• In order to apply for a work permit, foreign investors and employees must hold a PI (private investor) or E2/E3 (employment) VISA.
• BIDA issues a letter of recommendation for obtaining a PI and E2/E3 VISA.
• VoAs may be converted to E2, E3, and PI visa types upon submission of all necessary documentation. E2, E3, and PI visa eligibility under the revised VISA Policy 2019 (effective July 2021):
PI (private investor) VISA: for foreign investors investing in industrial/commercial establishments under 100 percent foreign ownership or joint venture in the private sector.
for I expatriates working in national/international/ government/ semi-government/ autonomous/ private industrial/ commercial organizations/ branch/liaison/ representative office and ii) expatriates working under contractor including EPC contractor/ sub-contract or in projects of the government/ semi-government/ autonomous bodies of Bangladesh.
for foreign nationals engaged in machinery and software installation, maintenance supervision, or project inspection.
Bangladesh is the seventh largest consumer of goods and services in the world. In Bangladesh, franchising is an established method for launching a business. The industries of transportation, beauty, fast food, education, wellness, mail delivery, clothing, and health care are among the most popular for franchise startups.
The franchise business is one of the options that brands have adopted for expansion in Bangladesh. Bangladesh offers a variety of inexpensive franchise opportunities. This article discusses Franchise Business Registration in Bangladesh, as well as “What is a Franchise Business?” and the documents required for Franchise Business registration.
What is a franchise business in Bangladesh?
It is one of the primary means by which foreign companies and brands have strengthened their presence on the Bangladeshi market. A franchisor (franchise brand) is involved and provides the franchisee (owner of the franchise outlet) with conceptual, structural, legal, and training support in exchange for an upfront start-up fee and ongoing royalties.
Both the franchisor and franchisee profit from franchise ownership and operation. After the franchisee has access to the brand’s devoted customer base, legal counsel, creative support, and training support, the franchisor can further expand the business into untapped markets, thereby increasing market share and revenues. Franchising is the most valuable and practical type of business opportunity.
A franchised business consists of a franchisor and a franchisee. Although the former refers to an entity that lends its brand, trade name, or any other form of intellectual property laws along with the value chain, the latter describes a person who, in exchange for a royalty and an initial fee, conducts the business of the former under the mark or name of the franchisor.
Good international business policy may be sold under certain conditions.
As part of its global trade policy, a reputable company may open franchises in any nation.
The parent company may charge franchise owners royalty fees.
Legal formalities require the aforementioned information. In Bangladesh, starting a business as a foreign investor is somewhat difficult. Numerous other licenses are needed to establish a Manufacturing Company. However, after completing the necessary legal procedures and obtaining the necessary licenses, you are permitted to start a business in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, franchise agreements are governed by a variety of pertinent laws rather than a single type of legislation. Several examples include the Bangladeshi Contract Act of 1872, the Consumer Protection Act, the Patents Act, the Trade Marks Act, the Copyright Act, the Specific Relief Act, the Design Act, and the Transfer of Property Act of 1882.
Franchise Business Formation in Bangladesh:
Before agreeing for such a reason, Bangladeshi law does not require the franchisor to be licensed by any governing body. However, the Trademark Act of Bangladesh makes it simpler to register as a trademark account holder.
Disclosure Regulations Disclosure regulations exist in some nations, requiring franchisors to disclose pertinent information to franchisees prior to contract signing. The franchise agreement determines the validity of post responsibilities in Bangladesh by incorporating all applicable disclosure laws. In this instance, the Contract Act of 1872 definition of “consensus ad idem” is applicable.
The franchise agreement also specifies how this obligation applies to sub-franchisees. It is important to note that common law principles govern the proposed contractual relationships. In the absence of disclosure laws, there are no established formats or obligations for ongoing disclosures. Associational Participation A franchise is not required to be a member of a national franchise association, but doing so could help protect franchise owners’ interests.
Franchise Contract in Bangladesh
In addition to the obvious requirements of capital, facilities, and other essentials, a franchise is founded upon a franchise agreement. The type of agreement utilized for this purpose varies based on variables such as format, control, franchisor type, etc.
The Bangladeshi Contract Act of 1872 stipulates that franchise agreements must adhere to its provisions. If this condition is met, franchisees are permitted to include disclosure laws in their contracts. In this scenario, the franchisor’s deceit permits the franchisee to file civil lawsuits for damages and criminal lawsuits for fact manipulation and criminal breach of trust.
Legal framework for Registration of Franchise Businesses in Bangladesh:
• Franchise Enrollment:
The franchisor is not required by Bangladeshi law to be registered with any professional or regulatory body prior to entering into this agreement. On the other hand, the trademark act makes it simpler to record the registered user of a Trademark.
• Franchise Agreement for Business in Bangladesh:
Except for the obviously necessary elements of financing, infrastructure, and other necessities, a franchise is founded on a franchise agreement. The type of agreement used for this purpose varies based on a variety of factors, such as the format, level of control, and type of franchisor, among others.
Franchise agreements must comply with the provisions of the Bangladeshi Contract Act of 1872. Subject to this provision, franchisees may include disclosure requirements in the franchise agreement. In this instance, the franchisor’s misrepresentation makes it easier for the franchisee to file both a civil lawsuit for damages and a criminal complaint for false statements of fact and criminal breach of trust.
• Discloser Standards:
Certain nations’ disclosure regulations require franchisors to provide franchisees with the necessary information prior to contract signing. The application of pre-disclosure responsibilities in Bangladesh is determined on the basis of the aforementioned franchise agreement, which contains specific disclosure requirements. The “consensus ad idem” clauses of the Contract Act of 1857, which apply in this instance, may be noted by the reader.
The franchise agreement is also used to determine whether sub-franchisees are subject to this requirement. It is essential to note that the proposed contractual connections are governed by common law in this instance.
In the absence of disclosure requirements, there are no particular formats or responsibilities associated with continued disclosures.
Establishing a Franchise Enterprise in Bangladesh:
Before deciding to start a business in Bangladesh, it is advisable to acquire a basic understanding of the country. Human behavior, required business licenses, the cost of establishing a business, the political environment, population density,
investment sectors, the likelihood of investment return, the income tax rate, the value-added tax, and the market are just a few of the variables that influence the profitability of an investment.
Name Clearance (NC) is a prerequisite for new entity registration (other than Foreign Company and Partnership Firm). Before submitting an application for registration, the promoters of a new entity must apply for and obtain name clearance.
Currently, NC can be obtained online through the joint stock website at roc.gov.bd, which is a relatively straightforward procedure.
The name clearance is valid for a period of ninety (90) days from the date of issuance.
[ADDITIONAL STEPS FOR A FOREIGN INVESTED COMPANY: OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT, TRANSFERRING MONEY, AND GETTING AN ENCASHMENT CERTIFICATE]
The promoters of a new entity (with name clearance) must apply for registration with the appropriate documents, forms, schedules, stamps, and fees, depending on the entity type.
a. prepare Memorandum/Articles of Association, forms & schedules, etc., based on entity type. b. Pay Stamp Duty (online) c. submit the application for registration online. d. pay the enrollment fees (online)
e. Memorandum and Articles of Incorporation. f. Completed Form I: Declaration on Company Registration [Section 25]. g. Form VI: Notice of Situation and Change of Registered Office [Section 77] duly completed. h. Form IX: Consent of Director to Act [Section 92] has been completed. e. Form X: List of Individuals Consenting to Serve as Directors [Section 92] i. Form XII: Particulars of the Directors, Manager, and Managing Agents, as well as any alterations [Section 115] Evidence of Clearance of Name
CERTIFICATE OF COMPANY INCORPORATION
Following review of the online application by the concerned dealing officer and deputy registrar, company registration may be approved, and the certificate, Form XII, and MOA AOA will be emailed to the applicant.
