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Do You Need to Obtain a K3 Visa Travel Document?

Feb 28

A K3 Visa for a Thai spouse makes it possible for a Thai national to move to the US with their US partner while they wait for approval of their immigration petition. You need to meet certain criteria when you apply for a K3 visa. Any K3 visa applicant must fulfill the following:

  • He or she must be married to a citizen from the U.S. Also, note that the U.S. will not recognize couples living together as married, but are not actually married.
  • Each K3 couple must show documentation that proves they are legally married.
  • The U.S. citizen must file a Form I-130 for his or her spouse from Thailand.

If you, as a couple, cannot show you meet the above qualifications, you cannot proceed with the K3 visa Thailand process.


K3 Visa Basic 2-step Process

The application process for K3 visa Thai spouses is basically completed in 2 steps. First, the U.S. citizen spouse files a Form I-130 and a Form I-129F and has them approved by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, or USCIS. Second, the spouse from Thailand must apply for the K3 visa through the U.S. Embassy in Thailand.

Therefore, to meet the guidelines for getting a K3 visa, a U.S. citizen must initially file Form I-130 to the USCIS for his or her spouse. If the spouse does receive a K3 visa and wants to change the visa’s status, he or she can use the same petition. When the K3 form is filed, a U.S. citizen spouse will receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797) from the USCIS, which he or she can use to show proof that processing is taking place for the Form I-130.

After the Form I-130 petition is filed, the U.S. citizen spouse must proceed with filing Form I-129F, or the Petition for Alien Fiancé or Fiancée. He or she must attach Form I-797 and other supporting documentation to prove a marriage has taken place. The Form I-129F must list any dependents of the Thai spouse, such as children.


Waiting on the USCIS

K3 visa Thailand applicants then wait on the USCIS to process Form I-129F, which, upon approval, is sent to the National Visa Center or NVC. The NVC, in turn, issues a case number and invoice ID for the K3 Thailand visa applicant and sends a package. The package provides further details about applying for the K3 visa. If both the I-130 and I-129F forms are processed and approved at the same time, they are sent to the NVC and the applicant must apply for a CR-1 visa, or spousal, visa for staying with a U.S. resident permanently.


Applying for the K3 Visa: Meeting the Criteria

The K3 visa for Thai spouses is only designed for applicants who are waiting for the I-130 form to be approved, and still is in processing. When applying for the K3 visa, the Thai spouse must do the following:

  • Apply for the K3 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Thailand, using the instructions sent by the NVC.
  • File a Form DS-160, or Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application. This form can be accessed by inserting the NVC case number. Questions on the form will be related to the applicant’s background and his or her reasons for traveling and living in the U.S.
  • Complete a medical exam and receive the proper vaccinations. Anyone migrating to the U.S. from Thailand must get the required medical vaccines and check-ups. The NVC packet that the applicant receives after approval of the visa petition will outline what medical procedures must be completed and the vaccines that must be scheduled. The documents related to the medical exam and vaccination must be included with the supporting file that is sent to the NVC.


K3 Visa Supporting Documentation

Finally, applicants must compile a documents file for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Thailand. Besides the K3 application, the following documents should be attached:

  • A valid passport that is good for 6 months after entry into the U.S.
  • A form DS-260 page, for verification.
  • Medical exam and vaccination documentation.
  • Two U.S. visa photos per person made according to U.S. passport photo requirements.
  • A birth certificate and marriage certificate.
  • Court and criminal records and/or a certificate from the police.
  • Evidence of financial support for the initial period in the U.S. The U.S. citizen support must provide Form I-134 to the applicant, which is an Affidavit of Support.
  • Proof that fees have been paid.


Attending the K3 Visa Interview at the Embassy or Consulate

After the above data is gathered, the K3 Visa Thailand applicant will attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This interview is meant to review the applicant’s background and reasons for traveling to the U.S. Additional documents may also be requested during the meeting.

If the K3 visa for Thai spouse is approved, the U.S. Embassy officials will issue a packet from the NVC. This packet should not be opened by the recipient. Instead, it should be brought to the U.S. and opened by a U.S. immigration official. The official possesses the authority to open the packet and will decide if the applicant can enter the country.

The K3 Visa Thailand means of entry is valid for 2 years and therefore can be renewed every two years. However, the visa will be revoked should the U.S. Department of State disapprove Form I-130 or the application for Lawful Permanent Residence. The K3 visa also becomes void if the applicant and U.S. resident husband or wife ended up getting a divorce.