K-2 Visa for Child of K-1 Fiancé(e) Guide

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! If your fiancé(e) has children under 21 who are not married, they might be eligible for K-2 visas, allowing them to join you in the United States.

You must include their names on the Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) that you’ve filed, as this is the first step towards bringing them over.

Remember, your future stepchildren must remain unmarried and under 21 years old to qualify for K-2 visas. They can travel to the U.S. with your fiancé(e) or later but can’t arrive before your fiancé(e).

This guide will explain the entire K2 visa process, from gathering the necessary documents to preparing for their arrival. Let’s ensure your entire family is together as you start this exciting new chapter.

What Is the K-2 Visa?

A K-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa specifically for the unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of individuals holding a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. It enables these children to enter and reside in the United States until they become eligible for a green card.

As you can easily understand, the K-2 visa fosters the reunification of families during the K-1 fiancé(e) visa process, allowing children to accompany or join their parent who is marrying a U.S. citizen. This process strengthens your family’s bond, ensuring you all can start a new life together in the U.S.

With a K-2 visa, your fiancé(e)’s children can legally reside in the United States and attend school. Once they obtain work authorization, they can also pursue employment opportunities.

After you and your fiancé(e) are married, your new stepchildren can adjust their status to become lawful permanent residents, giving them the same rights and privileges as other U.S. residents. This process ensures their security and opens up a world of opportunities for them, allowing your entire family to build a stable and prosperous life together in the U.S.


  • K-2 visas are always tied to K-1 visas. If the K-1 visa is denied, the K-2 visa will also be denied.
  • The K-1 visa is exclusively for unmarried couples. Married couples cannot apply for a K-2 visa for their children.
  • The K-1 and K-2 visas are temporary; they do not directly lead to permanent residency. However, they provide a pathway to apply for a green card after marriage.

Who Qualifies as a "Child" for K-2 Visa Purposes?

A K-2 visa is a temporary U.S. visa explicitly designed for children under 21 years old who are unmarried and whose parent is applying for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. This visa allows these children to come to the U.S. and stay while their parent marries their American fiancé(e). After the marriage, they legally become stepchildren and can pursue permanent residency in the U.S.

The term “child” in this context is inclusive and covers biological children, adopted children, and children born out of wedlock, as long as they are legally recognized as such in the applicant’s home country.

It’s important to note that this definition is broader than the one used for children of married couples applying for green cards, where the child must have been under 18 when their parents married.

U.S. Citizen's Children and K-2 Visas

In some cases, the child might already be a U.S. citizen, especially if they are the biological child of the American parent. This is due to a legal principle called “acquisition,” where citizenship is automatically granted under certain conditions, like if the U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S. for a specific duration and, in the case of a father, legally acknowledged the child before they turned 18. In such scenarios, a K2 wouldn’t be necessary for the child.

Remember, the K-2 visa is meant to keep families together. If your fiancé(e) has children under 21, including them on the K-1 visa application, they can also come to the U.S. and potentially build a new life with you.

Who Is Eligible for a K2 Visa?

The K-2 visa is designed for children accompanying their parent, the K-1 visa holder, to the U.S. To ensure a smooth process, all parties involved must meet specific eligibility requirements:

K-2 Visa Requirements For the U.S. Citizen Sponsor

As the sponsor, you must demonstrate sufficient income or assets to financially support your fiancé(e) and their child(ren) in the U.S. This is to ensure they won’t become a public charge.

K-2 Visa Requirements For the K-1 Visa Holder (Parent)

Ensuring your child’s eligibility for a K-2 visa starts with you. As the K-1 visa holder, your status and intentions directly impact your child’s eligibility. Review the USCIS requirements to understand your role in this process and how you can pave the way for your child’s journey to the U.S.

  • K-1 visa approval: You must have an approved or pending K-1 visa application. The K-2 visa is directly linked to your K-1 visa.
  • Valid relationship: Your relationship with your fiancé(e) (the U.S. citizen sponsor) must be genuine in order to marry within 90 days of entering the U.S.

