What is a K-2 visa?
A K-2 visa allows the minor children (under the age of 21) of K-1 visa holders to enter the U.S. to join their parents.
A K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign national, who is engaged to a U.S. citizen, to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married.
After entering the U.S. on a K-1 visa, the foreign fiancé(e) must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of arrival.
After the marriage, the foreign fiancé(e) and his/her children can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Who is eligible to apply for a K-2 visa?
To be eligible for a K-2 visa, an individual must meet the following requirements:
- Relationship to the K-1 Visa Applicant: The K-2 visa is for the unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the K-1 fiancé(e) visa applicant
- Age Limit: The child must be under the age of 21 at the time of filing the petition.
- Filing Deadline: The child’s visa application must be made within 1 year of the date the parent’s K-1 visa was issued
- Consular Processing: The K-2 visa application is typically processed at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where the K-1 visa applicant will be interviewed.
How to apply for a K-2 visa?
Applying for a K-2 visa involves the following steps:
Step 1. File Form I-129F:
- The U.S. citizen petitioner must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with USCIS. Children can be listed on the same application
- A separate Form I-129F is not required for K-2 children
Step 2. Wait for USCIS Approval:
- USCIS will review the petition and, if approved, will send a Notice of Action (Form I-797) to the petitioner.
Step 3. Forwarding Petition to U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
- The National Visa Center will forward the approved Form I-129F petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s home country.
- The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will contact the K-2 applicant via email with further instructions
Step 4. Applying for a K-2 Visa:
- The child will need to complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and pay the required visa application fee.
- The child will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
- The child must gather the required original documents. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will provide a detailed checklist of required documents via email
Step 5. Schedule and Attend Visa Interview:
- Once all the documents required for an interview are prepared, the applicant contacts the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Interview scheduling instructions may vary
- Interview is scheduled and an interview notice is sent to the applicant
- The K-2 visa applicant, along with the K-1 visa applicant attends a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- During the interview, the consular officer will review the application and supporting documents.
Step 6. Visa Approval:
- If the visa is approved, the child will be issued a K-2 visa.
Step 7. Travel to the U.S.:
- Once the K-2 visa is issued, the child can travel to the U.S.
Step 8. Parent’s marriage and Adjustment of Status:
- The child’s parent must marry the U.S. citizen within 90 days of the arrival to the U.S.
- The child can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) along with the K-1 visa applicant.
Step 9. Removal of Conditions (if applicable):
- If the child obtains a conditional 2-year green card, the child’s parent must file a joint Form I-751 petition with the U.S. citizen spouse
- Form I-751 must be filed 90 days before the expiration date of a 2-year conditional green card
- If the child obtains a 10-year green card, no additional action is required
K-2 visa filing fees
The filing fees for the K-2 visa application process include:
K-2 visa checklist of required documents
The following documents must be submitted with the K-2 visa application:
Examples of acceptable documents
Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
|Proof of petitioner’s US citizenship
|At least one of the following documents:
|Proof that the U.S. citizen and fiancé(e) have met each other in person within the last 2 years
|Additional evidence that the couple are in a bona fide relationship and intend to marry each other within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the U.S.
|If either the U.S. Citizen and/or the fiancé(e) has previously been married
|Passport style photographs
|Evidence of any name changes for either the U.S. citizen or the fiancé(e)
|Child’s birth certificate
DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
|U.S. passport-style photograph
Interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate
Note: all documents in a foreign language must be translated into English
|Proof of parent’s previous marriage termination
|Proof of parent’s relationship to the U.S. citizen sponsor
|DS-160 confirmation page
|U.S. passport-style photographs
|Medical examination results
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
|Parent’s marriage certificate
|DS 3025 vaccination records
K-2 visa processing times
K-2 visa processing times can vary depending on several factors, including the workload of the U.S. embassy or consulate, the country where the application is processed, and the specific circumstances of the case.
According to the USCIS average processing times, it can take anywhere from 10 months to 19 months to obtain a K-2 visa:
USCIS Processing Time (Form I-129F):
- California Service Center: 15.5 months
- Nebraska Service Center: 5.5 months
- Potomac Service Center: 14 months
- Texas Service Center: 12.5 months
- Vermont Service Center: 8 months
NVC Processing Time:
- 1-3 months
- Once the National Visa Center (NVC) receives an approved Form I-129F petition, it will assign a case number and forward the case to the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
Embassy/Consulate Processing Time:
- 1-5 months (estimated)
- The U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where the K-2 visa applicant will have their interview will process the case further.
- The time it takes for the embassy or consulate to schedule and conduct the visa interview can vary.
- 1-2 weeks
- If the visa is approved, the K-2 visa will be issued.
- The timing for visa issuance depends on the individual circumstances of the case (if any documentation is missing)
Adjustment of Status:
- 12-13 months after Form I-485 is submitted to USCIS
Adjustment of Status for K-2 visa holders
After entering the U.S. on a K-2 visa, the child can apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Here is an overview of the process:
Marriage within 90 Days:
- The K-1 parent must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entering the U.S. The marriage must take place before the expiration of the K-1 visa.
File Form I-485:
- After the K-1 parent obtains the marriage certificate, the child can file Form I-485 with K-2 status to permanent resident status
- Learn how to fill out Form I-485
- See what documents are required: Form I-485 Checklist of Required Documents
- After filing Form I-485, the K-2 visa holder will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature.
- Attending this appointment is mandatory. Failure to provide biometric information might lead to Form I-485 application denial.
Work Authorization (Optional):
- While the adjustment of status application is pending, the K-2 visa holder may also apply for work authorization (Form I-765) to legally work in the U.S.
- Form I-765 is typically filed together with Form I-485
- Learn how to fill out Form I-765
Interview with USCIS:
- USCIS may schedule an interview as part of the adjustment of status process. During the interview, the couple may be asked questions to verify the legitimacy of the marriage.
Receive Green Card:
- If the adjustment of status application is approved, the K-2 visa holder will receive a green card
Removal of Conditions (if applicable):
- If the K-2 visa holder’s green card is conditional and valid for 2 years only, the child’s parent must file a joint petition to remove conditions (Form I-751) within the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires.