foreign fiance child(ren) if they are under 21 years of age and unmarried. Read this article in full to know everything about the K-2 visa.
What is a K-2 visa?
A K-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the K-1 beneficiary to bring their child(ren) to the US to attend their marriage. Therefore, a K-2 visa is always linked with a K-1 visa and cannot be applied separately. There should always be a K-1 visa beneficiary to apply for a K-2 visa. The K-1 visa beneficiary can bring more than one child on a K-2 visa if the children are under 21 years old and unmarried when they enter the US.
The K-2 visa is a derivative visa that is derived from the status of the k-1 visa holder. This means that as long as the K-1 visa holder is under a valid status, the K-2 status of beneficiaries remains, and if the K-1 visa holder loses their status, the K -2 status of the K-1 child(ren) also becomes invalid.
Who can apply for a K-2 visa?
Because the K-2 visa is a derivative visa, the US sponsor should mention the name of all the people on the I-129F petition who intend to obtain a K-2 visa status. The K-2 visa can be applied by all the children of K-1 visa holders under 21 years of age and unmarried at the time of entry into the United States. However, certain conditions should be fulfilled to get your K-2 visa approved by the United States citizenship and immigration services (USCIS).
- The sponsoring fiance should be a US citizen, and the same person who is sponsoring your parent for a K-1 visa should sponsor you. The US citizen sponsor should mention the name of all the children of their foreign fiancé on Form I-129F whom they intend to invite into the United States.
The couple (the US citizen and the foreign partner) must have fulfilled K-1 visa conditions; otherwise K-2 visa will never be approved by the USCIS because of its derivative nature. The conditions are:
- That the US citizen sponsor and the foreign fiance intend to get married within 90 days of arrival into the United States.
- Both the partners are legally able to marry. This means they are not stopped by law from getting married, such as in the case of previously married. So, if there are any previous marriages of any of the partners, the USCIS will ask for proof of termination of such marriages.
- Both the partners have met once in the last 2 years of the date of application except in cases where such a meeting is not possible because of extreme hardship due to religious, cultural, or social norms.
If you think the above conditions are met, you can proceed to apply for a K-2 visa and hope for the base that USCIS will approve your application. In case you feel confused, Herman Legal Group is always there for you to take help.
What documents do I need for a K-2 visa?
The K visa applicants should submit the following documents to obtain a K-2 visa:
- Evidence of completed Form DS-160 (which is filed online and is called ‘Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application’)
- Birth certificate
- Completed Form I-134
- Affidavit of support and documents of sponsor
- Medical exam results
- Passport size photograph
Do K-2 visa holders have to leave the US after the visa expires?
It is not necessary that K-2 visa holders have to leave the United States after the expiry of their visas. This is because they are privileged to apply for permanent residence after the marriage between the K-1 visa holder and the US citizen is solemnized.
Can K-2 visa holders study or work in the US?
Yes, the K-2 visa holders are allowed to study in the US. Not only that, they can apply for an I-765 Application for employment authorization and work in the US for the period they are staying in the US on a K-2 visa. For I -765 approval, proof of admission into the US is required, which includes a copy of the arrival/departure record and your K visa. Once the I-765 application of K-2 visa holders is approved, they can work for the window of 90 days.
However, if K-2 visa holder wants to extend their work authorization in the United States, they can do so by applying again for employment authorization after the successful marriage of the US citizen and K-1 visa holder. They can apply for another I-765 application along with an adjustment of status application which is Form I-485.
Are there any restrictions on K-2 visa holders?
Yes, like K-1 visa holders are not allowed to change to any other non-immigrant visa while on K-1 status, the similar restriction is applied to K-2 visa holders. That means if you want to change to other non-immigrant visas, such as an H 1b visa for work or a student visa, you cannot do so while in the US. You must go back to your home country and apply for the visa.
Furthermore, it is very hard to get your K-2 visa application approved by the USCIS if you have committed any previous immigration violations.
Is there any K-2 visa interview?
Yes, if you are a K visa applicant, the final step in the application process is to get through your K visa interview. Your interview will be conducted at a US consulate or embassy, and you will be notified about the interview through a letter from US Embassy or consulate.
The embassy or consulate will start the interview process once the USCIS approves your I 129F application and send it to the US Department of State National visa center (NVC), and NVC will forward such approval to the concerned US consulate or embassy, who will then start your visa process. Once you get the letter from the embassy, you can schedule your visa interview on the official website.
What is the cost of a K-2 visa?
The K-2 visa costs are similar to the K-1 visa, and some fees may not be needed to pay again for all the K applicants. The fees are:
- Filing Fee for Form I – 129F – The application has to be submitted once for all the K applicants, and the fee needs to be paid once only. Therefore, K-1 applicants and K-2 applicants can share the cost of the I-129F application. The total fee of Form I 129F is $535.
- Visa application fee/embassy fee – This is the cost of filing Form DS 160 or online nonimmigrant visa application fees. The fee is $265 and has to be paid to all the applicants separately.
- Medical Examination Fees – The cost of medical examination fees depends on the country to country. You may have to pay anywhere between $50-$250, which could be more or less. The medical fee is also to be paid by each K applicant separately.
- Other Fees – There could be other fees such as translation costs, travel expenses, etc.
Consider all these fees before you decide to bring your child(ren) to the US on a K-2 visa.
I am a K-2 visa holder and want to travel to the US before my parent (K-1 visa holder). Can I do so?
The K-2 visa holders are not allowed to travel to the United States before the K-1 visa holder. They can only travel to the US either with their parents or at a later date.
How can Herman Legal Group help you?
If you are a K applicant or US citizen and want to sponsor your fiancé for a K visa or to apply for them to register for permanent residence in the US, don’t feel alone in the process. We know the process can be overwhelming and complicated; that’s why experts from Herman Legal Group are there to help you in every step of your application process.
Seek out counsel from the Herman Legal Group, a U.S. immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in representing individuals, families, and companies in all aspects of immigration law, in all 50 states and around the world.
We provide comprehensive immigration services in US immigration laws. Schedule a consultation with one of the experienced immigration lawyers by calling 1-216-696-6170, or by booking online. Consultations can be conducted by zoom, skype, whatsapp, facetime, or in-office.