K-2 Visa Requirements For the K2 Visa Child(ren)

The K2 child’s acceptance to the U.S. hinges on meeting specific criteria set by USCIS. Understanding these eligibility requirements ensures a successful application process. Let’s see the details to prepare for a new chapter in your family’s life.

  • Age: Each K2 child must be under 21 and unmarried when entering the U.S.
  • Relationship: The child must be your biological, adopted, or stepchild.
  • Health: Each child must undergo and pass a medical examination to meet U.S. health standards.
  • Background:
    • The child must have a clean criminal record.
    • They must not have a history of substance abuse.
    • They must not have violated U.S. immigration laws in the past.

IMPORTANT! Completing the K-2 visa application thoroughly and accurately (Form I-129F) is crucial, as attention to detail increases the chances of a favorable decision. Referring with an immigration attorney can be beneficial to ensure your application is complete and error-free.

What Documents Do You Need to Apply for a K-2 Visa for Children?

K-2 Visa: Required Documents and the Importance of Thorough Preparation

Like the K-1 visa process, obtaining a K-2 visa requires meticulous documentation to ensure a smooth application with USCIS. Careful preparation and gathering of the necessary documents are crucial for a favorable outcome.

K-2 Visa Documents (Initial Evidence) Checklist

Document Explanation Who Needs It
Confirmation page for the completed Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
K-1 and K-2 applicants
Results of a medical exam conducted by an approved physician.
K-1 and K-2 applicants
Passport-sized photos (2)
Two recent photos that meet USCIS specifications.
K-1 and K-2 applicants
Police certificates
From the current country and any country where applicants have lived for over six months since turning 16.
K-1 and K-2 applicants (if over 16)
Valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the U.S.
K-1 and K-2 applicants
Birth certificate
A certified copy of the K2 child's birth certificate.
K-2 applicant
Divorce or death certificates (if applicable)
If the K-1 applicant has been previously married, they must prove termination of previous marriages.
K-1 applicant
Financial support evidence
Proof that the U.S. citizen sponsor can financially support the K-1 and K-2 visa holders.
U.S. citizen sponsor
Proof of authentic relationship
Evidence that demonstrates the genuine relationship between the K-1 applicant and the U.S. citizen sponsor.
K-1 applicant and U.S. citizen sponsor
A legally binding paper where the sponsor agrees to financially support the K-2 visa holder.
U.S. citizen sponsor
Visa application fee
Payment for the visa application processing.
Varies depending on the applicant

While the listed documents are the core requirements, be prepared to submit additional paperwork depending on your circumstances. Additionally, remember that the documents not originally in English must be accompanied by certified translations to ensure their validity and comprehension.

Each step in the K-2 visa process requires careful attention to detail. Gather all required documents early in the process, ensuring they are complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from an immigration attorney for a more efficient K-2 visa application for your family.

The K-2 Visa Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Obtaining a K-2 visa involves several interconnected steps, starting with the U.S. citizen sponsor and culminating in the successful arrival and adjustment of status for the child in the United States. Make sure you have all the documents discussed above. Arm yourself with patience, and let’s get started!

Step 1: File the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F)

The U.S. citizen fiancé(e) initiates the process by filing Form I-129F with USCIS. This single form encompasses the fiancé(e)’s K-1 visa application and K-2 visa applications for eligible children. You must provide detailed information about themselves and their fiancé(e), including evidence of a bona fide relationship and their ability to support their family financially in the U.S.

Step 2: USCIS Review and Approval of I-129F Application

USCIS reviews the submitted Form I-129F and supporting documents to determine eligibility for K-1 and K-2 visas. If additional information is required, a Request for Evidence may be issued. Upon approval, the National Visa Center receives the petition and assigns the case to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate based on the fiancé(e)’s location.

Step 3: Visa Application and Interview Preparation

The U.S. embassy or consulate contacts the sponsor and the fiancé(e) to provide instructions for the next steps. This involves completing Form DS-160 for each applicant and scheduling required medical examinations. It’s essential to gather all necessary supporting documents, such as birth certificates, police certificates, financial affidavits, and proof of relationship, ensuring they are translated into English if needed.