LICENSES for Franchise Business Registration in Bangladesh
Request and acquire a Tax Identification Number (online)
Any additional licenses required based on the nature of the business
• While local shareholders and directors are not required to register a new business, registration is required for foreign shareholders and directors. • Very few consultants, attorneys, and consulting firms are aware of the procedure for registering a new business with foreign directors. • Registration of a business with foreign directors differs from that of a business with domestic directors. enlistment of branch office In Bangladesh, the branch office registration authorities are BOI and BEPZA. • Branch office is exempt from income tax because it is not permitted to engage in direct business. • The branch office is unable to receive customer payments into its bank account, but it may incur expenses using capital transferred from the parent company. • Click here for information on how to open a branch office. Authorization of the project office • BOI has the authority to authorize the opening of a project office in Bangladesh. • Project office is NOT exempt from income tax. • Knowledge personnel are exempt from taxation under certain conditions. • Foreign personnel can be hired through the project office.
Market Identification for Franchise Business Registration in Bangladesh:
Identification of a market niche is essential for any aspiring entrepreneur seeking to enter the business world. When you finally decide to launch your franchise, choose a market that will be beneficial to you in terms of profitability and long-term viability.
To make an informed decision, it is recommended to conduct a comprehensive market and city-specific analysis. Keep in mind that popular niches are more prone to fierce competition.
Managing the Legal Aspects after Franchise Business Registration:
As soon as you sign the franchise agreement with the relevant business, you must obtain legal authorization from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs once you have chosen your area of expertise. If the franchise is located outside of Bangladeshi Territory, choose a reputable company that can assist you in resolving issues promptly.
Assume possession once the aforementioned conditions have been satisfied. To avoid future legal disputes with the franchisor, it is advisable to secure a credible witness while legal proceedings are ongoing.
• Essential Business Licensing for Franchise Business Registration:
Now presented is the most important factor for establishing a franchise in Bangladesh. To comply with the law, you would need a license and registration of your own. Without exception, if your company owns a restaurant chain, you must obtain an FSSAI License.
• Tax Obligations of a Business for Franchise Business Registration:
Every business owner must comprehend the tax ramifications. Therefore, we request that you emphasize the same and comprehend the various tax regimes that apply to your business.
Bangladesh has a variety of taxes, ranging from customs duties to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), so it is essential to comprehend the tiers and be adequately prepared. You can determine the best way to minimize your tax burden at this time.
Additionally, the franchise’s human resources in Bangladesh are indispensable to its business operations. Consequently, you must be aware of the number of employees required to support the operation. To ensure a smooth hiring process, you, as the owner, must familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the staff.
Subsidiary Company Registration
PARENT COMPANY (FOREIGN)
MAJORITY UP TO 100%
FOREIGN: 99%, LOCAL: 1% ( RECOMMEND )
1 DIRECTOR FROM PARENT AND 1 DIRECTOR FROM LOCAL COMPANY
HOLD 100% SHARES
APPOINT 1 REPRESENTATIVE ON BEHALF OF BANGLADESH COMPANY
Are you intending to do Franchise Business Registration in Bangladesh?
Get your Franchise Business Registration in Bangladesh done with the help of Tahmidur Rahman Remura: TLS: The Law Firm in Bangladesh:
How to form an Association in Bangladesh abd Section 28 of the 1994 Companies Act:
Under section 28 of the Companies Act, a nonprofit organization may incorporate as a corporation. This Association will enjoy all the advantages of a limited liability company, but it is not required to include the word “limited” in its name. However, prior to the formation of such companies, permission from the government is required, which can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Before granting such permission, the government is also authorized to insert additional clauses and conditions into the Association’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and to impose restrictions on the same.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) are typically non-profit organizations and sometimes international organizations that are autonomous and independent of governments and are active in humanitarian, educational, health care, public policy, social, human rights, environmental, and other areas to effect change in accordance with their objectives.
