US Spouse Visa / K3 Visa
K3 Visa For Your Thai Spouse
If you are a US citizen with a Thai spouse, your spouse can enter the United States by applying for a K3 visa.
The K3 visa is valid for 2 years, and can be renewed in two year increments while your spouse applies for her green card. When your spouse applies for a K3 visa, her unmarried children under 21 can apply for a K4 visa. K3 visa holders can enter and exit the United States as many times as they wish as long as their visa remains valid. Once your spouse is in the United States they can apply for a green card and gain permanent resident status.
Your Thai spouse must apply for the K3 visa from Thailand if you were married in Thailand or the United States. If you married a Thai citizen in any other country your spouse must apply for the K3 visa from that country.
K3 Visa Eligibility
You must be a US citizen for your spouse to be eligible for a K3 visa. US permanent residents are not eligible to sponsor their foreign spouse using a K3 visa but may be able to sponsor a spouse for an F2 visa. You will have to prove your US citizenship using a passport, birth certificate, or certificate of citizenship.You can apply for a K3 visa even if you or your spouse was previously married, as long as you provide documentation that shows the previous marriage(s) are over.
You must disclose whether or not you met your spouse through a marriage broker, but it will not disqualify your spouse from receiving a K3 visa. Your spouse will be ineligible for a K3 visa if US immigration officials determine that your spouse has a history of attempting marriages to fraudulently gain immigration status. Your spuse may also be ineligible for certain other medical or criminal reasons which are detailed fully at https://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/ineligibilities/ineligibilities_1364.html#1
If you have a criminal record that includes violent offenses you will have to disclose them during the application process, but it should not effect your spouse's eligibility for a K3 visa.
If you wish to apply for a Spouse Visa, it is highly recommended to apply for a CR-1 Visa instead of a K3 Visa. The K-3 has mostly been phased out and replaced by the CR-1 Visa. Please click here for more information.
K3 Visa Application ProcessSTEP 1: Filing an I-130
In order for your spouse to be eligible for a K3 visa you must first file a I-130 petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The I-130 petition starts the immigration process and is the first step on the road to your spouse's green card and eventual US citizenship. When you file the I-130 you will need to attach a copy of your passport or birth certificate to prove you are a US citizen, a copy of your marriage certificate, and passport-size photos of both you and your spouse. You also need to attach evidence that shows your marriage is legitimate, such as documents that show you share bank accounts or property, a lease showing you live together, or affidavits from friends confirming your marriage is heartfelt. If either you or your Thai spouse was previously married, you have to attach a divorce decree, annulment, or death decree to show that you were free to enter your present marriage.
When you complete the I-130 petition and gather the required documents, send them to the USCIS Lockbox in Chicago for processing. Make sure you keep copies of all the documents you send in with the I-130 petition because you will need them later in the K3 visa application process. When USCIS receives your I-130 petition they will send you Form I-797, which is a notice confirming that they are processing your I-130 petition.STEP 2: Filing an I-129F
The next step in the K3 visa application process is fill out and file Form I-129F, the K3 visa petition. You need to include copies of most of the documents you attached to your I-130 petition. If you have been convicted of a violent crime, you will have to include all relevant court documents with this filing.STEP 3: Submitting further documentation to US Embassy in Bangkok
If your K3 visa petition (Form I-129F) is approved it will be forwarded to the State Department which will forward it on to the US Embassy in Bangkok. After the US Embassy receives the K3 visa application they will send you or your fiance an extensive list of required documents and visa application forms. At this point you have about two months left in the visa application process. Some of the required documents include your spouse's passport, birth certificate, and police records.
The US Embassy's job is to detect fraudulent visa applications. You must submit enough proof of your relationship to convince the Embassy that your marriage is legitimate. Telephone records, home videos, photos, emails, and instant messages can all be submitted as proof of your ongoing relationship.STEP 4: Interview and Medical Exam
After the required documents are submitted, the embassy will schedule an interview with your spouse. Before the interview your spouse will be required to submit to a medical examination, which can be conducted at designated locations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Your spouse may also be required to undergo additional vaccinations.
The final step in the K3 visa application process is an interview with a visa officer at the US Embassy in Bangkok. This can take several hours. The visa officer will review your spouse's documentation and attempt to confirm that your relationship is sincere. If you have a criminal record they will reveal this to your Thai spouse during the interview. If your spouse's K3 visa is approved, it should be available about two business days after the interview.
After K3 Visa is Issued
Once the K3 visa has been issued, your spouse is free to travel to and from the United States for two years. Once in the United States, your spouse can apply for a green card and become a permanent US resident. Your spouse can renew her K3 visa in 2 year increments while her green card application is pending.