Step 4: K2 Visa Interview

The fiancé(e) and their child(ren) must attend a visa interview at the designated U.S. embassy or consulate. The interview verifies the information provided in the applications and assesses the legitimacy of the relationship between the U.S. citizen sponsor and the K-1 applicant. The consular officer will also interview the K-2 child(ren), with the extent of the interview varying based on the child’s age.

Step 5: K1/K2 Visa Issuance and Entry to the U.S.

If the visa applications are approved, the consular officer issues the K-1 and K-2 visas, typically affixed to the applicants’ passports. A sealed packet containing all submitted documents is also provided. Upon arrival in the U.S., this packet should remain sealed until Customs and Border Protection opens it. The K1 and K1 visa holders must enter the U.S. within the visa’s validity period, and K-2 visa holders can enter either with the K-1 parent or within 12 months of the K-1 visa holder’s entry.

Step 6: Marriage and Adjustment of Status

The K-1 visa holder must marry you within 90 days of entering the U.S. Failure to do so will invalidate both the K-1 and K-2 visas. After the marriage, both the K-1 holder and their K-2 children can apply for adjustment of status to become lawful permanent residents using Form I-485. K-2 children must apply for adjustment concurrently with or after the K-1 holder.

IMPORTANT! If K-2 children intend to enter the U.S. more than 12 months after the K-1 visa holder, they need a separate immigrant visa petition.

IMPORTANT! K-2 applicants must be unmarried when applying for adjustment of status!

K-2 Visa Processing Time and Timeline: How Long Does It Take?

The K-2 visa timeline closely mirrors the processing time of the K-1 fiancé(e) visa, as both applications are typically filed together. Generally, the K2 process can take 6 to 16 months, but several factors can influence the exact duration.

Form I-129F is the foundation for both K-1 and K-2 visas. Current estimates suggest it could take around 9 months to process, but recent forecasts indicate a potential decrease to as little as five months for newer applications. However, these estimates can vary based on USCIS workload and individual case complexity.

As you have already seen, the K2 visa process involves multiple government agencies, each with its procedures and workload. This includes USCIS for initial review, the NVC for case preparation, and the U.S. embassy abroad for the visa interview. Processing times can fluctuate due to staffing levels and policy changes within these agencies.

In conclusion, a well-prepared application with accurate information and all required documents can significantly expedite the process. Mistakes, missing documents, or inconsistencies will lead to delays as agencies request additional information. Consulting an immigration attorney can ensure a smooth and efficient process.

What Is the Waiting Period for K-2 Children to Get Their Visas?

K-2 visa applicants (children) can travel to the U.S. simultaneously as the K-1 fiancé(e) or within one year of the K-1 visa’s issuance. If the child doesn’t arrive within that one-year window, they will need to file a separate immigrant visa petition, potentially leading to additional delays.

IMPORTANT! The K-2 visa timeline is intertwined with the K-1 visa process, and various factors can influence the total duration. Patience and meticulous preparation are key to navigating this process successfully. While the estimates offer a general idea, contacting immigration experts is crucial for personalized guidance and a more accurate timeline estimate.

How Much Does the K-2 Visa Cost? Understanding Fees for K2 Sponsors and Recipients

Applying for a K-2 visa involves various costs that need to be accounted for. While there’s only one fee for the initial petition, each K visa applicant incurs additional expenses.

Fee Type Cost Notes
I-129F Filing Fee
This one-time fee for the entire K visa family covers both the K-1 and K-2 visa applications.
Medical Exam fee
Varies by location (around $300 on average)
Each applicant, including K-1 and K-2, needs a separate medical exam.
Visa application fee
$265 per applicant
This fee is paid for each K-1 and K-2 visa applicant.
Incidental expenses
Includes costs like translation, photocopying, travel to appointments, and obtaining certain documents.



