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K4 Visa

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The K4 visa permits children of a K3 spouse visa holder to enter the United States while they await the availability of their immigrant visa approval. This immigration system of the country considers this visa to be very important for immigrant families. It helps keep families together during the immigrant visa application process, which is often lengthy. Let us delve deeper and learn more about the important aspects of the K4 visa.

Eligibility for the K4 Visa

The K4 visa requires certain criteria to be fulfilled before being given to somebody. Here are the key eligibility requirements for the specific visa that everyone must know:

  • Age Requirement: A particular child must be under 21 years old to get a K4 visa in the United States. They are no longer eligible for this visa category after turning 21 or getting married.
  • Parent's K3 Visa: The child applying for the K4 visa is considered a derivative beneficiary. It means their eligibility is based on the principal beneficiary or the K3 visa holder married to a U.S. citizen. The child must also be the biological or adopted child of the K3 visa applicant. The children’s parents must further have a valid K3 visa or be in the process of applying for one.
  • Immigrant Visa Intent: The K4 visa applicant must intend to immigrate to the United States. The individual must do so as a dependent of their K3 parent who already holds a visa.
  • Consular Processing: The K4 visa application is processed at an embassy or consulate of the United States in the foreign national's home country. The K4 visa applicant must get the necessary forms and guidance from the Department of State's website.
  • Financial Support: A K4 visa applicant must not meet specific financial requirements. Yet, the sponsoring K3 visa holder should be able to demonstrate the financial ability to support their spouse. It involves taking care of accompanying children once they arrive in the United States.

Privileges When Obtaining the K4 Visa

A person holding a K4 visa enjoys several privileges while in the United States. The visa allows them to maintain family unity during the waiting period for the approval of the immigrant visa petition. Here is a look at the common privileges or benefits included in a K4 visa in the current times:

  • Applying for a Work Permit: K4 visa holders can always apply for a work permit. It further includes getting an Employment Authorization Document or EAD using Form I-765. So they can work in the United States legally with an approved EAD.
  • Traveling Outside the United States: K4 visa holders can travel outside the United States on short trips and return. However, they must maintain legal status and adhere to visa regulations when reentering the country again.
  • Studying in the Country: K4 visa holders are permitted to enroll in educational institutions in the United States. So they can pursue their studies while residing with their parents. This privilege enables children to continue their education during the waiting period for the immigrant visa.
  • Accessing Healthcare and Other Services: K4 visa holders are typically eligible for healthcare and other services available to residents in the United States, ensuring their well-being during their stay.
  • Getting Dependent Status: K4 visa holders are the legal dependents of the K3 visa holder. That is why they can get various benefits and protections provided under the immigration law of the United States.
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Limitations of the K4 Visa

The K4 visa offers several privileges to minor children of the parents with a K3 visa. Yet, it has certain limitations as well as restrictions, including the following:

  • Nonimmigrant Status: K4 visa holders cannot change their nonimmigrant status. Moreover, they cannot switch to a different visa category according to their wish while residing in the country.
  • Dependent Status: A person getting the K4 visa always depends on the status of the holder of a K3 visa, who is usually the parent. So, a change in this particular visa holder's status can affect the legal status of the K4 visa holder in no time.
  • No Permanent Residency: The K4 visa does not provide a direct way to permanent residency. The visa holder's status will eventually change once the K3 visa holder's immigrant visa is approved.
  • Temporary Stay: The K4 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa. So, its duration is tied to the processing time of the K3 visa holder's immigrant visa.
  • Overstay Violations: The visa holder may face negative consequences if that particular person overstays the authorized period. A violation of the legal terms of this visa can also lead to its dismissal immediately.
  • Lack of Work Eligibility: K4 visa holders cannot work in the United States without getting their EAD approved. That is why their employment is already contingent on issuing a work permit in the country.

Termination of the K4 Visa

There is always a chance of the K4 visa status being terminated. Here are the details of common situations that often lead to its termination in the United States:

  • Denial of petition or application by a K3 Parent
  • Revocation of Form I-130 also called the Petition for Alien Relative, helps establish familial relationships
  • Denial of the immigrant visa application filed by the individual
  • Revocation of the application of adjustment of status
  • Divorce of the K3 parent from the citizen of the United States
  • Marriage or 21st birthday

Key Terms for K4 Visas

  • Derivative Beneficiary: Individuals eligible for a specific immigration benefit based on their relationship to the principal beneficiary.
  • Concurrent Filing: A particular practice adopted to submit multiple immigration petitions at the same time. It helps streamline the entire immigration process.
  • Immigrant Visa Consular Processing: The procedure through which eligible individuals complete the final steps of their immigration process at a consulate in their home country.
  • Adjustment of Status: Adjustment of status: The application process that allows certain individuals in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa to change their status to become permanent residents after the approval of the K3 visa holder's immigrant visa petition.
  • Immediate Relative: Close family members of the citizens of the United States. They may be spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents given high priority for immigrant visas.
  • I-864 Affidavit of Support: A legal contract that enables a citizen from the United States to support the intending immigrant financially.

Final Thoughts on K4 Visas

The K4 visa is essential for family reunification within the immigration system of the United States. It allows minor children of K3 visa holders to accompany their parents during the often lengthy immigrant visa application process. The K4 visa provides several privileges and benefits to the person who possesses it in the United States. However, the same person must know its limitations and adhere to visa regulations to maintain legal status. This visa underscores the importance of preserving family unity and supporting the immigration journey of eligible foreign national relatives. So, it helps contribute to stronger family bonds and shared experiences in the United States. Immigrants can also seek help from an experienced lawyer to get further help with applying for the visa efficiently.

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