K-2 Visa: Bringing Your Children to the US as Dependents

Overview of K-2 Visa

If you are the child of a K-1 nonimmigrant visa holder, you may be eligible for a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. This visa allows you to travel to the United States to join your parent and accompany them during their stay.

The K-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that it does not provide a direct path to permanent residency or citizenship. However, if you are eligible, you may be able to apply for an immigrant visa in the future.

To be eligible for a K-2 visa, you must be under the age of 21 and unmarried. You must also be the child of a K-1 visa holder and listed on their approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

To apply for a K-2 visa, your parent must first file a Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, you can then apply for the K-2 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.

It is important to note that the K-2 visa application process can be complex and may require significant documentation and evidence. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the process.

Overall, the K-2 visa can be a valuable option for children of K-1 visa holders who wish to accompany their parent to the United States. However, it is important to carefully consider all aspects of the visa and seek professional guidance before proceeding with the application process.

Eligibility Criteria

To obtain a K-2 visa for your child, they must meet certain eligibility criteria. This section will outline the requirements for child and fiancé(e) eligibility.

Child Eligibility

To be eligible for a K-2 visa, your child must meet the following criteria:

  • Be under 21 years of age and unmarried
  • Be the child of a U.S. citizen who is the petitioner for the K-1 visa
  • Intend to enter the U.S. to join the K-1 parent

Fiancé(e) Eligibility

To be eligible for a K-2 visa, your fiancé(e) must meet the following criteria:

  • Be the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen who is the petitioner for the K-1 visa
  • Intend to enter the U.S. to marry the K-1 petitioner within 90 days of arrival
  • Not have any legal impediments to marriage, such as being married to someone else

It’s important to note that the K-2 visa is only available to unmarried children under the age of 21 and the fiancé(e) of the K-1 petitioner. If your child is over the age of 21 or married, they may not be eligible for the K-2 visa. Similarly, if you are not a U.S. citizen or if you are not petitioning for a K-1 visa, your child or fiancé(e) may not be eligible for the K-2 visa.

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, your child or fiancé(e) will also need to complete the necessary forms and attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. It’s important to ensure that all forms are completed accurately and that all required documentation is provided to avoid any delays in the visa application process.

Application Process

The K-2 visa application process involves several steps, including petition filing, form submission, and an interview process. Here’s what you need to know about each step:

Petition Filing

The first step in the K-2 visa application process is to file a petition for your child with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To do this, you’ll need to fill out Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This form must be filed by the U.S. citizen parent on behalf of their child.

Form Submission

Once your petition is approved, you’ll need to submit Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, for your child. This form is used to collect information about your child, including their biographic data and the purpose of their trip to the United States.

In addition to Form DS-160, you may also need to submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. This form is used to show that you have enough financial resources to support your child during their stay in the United States.

Interview Process

After you’ve submitted all the necessary forms, your child will need to attend an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. During the interview, a consular officer will ask your child questions about their background and purpose for travel.

It’s important to note that the interview process can vary depending on the embassy or consulate your child is applying through. Some consulates may require additional documentation or have different procedures, so it’s important to check with the specific consulate for their requirements.

Overall, the K-2 visa application process can be complex and time-consuming. However, by following the necessary steps and providing all the required documentation, you can help ensure a smooth process for your child’s visa application.

Required Documentation

To apply for a K-2 visa, you will need to provide several documents that prove your identity, relationship, and eligibility. Here are the most common documents required:

  • Passport: You and your children must have valid passports that will not expire for at least six months after the intended period of stay in the United States. If you do not have a passport, you must apply for one from your country of citizenship.

  • Birth certificate: You must provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate that shows their name, date, and place of birth. The birth certificate must be translated into English if it is not already in English.

  • Medical exam: You and your children must undergo a medical exam by a U.S. embassy-approved doctor to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions that would make you inadmissible to the United States.