If your fiancé(e) has one child, the total estimated cost for their K-2 visa, excluding incidental expenses, would be:


1 child * ($300 medical exam + $265 visa application) = $565


Adding this to the I-129F filing fee: $565 + $675 = $1240


Therefore, the total estimated cost for the K-2 visa for one child would be $1240, excluding any incidental costs, so don’t forget to budget for additional expenses, such as document translation and procurement.

K-2 Visa Validity: How Long Does the K2 Last?

The initial validity of the K-2 visa is 90 days, during which the K-1 holder must marry their sponsor. If this doesn’t happen within the 90-day timeframe, the K-1 and K-2 visa holders must leave the U.S. However, a 30-day grace period is typically provided, allowing 120 days (90 + 30) to resolve the situation.

The K-2 visa’s validity is intrinsically linked to the K-1 process and the marriage timeline. Once the marriage is finalized, K-2 visa holders can apply for status adjustment to become permanent residents (green card holders). This transition from temporary to permanent residency eliminates the time constraints associated with the K-2 visa, allowing the child to reside in the U.S. indefinitely.

Extending a K-2 Visa: What You Need to Know

The K-2 visa is not extendable in its own right. Its primary purpose is to allow children to accompany their parents to the U.S. and remain there while the parent marries their U.S. citizen sponsor. This marriage is a prerequisite for the K-2 visa holder’s continued stay in the U.S. If the marriage doesn’t occur within 90 days of entry, the K-1 and K-2 visa holders must leave the country.

However, while the K-2 visa itself isn’t renewable, there is a pathway to a longer-term stay in the U.S. Once the K-1 visa holder marries their U.S. citizen sponsor, the K-2 visa holder becomes eligible to apply for a green card (lawful permanent residency). This process, known as adjustment of status, allows them to transition from a temporary visa to permanent resident status.

Therefore, a K-2 visa holder who wants to stay in the U.S. beyond the initial 90 days must ensure their parent marries their sponsor within that timeframe. Then, they can request a green card, granting them the right to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

K-2 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Have you recently been approved for a K-1 visa and are now wondering how to bring your children to the U.S.? Do you have questions about the K-2 visa process, eligibility requirements, or what to expect after arrival? This FAQ section addresses common concerns and provides clear answers.

Can K-2 visa holders work in the United States?

Yes, K-2 visa holders can apply for work authorization in the U.S. To do this, they can file Form I-765 with evidence of their legal entry into the U.S., such as a copy of their arrival/departure record and K-2 visa. Once approved, they can work for 90 days if their K-2 visa is valid. However, they won’t be able to renew this work permit under the K-2 visa.

Alternatively, K-2 holders can apply for work authorization together with their application for a green card (Form I-485). If they choose this route, they should submit their work permit application alongside their green card application. If they apply for work authorization later, they must prove that their green card application is being processed.

K-2 visa holders cannot travel to the U.S. before their K-1 parent. They must travel with the parent or after the parent has entered the U.S.

The K-1 visa is specifically designed for the foreign fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, providing them with a pathway to enter the United States and marry their American partner within 90 days. This visa is the first step towards building a life together in the U.S. and obtaining a green card.

In addition to the K-1 visa, the K-2 visa is available for unmarried children (under 21) of K-1 visa holders. This visa allows children to accompany or join their parents in the United States while their parent pursues marriage to their U.S. citizen fiancé(e). The K-2 visa ensures that families can stay together during this critical transition.

Lastly, the K-3 visa is intended for the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen. The spouse can enter the United States while their green card application is processed. However, due to faster processing times for other visa categories, K-3 visas are rarely used.

Get Expert Guidance for Your Family to Get the K1 and K2 Visas!

The K-2 visa process, while designed to reunite families, can be complex and time-sensitive. Our experienced immigration specialists at ImmigrationDirect are here to help you every step of the way, ensuring a seamless and successful experience.

From preparing your initial petition and gathering the necessary documents to guiding you through the interview and adjustment of status, our team offers personalized support and expert advice. We’ll address your specific concerns, answer your questions, and alleviate any uncertainties you may have.

Don’t leave your family’s future to chance. Get in touch for a consultation, and let us help you bring your loved ones together in the United States.

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