Navigating the K-2 Visa Process: A Comprehensive Guide by Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law

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Understanding the K2 Visa

You may have found love during your visit to the United States or met your U.S. citizen partner in your home country. After another exciting turn of events, you are engaged to be married and ready to join your fiancé(e) in the U.S.

If you have children, you may wonder if you can bring them to the U.S. to attend the wedding or live in the U.S. with you and your fiancé(e). As a K1 fiancé(e) visa holder, traveling with your foreign citizen child is possible through a K2 visa.

This guide provides relevant information about the K-2 visa, eligibility requirements, benefits, the K2 visa process, and how Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, can help.


What Is a K2 Visa?


The K2 visa allows the unmarried children (under twenty-one) of K1 visa holders to accompany their parents to the US. However, it does not grant them immigration status. It is a derivative visa based on the K1 parents visa. A K2 visa holder can adjust their status and get a green card after their parent’s marriage to a US citizen.

To apply for a K2 visa, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You are an unmarried child under twenty-one years of age;

  • Your parent is a K1 visa holder;

  • Your parent is engaged to a U.S. citizen sponsor;

  • Your parent and their partner intend to abide by the conditions of the K1 visa, including getting married within ninety days of the K1 visa holder’s arrival in the United States;

  • Your parent and their partner have full permission from the law to get married, meaning all previous marriages have legally been terminated.

Legal Considerations and Potential Challenges

K2 visas are only valid until the marriage of your K1 visa parent to their U.S. citizen sponsor. If the K1 parent fails to marry within ninety days, they will be in unlawful status. This situation places anyone with a K2 visa under unlawful status as well.

If you have had previous immigration violations in the U.S., you may be ineligible for a K2 visa. At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we know that such situations can arise, placing you in an unfavorable position with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.). We can analyze your situation and advise you on your possible options. Our team can also help you apply for any available waivers.


The K2 Visa Application Process


Initial Petition and Documentation

The K2 visa process begins with filing a petition with the USCIS. Your US citizen sponsor should file Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé) with your name included as a child dependent on the petition.

The following documents should be included with the application:

  • A completed Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)

  • Birth certificate

  • Death or Divorce certificates of previous spouses of K1 visa parent or US citizen sponsor

  • Proof of financial support from K1 visa sponsor

  • Medical examination results or certificate

  • Passport valid for at least six months after intended stay

  • Proof of payment of all the necessary fees

  • Two passport-style photographs (according to USCIS photo requirements)

This is a partial list; the consular officer may request other documents depending on your situation. You should also submit certified translations of any required documents that are not in English.

Visa Interview

Once the U.S.C.I.S. approves the Form I-129F petition filed by your U.S. citizen parent, they will send it to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC sends the approved petition to your home country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The embassy will contact you by mail and provide instructions about your K2 visa interview. You can then schedule your interview on the embassy’s website on a convenient date.

Timeline and Processing

The U.S.C.I.S. processing times for K2 visas differ based on the service center and their workload. You can see the current processing time for your K2 visa on the U.S.C.I.S. website here. Under certain circumstances, you can request an expedited adjudication of your immigration petition.

The Child Status Protection Act (C.S.P.A.) provides limited coverage for K visa applicants under twenty-one at the time of their admission into the U.S. It enables them to stay eligible for a green card. They can benefit from the coverage of the C.S.P.A. as long as their stepparent files Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) before they turn twenty-one.

Rights and Benefits for K2 Visa Holders

K2 visas provide several benefits besides allowing children to live with their parents in the U.S. Here are some of the rights and benefits for K2 visa holders:

  • They can attend school full-time in the U.S. without needing a separate student visa;

  • They can travel to and from the U.S. during their period of K2 status;

  • They may obtain employment authorization by filing Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization);

  • They may apply for lawful permanent residence or get an immigrant visa.


Applying for Lawful Permanent Residence

K2 visa holders may seek lawful permanent residence (LPR) in the U.S. after entering on their K2 visa. This process is called adjustment of status, and it involves applying for a green card.

To apply for LPR through adjustment of status, you should follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that all requirements are met;
  2. File Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status);
  3. Attend a biometrics appointment;
  4. Attend an interview with the U.S.C.I.S.

After the U.S.C.I.S. approves your Form I-485, you will receive your green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. This process grants you several benefits, including permission to live and work permanently in the U.S. and travel outside the U.S. without losing your LPR status.


Preparing for Your K2 Visa Interview

What to Bring to Your Interview

K2 visa interviews are an essential part of the K2 visa process. When attending your interview, you should ensure that you provide all the necessary supporting documentation requested or that will help obtain a favorable response from the USCIS.

Some documents you should bring to the interview include:

  • Proof of your relationship with the K1 visa applicant

  • A printed copy of the confirmation page of your Form DS-160 submitted online

  • Police certificates

  • Medical report

Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

During your K2 visa interview, the consular officer may ask questions about your parent’s relationship with their US citizen fiancé(e). The officer may also ask questions concerning your relationship with your parent.

Some common examples of questions include:

  • Have you met the person your father or mother intends to marry?

  • How did you meet them?

  • What do you know about this person?

Your answer allows a better understanding of what the K2 visa interview entails. Consulting an experienced immigration attorney can help you prepare for the interview.


How Much Does K2 Visa Cost?


The cost of a K2 visa can be divided into three main parts:

  • Form I-129F filing fee: $535 (only one needed for the K1 applicant and all their K2 dependents)

  • Embassy fee: $265 (each K2 applicant needs to pay this)

  • Biometrics fee: $85 (may not apply in all cases)

There can also be some additional incidental expenses, such as:

  • Medical examination fees: These can vary depending on the country you are applying from but typically range from $50 to $250 per person.

  • Translation costs: If any of your documents are not in English, you must have them translated by a certified translator.

  • Travel expenses: You may need to travel to a U.S. embassy or consulate for your interview.

So, the total cost of a K2 visa can vary depending on your circumstances. However, as a rough estimate, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per K2 applicant. It is essential to note that these fees are subject to change and should be verified at the time of application.


The Role of Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law on Your K2 Visa Journey


Over the years, our lawyers have handled several K2 visa applications. We know what the process entails and how to avoid unnecessary mistakes that may affect U.S.C.I.S.’s decision on your application. We can assist you throughout the K2 visa process and ensure that all documents are submitted correctly the first time.

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we understand that applying for a K2 visa can be difficult and time-consuming when you have little or no knowledge of U.S. immigration laws and terminologies. We are dedicated to providing our clients with adequate legal advice and support. We can guide you through the K2 visa process and assist you with obtaining permanent residence after your parent is married.


Choose Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, for Your K2 Visa Application


Navigating the US immigration system without knowledge of family-based immigration law can be frustrating. By properly completing your K2 visa application and preparing for your interview, you can improve your chances of joining your parent in the US.

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to guiding our clients through their immigration journey. We can help you better understand the requirements of your K2 visa and avoid common mistakes that may jeopardize your chances.

Contact us today for a personalized consultation and legal advice.