Kids and Visas: A Guide to the K-2 Visa Process

The K-2 visa is a derivative visa that allows the unmarried children under 21 years of age of a foreign fiancé(e) to enter the United States. The primary purpose of the K-2 visa is to allow the children to accompany or follow their parent who is entering the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa.

To be eligible for a K-2 visa, the following criteria generally apply:

  • Relationship to the K-1 Visa Applicant: The child must be the unmarried child under 21 years of age of the K-1 visa applicant (the foreign fiancé(e)).
  • Filing Process: The U.S. citizen petitioner (the sponsor) must file a separate Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), for each K-2 visa applicant, including the names and details of the eligible children.
  • Consular Processing: Once the K-1 visa is approved and the fiancé(e) enters the U.S., the eligible children can apply for K-2 visas at the U.S. consulate in the country where the marriage took place.
  • Age Requirement: The child must be under 21 years of age at the time of filing the K-2 visa application.

It’s important to note that the K-2 visa application process should be completed within one year from the date of the issuance of the K-1 visa to the primary applicant. Failure to do so may result in the inability of the K-2 visa applicants to join their parent in the United States.

What immigration forms must be filed with a K-2 visa application?

When applying for a K-2 visa, several immigration forms need to be filed. The process involves both the U.S. citizen petitioner (sponsor) and the eligible child of the K-1 visa applicant. Here are the key forms involved:

  • Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e): The U.S. citizen petitioner (sponsor) must file this form to petition for a K-1 visa for the foreign fiancé(e). This form is also used to include the names and details of the eligible children (K-2 visa applicants).
  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: Each K-2 visa applicant (eligible child) must complete this form online. The DS-160 is the application form for a U.S. visa, and it gathers information about the applicant’s background, intended stay in the U.S., and other relevant details.
  • Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application (if applicable): Some U.S. consulates may require the completion of this form, especially for male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45. Check with the specific U.S. consulate for their requirements.
  • Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (if applicable): Similar to the DS-156, this form may be required by certain consulates for additional information, especially for male applicants between 16 and 45 years old. Again, consulate-specific requirements should be checked.
  • Form DS-158, Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant (if applicable): This form may be required for certain consulates to gather additional information about the applicant’s background and work history. Check with the specific consulate for their requirements.

Additionally, the K-2 visa applicants will need to undergo a medical examination and provide documentation such as a valid passport, photographs, and other supporting documents.

K-2 visa checklist of documents

When applying for a K-2 visa, it’s essential to provide a complete and accurate set of documents to support the application. Here is a general checklist of documents for K-2 visa applicants:

For the U.S. Citizen Petitioner (Sponsor):

  • Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e):
    • Complete and signed by the U.S. citizen petitioner.
    • Include details about the eligible child (K-2 visa applicant) in the appropriate section.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship:
    • Copy of the U.S. citizen petitioner’s passport, birth certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Proof of Relationship with the K-1 Visa Applicant:
    • Evidence of the relationship between the U.S. citizen petitioner and the K-1 visa applicant, such as photographs, letters, or other supporting documents.
  • Financial Documents:
    • Evidence of the U.S. citizen petitioner’s ability to financially support the K-2 visa applicants. This may include recent tax returns, pay stubs, or a letter from an employer.
  • Intent to Marry:
    • Statement of intent to marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S.

For Each K-2 Visa Applicant:

  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application:
    • Completed and printed confirmation page for each K-2 visa applicant.
  • Passport:
    • Valid passport for each K-2 visa applicant.
  • Photographs:
    • Passport-sized photographs of each K-2 visa applicant, following the U.S. visa photo requirements.
  • Birth Certificate:
    • Original or certified copy of the birth certificate for each K-2 visa applicant.
  • Medical Examination:
    • Proof of completed medical examination by an approved panel physician. This typically includes Form DS-3025, Vaccination Documentation Worksheet.
  • Police Clearance:
    • Police clearance or criminal record certificates from the countries where each K-2 visa applicant has lived for six months or more since turning 16.
  • Consular Processing Fee:
    • Payment receipt for the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee (consult the specific U.S. consulate for payment instructions).
  • DS-156, DS-157, DS-158 (if applicable):
    • Completed and signed forms, if required by the U.S. consulate.