The K-3 visa was designed with the idea that it would shorten the time that the couple is physically separated while they await an approval on their Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. It should be noted, however, that in recent years, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun processing the Form I-130 at a much faster rate. It now takes about as long to process the Form I-130 as it does to process a K-3 visa. As a result, K-3 visas are considered by many to be outdated and they are rarely used. It is usually recommended to either wait for the Form I-130 to be approved or explore other avenues of immigration. Since processing times may change in the future, however, it is worth understanding the process of obtaining a K-3 visa along with its benefits and limitations.
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At this time, the K-3 visa is not usually recommended since the processing time for I-130s is generally the same; however, processing times may change in the future. Some people feel like it is worth trying to file for a K-3 visa anyway in the event it might be approved before their I-130.
Yes. If your Forms I-130 or I-485 are denied for any reason, or if your marriage ends through divorce or annulment before you are able to become a lawful permanent resident, your K-3 visa will be terminated. You will then be subject to removal from the United States.
Approximately 6-9 months, which is about as long as it takes to process the Form I-130.