  • Documentation of relationship: You must provide evidence that you are the parent of the child, such as a birth certificate, adoption decree, or custody order. If you are the stepparent of the child, you must provide evidence of your marriage to the child’s parent.

  • Divorce or death certificate: If you or your child’s other parent has been previously married, you must provide a divorce or death certificate to prove that the previous marriage has ended.

  • Police certificates: You and your child who is 16 years or older must provide police certificates from all countries where you have lived for more than six months since the age of 16. The police certificates must be translated into English if they are not already in English.

  • Photographs: You and your children must provide passport-style photographs that meet the U.S. Department of State’s requirements.

It is important to note that the U.S. embassy or consulate may request additional documentation if they need more information to process your application. Therefore, it is recommended that you check the embassy or consulate’s website for specific instructions and requirements before submitting your application.

Fees and Costs

When applying for a K-2 visa, there are several fees and costs that you need to be aware of. The following are some of the most important fees and costs associated with the K-2 visa application process:

Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is $1,140 as of November 2023. This fee covers the cost of processing your application and includes the biometrics fee.

Biometrics Fee

The biometrics fee is $85 as of November 2023. This fee covers the cost of collecting your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.

Other Fees

In addition to the filing fee and biometrics fee, there may be other fees associated with the K-2 visa application process. These fees can vary depending on your specific situation and may include fees for medical exams, translations, and other services.

Cost

The cost of the K-2 visa application process can vary depending on your specific situation and the fees associated with your application. It is important to budget for these costs and to be aware of any additional fees that may arise during the application process.

Overall, the fees and costs associated with the K-2 visa application process can be significant. It is important to carefully review the requirements and fees associated with your application and to budget accordingly.

Rights and Limitations

As a K-2 visa holder, you have certain rights and limitations that you should be aware of. This section provides an overview of your employment and education rights.

Employment Rights

As a K-2 visa holder, you are allowed to work in the United States. However, you must first obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by filing Form I-765. Once you have your EAD, you can work in the United States for any employer.

It is important to note that your EAD is only valid for a specific period of time, which is usually one year. You must renew your EAD before it expires if you want to continue working in the United States.

Education Rights

K-2 visa holders are allowed to attend school in the United States. You can enroll in any public or private school from kindergarten through 12th grade. You can also attend college or university as long as you obtain a student visa.

It is important to note that K-2 visa holders are not eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. You will be charged the higher out-of-state tuition rates.

In addition, K-2 visa holders are not eligible for federal financial aid. You will need to find other sources of funding to pay for your education.

Overall, while K-2 visa holders have certain rights and limitations when it comes to employment and education, they are still able to work and attend school in the United States. If you are interested in obtaining permanent residence or adjusting your status to a nonimmigrant visa, you should consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your options.

Post Arrival Procedures

After arriving in the United States on a K-2 visa, there are several post-arrival procedures that you must follow to adjust your status and apply for permanent residence.

Status Adjustment

Firstly, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, within 90 days of your arrival in the United States. This form is used to apply for lawful permanent resident status. You should also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to apply for permission to work in the United States while your application for permanent residence is being processed.

Once you have filed your application, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment where your fingerprints and photograph will be taken. You may also be required to attend an interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer to determine your eligibility for permanent residence.

Permanent Residence Application

After your application for permanent residence has been approved, you will receive a green card, which is evidence of your lawful permanent resident status. Your green card will be valid for ten years, after which you will need to renew it by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

It is important to note that as a lawful permanent resident, you must comply with all U.S. immigration laws. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your permanent resident status and possibly even deportation.

In conclusion, the post-arrival procedures for K-2 visa holders include filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, attending a biometrics appointment, and possibly attending an interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. After approval, you will receive a green card, which is valid for ten years.

Potential Issues and Solutions

When applying for a K-2 visa, there are several potential issues that you may face. Here are some of the most common issues and their solutions:

Immigration Violations

If you or your child has ever violated immigration laws, it can make it difficult to obtain a K-2 visa. However, there may be solutions available, such as obtaining a waiver or applying for a different type of visa.

