The K visas are for those who are about to be married to a U.S. Citizen or for those already married to a U.S. Citizen. The K-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for those married to a citizen of the United States. Thus, the K-4 visa is for the unmarried dependent children (under 21 years old) of someone on a K-3 spousal visa.
Similar other “family” or “dependent” visas, the status of the K-4 visa holder depends completely upon the status of the principal K-3 visa holder. If the Department of Homeland Security fails to approve the K-3 visa holder’s request for permanent residency or if the principal K-3 visa holder terminates his or her marriage with the U.S. citizen spouse, then the principal visa holder has to return to his or her home country and so do his or her dependents that are here on K-4 visas. The other dependent K visa is the K-2 visa, which is for the children of those who are the fiancé of a U.S. Citizen.
How Do I Obtain a K-4 Visa?
In order to obtain a K-4 visa, you must be under 21, unmarried, and the legal child of a K-3 visa holder. If you are ineligible for a K-4 visa because of certain activities, you might still be able to obtain a K-4 visa if you obtain a waiver.
While on a K-4 visa, you may legally reside in the U.S while you wait for your immigrant status to change. You can also work while you wait if you file an application for employment authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A limitation of the K-4 visa is that once you are in the U.S. you may not change to some other non-immigrant status. Additionally, as the K-4 visa status is connected to the status of the K-3 visa, the K-4 visa can be terminated if, for some reason, conversion to permanent resident status is denied to your parent or to you.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for a K-4 Visa?
Issues involving immigration can be highly complex. If you need assistance with a visa application, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney.