Last Updated: 8/30/2018
What Is A K-2 Visa?
The K2 Visa allows the child to enter the United States with the K1 visa holder (usually the parent) for up to 90 days to then file for Adjustment of Status (to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S.).
If the marriage doesn’t take place, both the K2 visa holder (the child) and the K1 visa holder (the parent) will need to leave the united states before their I-94 expires (90 days).
After filing for Adjustment of Status they can live in the US beyond the 90 days that the K2 visa is valid for while their Adjustment of Status application is processed.
The K2 visa holder must be under 21 and unmarried to be eligible for the visa. You will not need to file separate I-129F application for each child that will be going to the US with you, but instead, you must include them on a single I-129F that you will fill out for yourself.
Who Is Eligible For A K2 Visa?
U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States can petition for a K1 fiancé(e) visa and the K2 child visa.
If the child is biologically related to the US citizen, they may be able to claim US citizenship and bypass the K2 visa process. I will discuss this more below.
The child must be unmarried and under the age of 21 at the time the petition is submitted. You will need to prove this by providing the birth certificate of your child as evidence. Don’t try to lie about your child’s age if they are older than 21, it’s better to apply for a relative visa after K1 parent has adjusted status and received your green card.
Frequently Asked Questions for K2 Visa
How long can a K2 visa holder stay in the US?
The K2 visa is valid as long as the K1 visa is valid which is 90 days from the date of arrival in the US. After 90 days, if the K1 visa holder doesn’t marry the US citizen, the K2 visa holder will also need to leave the country.
If the marriage takes place, both the K1 and K2 visa holders can file for adjustment of status to get a green card.
Can a K2 visa holder work?
Yes, you can apply for work authorization (I-765) during the 90 day validity period. But, the work permit will expire then your I-94 does. Remember, you will also need to be legal age to work in the US which is usually 16 years old.
Can a K2 visa holder go to school?
Yes, you can study in any public or private school. However, you will only be legally able to attend school as long as your I-94 is valid or you adjust your status and receive your green card.
Can you “age out” at age 21 but before Adjustment of Status?
Yes, unfortunately when you turn 21 you are no longer considered a “child” in the eyes of immigration officials. This means that you cannot apply as a child of a K1 visa holder but instead but apply for adjustment of status all over again as an adult.
Even if you have submitted the adjustment of status application before you turned 21 but the process has take a year and you subsequently turned 21, you will be denied and need to file again on your own.
K2 visa is valid for 1 year from the time K1 visa is approved.
Applying for Adjustment of Status as K2 Visa Holder
To be eligible to apply for adjustment of status under the K1 visa holder, you must be under age 21 and unmarried. If you reach the age of 21 while your application is pending, you may be covered under the Child Status Protection Act of 2002 (CSPA).
What does CSPA cover for K2 visa?
Unfortunately, since the K2 visa holder doesn’t actually get petitioned by the US citizen for adjustment of status – they aren’t eligible under the CSPA. In some cases, USCIS may accept an adjustment of status petitioned filed by the US citizen for the K2 visa holder but they are not required to accept this petition.
This will protect the K2 applicant from “aging out” while their adjustment of status is still pending when they reach the age of 21.
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protects a child of certain visa petitions from “aging out” before USCIS approves their applications.
K1 Visa Holder is Pregnant with US Citizen's Child
In a situation where the K1 applicant is pregnant before she travel to the US, no K2 visa is required before the birth of the child. If the child is biologically related to the US citizen, then they have the option to report the child’s birth to the US consulate and claim their US citizenship by birth.
This process is called Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America. You’ll need to provide the birth certificate and may need to take a paternity test.
The fee for this form is $65.00 and once the registration is approved, your child will receive form FS-240 which is considered a US citizenship document. This document can only be given at a US consulate when the child is under 18 years old.
Note that a child born to a US citizen is not eligible for a K2 visa and instead must claim US citizenship.