Comparative Analysis of Entities Under Sections 29 and 28 of the 1994 Companies Act:
The “non-profit association” or Club may be registered under the Companies Act of 1994. Both types of companies (i.e. “association not-for-profit”) shall enjoy all of the advantages of a limited liability company and be subject to all of its obligations. Both types of businesses are registered as Limited by Guarantee Companies. Company Limited by Guarantee refers to a company that may not have a share capital and whose members promise to pay the company’s debts up to a predetermined limit in the event of liquidation.
The primary distinction between an entity under section 29 of the Companies Act of 1994 and an entity under section 28 of the Companies Act of 1994 is that the former is a profitable organization while the latter is a non-profit organization. As the promoters of the entity chose according to their convenience, i.e. whether they wished to form a profitable or non-profit entity, there is no general advantage or disadvantage associated with their registration.
However, the “association not-for-profit” can be established without the word “Limited” On the basis of their formation, there are no specific tax benefits for either type of company; however, if an entity under section 28 is formed solely for religious or charitable purposes, it may be eligible for tax exemption under certain heads under the Income Tax Ordinance of 1984.
Comparing entities under Section 29 of the Companies Act of 1994 and Societies Registration Act of 1860:
Entities governed by the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Can only be Charitable societies, societies established for the promotion of science, literature, or the fine arts, the foundation or maintenance of libraries, etc., i.e. charitable in nature, as per section 20 of the Act, whereas the entity under section 29 of the Companies Act 1994 can engage in any type of business as defined in the object clause of the entity and is profitable in nature.
On the basis of their formation, neither type of entity is eligible for specific tax benefits; however, if an entity formed under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 is formed solely for religious or charitable purposes, it may be eligible for tax exemption under certain heads under the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984.
i. The option and possibilities of converting an entity from Section 29 of the Companies Act 1994 to Section 28 of the Companies Act 1994 or to an entity under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 are discussed below:
ii. Convert to a “non-profit association” under Section 28 of the Companies Act:
There are no explicit rules and regulations governing the conversion of a section 29 company to a section 28 company.
In practice, however, the Registrar of the Joint Stock for Companies & Firms has the discretion to convert the exiting entity, i.e. an entity under section 29 of the Act, into an association under section 28 of the Act, if the Registrar is satisfied that the conversion is to be made for promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity, or any other useful object, and that the entity intends to use its profits or other income to promote these objects. In addition, the Registrar will decide on the conversion request after receiving the clearance report from the security agencies. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the section 28 procedure for the dissolution of a corporation is entirely bureaucratic, time-consuming, and uncertain.
iii. Become a society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860:
A Company formed under section 29 of the Companies Act 1994 cannot be converted into a society.
By passing a special resolution and appointing a liquidator, a section 29-registered entity can dissolve voluntarily from its current registration format. The applicant may then submit an application to form a society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
The procedure for registering a non-profit organization is identical to that of a public limited company. This association is governed by Section 28 of the Companies Act of 1994, as detailed in the following section.
Authority to Waive Limited In the name of nonprofit and other organizations:
(1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Government that an association capable of being formed as a limited company has been or is about to be formed for the purpose of promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity, or any other useful object, and applies or intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects and to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members, the Government may, by license with the approval of one of its Secretaries, direct the association to apply its profits, if (2) A license granted by the government under this section may be subject to such conditions and restrictions as the government deems appropriate. These conditions and restrictions are binding on the association and, if directed by the government, must be included in the association’s memorandum and articles or one of those documents. (3) Upon registration, the association shall enjoy all the privileges and be subject to all the obligations of a limited company, with the exception of using the word “Limited” as part of its name, publishing its name, and sending member lists to the Registrar. (4) A license issued pursuant to this section may be revoked at any time by the Government. Upon revocation, the Registrar shall add the word “Limited” to the end of the association’s name on the register, and the association shall no longer enjoy the exemptions and privileges granted by this section.
