K2 Visas: The Complete Guide

Posted by in Immigrants | Updated on August 14, 2023
At a Glance: A K2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows unmarried children under 21 years of age to accompany their parent who holds a K1 fiancé(e) visa to enter the United States. The K2 visa is a derivative visa obtained through the parent’s K1 visa petition. The applicant must be under 21 and unmarried, and one parent should be a US citizen planning to marry a foreigner with an approved K1 visa. The K2 visa does not grant immigrant status, but after the marriage, the children can apply for permanent resident status. The visa allows study and the possibility of obtaining a work permit. The K2 visa is non-extendable, and if the parental marriage does not occur within 90 days, the visa holder must depart the US.

As a US citizen, you can bring your alien fiancé (e) to the United States with the intention to marry and live here with a Fiancé (e) K1 Visa. However, if your fiancé (e) has a minor child who requires to enter into the United States, the child will require a separate K2 visa.

Find out all relevant information about the eligibility, documentation required, processing time and interview procedure with this detailed K2 Visa guide.

What is a K2 Visa?

United States Immigration Department allows unmarried children under 21 years of age, of a K1 visa beneficiary to immigrate with their parents. The K2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that can be used by the children of a K1 fiancé (e) visa holder to enter the United States territory until an immigration visa is granted for them. As the child acquires his immigrant status through the parent, this type of visa is known as a derivative visa.

Who is Eligible for a K2 Visa?

To be eligible for the K2 visa, the applicant must be the child of a K1 visa holder. The applicant must be under the age of 21 and unmarried. In other words, one of the parents should be a US citizen who is intending to marry a foreigner and the foreign parent must have an approved K1 visa.

Please note that a K2 visa does not bring the applicant the status of an immigrant. After the formal marriage, the children of the fiancé (e) are required to file an application to register permanent residence (Form I-485) for the change of visa status.

What Documents are required for a K2 Visa?

As stated above, a K2 visa is a derivative visa which is granted through the parent’s fiancé (e)’s K1 visa petition. That’s why it is mandated to include the name(s) of the children on the parent’s I-129F petition (Petition for Alien Fiancé).

Apart from that, the applicant is required to produce the below-mentioned documents for obtaining a K2 visa:

  • Duly filled in Form DS-160 (to be submitted online)
  • Passport
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Completed Form I-134
  • Affidavit of Support and sponsor documents
  • Passport sized photograph
  • Result of medical examination (from an Embassy accredited physician)

What Privileges Does a K2 Visa Grant Holders?

Besides allowing you to live with your parents in the United States, K2 visa brings other benefits as well. The applicant can petition for Permanent Resident status once the marriage between a US citizen and the foreign fiancé (e) is solemnized. The applicant is allowed to study in the USA and he/she can also apply for a work permit by submitting the Employment Authorization (EAD) form (Form I-765).

What Restrictions Are on K2 Visa Holders?

Once you obtain a K2 visa, you are not allowed to change to another non-immigrant visa status. The applicant is also restricted from entering the United States if there is any previous immigration violations.

K2 Visa Interview

The final step to be granted a K2 visa is to appear for the visa interview at the US Consulate or Embassy. After the Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form F-129F) filed by the US citizen parent gets approved by the USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. NVC subsequently sends it to the concerned US Embassy or Consulate where the applicant resides.

Once the Embassy or Consulate receives the approved petition from NVC, it sends correspondence to the applicant with instructions on scheduling the visa interview. After getting the correspondence, you can schedule the visa interview at a convenient date on the official website.

How Much Does a K2 Visa Cost?

The overall fee structure for K2 visa can be broken down to three segments – Form I-129F filing fee, biometrics charges, and Embassy fee. Listed below are the current charges for each of these three categories:

  • I-129F Filing Fee – $535
  • Embassy Fee – $265
  • Biometrics Fee – $85 (if required)

Please note that the Embassy fee can vary from one country to another. Citizens of certain countries are exempted from paying this fee. So get in touch with the US Embassy in your country to know the exact fee amount to be paid.

Please note that the applicant is not mandated to make an online payment. The visa fee is usually collected by the cashier at the American Embassy or Consulate on the day of the interview.

K2 Visa Processing Time

There is no officially stipulated time frame as far as the processing of K2 visa is concerned. The processing time usually depends on the workload and staff availability at the concerned service center. On average, it takes anywhere between four to six months for the entire procedure, including the approval of Form I-129F by the USCIS and NVC.

How Long Does a K2 Visa Last?

A K2 visa holder is allowed to stay in the United States as a non-immigrant for a period of maximum 90 days. If the marriage between the US parent and the alien fiancé(e) does not take place within this 90 days’ time-frame, then the K2 visa holder must depart within another 30 days. In other words, the validity of a K2 visa is 120 days (90+30), if the applicant is unable to file a petition for permanent resident status after the marriage of parents.

Can K2 Visa Status be extended?

No, the K2 visa is non-extendable. Also, you are not allowed to change to another non-immigrant visa status while on a K2 visa. If parental marriage doesn’t occur within 90 days of the applicant’s admission to the USA, then you are required to leave the United States territory.

K2 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

K2 visa interview instructions are available at the website of the US Embassy. Do make sure to go through that segment. Moreover, here are a few frequently asked questions to prepare yourself better for the interview.

Q1: Can K2 Visa Holders Attend School in the US?

A1: Yes, K2 visa holders are allowed to study in the United States.

Q2: Can K2 Visa Holders Work in the US?

Yes, K2 visa holders can take up lawful employment in the United States after obtaining Employment Authorization (Work Permit). A petition for EAD (Form I-765) must be filed with the USCIS to obtain the mandatory authorization.

Q3: Can K2 Visa Holders Apply for Adjustment of Status?

A3: The applicant is allowed to apply for Adjustment of Status once the K-1 parent visa holder and the US citizen are married.

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The K2 visa allows an Alien Fiancé (e) (K1 visa holder) of a US citizen to bring his/her child to the United States. The child must be unmarried and under the age of 21 years to be granted K2 visa approval. It usually takes around 4 to 6 months for the US Embassy to process K2 visa.

The validity of a K2 visa is 90 days within which the applicant must file a petition for immigration (permanent resident status). K2 visa holders are allowed to go for studies as well as gain lawful employment in the United States.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.