ITIN

If your child does not have a Social Security number, they will need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) before they can apply for a K-2 visa. This can take several weeks, so it is important to apply for an ITIN as soon as possible.

Processing Time

The processing time for a K-2 visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the volume of applications being processed and the complexity of your case. It is important to be patient and to submit all required documents in a timely manner to avoid delays.

Waiting Time

Once your application has been submitted, you may need to wait several months before your visa is approved. During this time, it is important to keep your contact information up to date and to respond promptly to any requests for additional information from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Timeline

It is important to understand the timeline for obtaining a K-2 visa, including the steps involved and the approximate processing times for each step. This can help you to plan ahead and to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Extension of Stay

If you need to extend your stay in the United States beyond the initial period of time granted by your K-2 visa, you may be able to apply for an extension. However, it is important to do so well in advance of the expiration date of your visa to avoid any issues.

Child Status Protection Act

If your child is over the age of 21 and unmarried, they may still be eligible for a K-2 visa under the Child Status Protection Act. This can help to ensure that your child is able to join you in the United States and to avoid any unnecessary delays or complications.

Derivatives

If you have other children who are not eligible for a K-2 visa, they may be able to apply for a derivative visa. This can help to ensure that your entire family is able to join you in the United States and to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for more information about the K-2 visa, here are some resources that may be helpful to you:

  • The USCIS website is a great place to start. They have a lot of information about the K-2 visa, including eligibility requirements, the application process, and how to apply for a Social Security number.

  • The U.S. Department of State also has information about the K-2 visa. They provide an overview of the visa, as well as information about how to apply and what documents you’ll need.

  • If you’re applying for the K-2 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, you may want to check their website for more information. They may have specific instructions or requirements that you need to follow.

  • When you arrive in the United States on a K-2 visa, you may need to apply for a Social Security number. The Social Security Administration has information about how to apply for a Social Security number, as well as what documents you’ll need.

  • If you have questions about whether you or your spouse qualifies as an “immediate relative” for immigration purposes, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney. They can help you understand the rules and requirements, and provide guidance on how to proceed.

Remember, the K-2 visa is a temporary visa that allows you to accompany your spouse to the United States. If you want to stay in the United States permanently, you’ll need to apply for a green card. The process for obtaining a green card can be complex, so it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney to help you navigate the system.

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are required for a K-2 visa application?

To apply for a K-2 visa, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • A completed Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)
  • A valid passport for each applicant
  • A copy of the marriage certificate of the K-1 visa holder and the U.S. citizen petitioner
  • A copy of the K-1 visa holder’s approved Form I-129F
  • A copy of the K-1 visa holder’s passport biographic page
  • A copy of the K-1 visa holder’s birth certificate
  • A copy of the K-2 visa applicant’s birth certificate
  • A copy of the K-2 visa applicant’s medical examination results
  • Two passport-sized photographs of each applicant
  • The visa application fee

What is the processing time for a K-2 visa?

The processing time for a K-2 visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the workload of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply and the completeness of your application. However, in general, you can expect the processing time to take several months.

What is the K-2 visa application fee?

The K-2 visa application fee is $265. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the time of your visa application interview.

What are the eligibility requirements for a K-2 visa?

To be eligible for a K-2 visa, you must be the child of a K-1 visa holder and be unmarried and under the age of 21. You must also be able to demonstrate that you will depart the United States when your authorized stay expires and that you will not become a public charge while in the United States.

What is the difference between a K-1 visa and a K-2 visa?

A K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the United States for the purpose of getting married. A K-2 visa is a derivative visa that allows the child of a K-1 visa holder to accompany them to the United States.

Can a K-2 visa holder work in the United States?

Yes, a K-2 visa holder is eligible to apply for a work permit once they are in the United States. However, they must first obtain a Social Security Number before they can apply for a work permit.

Scroll to Top