Before a license is revoked, the government must notify the association in writing of its intention and the reasons for the revocation, and the association must be given the opportunity to submit an objection to the cancellation.”
To learn more about the timeline and registration process for your Non-Profit Organization, please visit our page on registering a Public Limited Company.
When considering the registration of a new company or the relocation of an existing one to Bangladesh, keep in mind that the majority of Bangladeshi businesses are registered as limited liability companies (commonly known as private limited companies). Note that there is a provision for One-Person Companies (OPC in short). Due to certain restrictions, we do not recommend that our clients form an OPC. In Bangladesh, a private limited company is a separate legal entity, and shareholders’ liability for the company’s debts is limited to the amount of capital they have contributed. According to the Companies Act of 1994, any individual over the age of 18 may register a company in Bangladesh, regardless of nationality.
If you are an international investor, you should read our article on international investment. It will assist you in comprehending the legal framework governing foreign investment in Bangladesh.
PRE-REGISTRATION: IMPORTANT INFORMATION
KEY FACTS ABOUT COMPANY FORMATION
Company Title Prior to incorporating a business in Bangladesh, the name must be approved (cleared).
Directors. Minimum of two directors are required. Directors can be either domestic or international. Directors must be at least 18 years old and cannot have been declared bankrupt or convicted of misconduct in the past. The law stipulates that a director must hold the qualifying shares specified in the Articles of Association. A shareholder that is not a natural person (i.e., a corporation) may nominate a director.
A Bangladeshi limited liability company can have between two and fifty shareholders. A director and shareholder may or may not be the same individual. A shareholder may be a person or another legal entity, such as a corporation. In most industries, 100% foreign or domestic ownership is permissible. After the Bangladeshi company has completed the incorporation process, new shares may be issued or existing shares may be transferred to another party at any time.
Authorized Funds. The authorized capital must be stated in the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. It is the maximum amount of authorized share capital that can be issued (allocated) to shareholders. A portion of the authorized capital may be held in reserve. In Bangladesh, there is no minimum or maximum limit on authorized capital.
Paid-up Capital. The minimum paid-up capital required to register a Bangladeshi company is 1 Taka. Paid-up capital (also known as share capital) can be increased at any time following a company’s incorporation.
Registered Location. To register a company in Bangladesh, you must provide a local address for the company’s registered office. The registered address must be a physical address (residential or commercial) and cannot be a Post Office Box.
Constitution and Articles of Incorporation. The corporation-to-be must draft a memorandum of association (MoA) and articles of incorporation (AoA).
CONSIDERATIONS FOR FOREIGNERS:
Foreigners who wish to establish a business in Bangladesh must consider the following points.
You must open a bank account in the name of the proposed company after obtaining name clearance from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC), also known as the registrar of companies, and deposit the initial paid-up capital. This is required for Bangladeshi company incorporation. All company incorporation procedures can be completed without your presence in Bangladesh. The only possible exception is opening a bank account, depending on the bank chosen. All directors and shareholders may be foreign nationals. If you only wish to incorporate a limited liability company in Bangladesh and have no intention of relocating there, you are not required to obtain a special visa. You are free to operate your business from abroad and to visit Bangladesh on a business visa whenever necessary to attend to company-related matters. If you intend to establish a business in Bangladesh, you are required to obtain a work permit.
The company registrar requires the following information for the incorporation of a company in Bangladesh:
Company Title A name clearance is necessary.
Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association. RJSC stipulates that the MoA’s object clause must not exceed 400 words and seven clauses.
Shareholder Information (National ID if the shareholder is a Bangladeshi)
Director Specifics (including Tax Identification Number)
Address provided on Form IX and Subscriber Page. A scanned copy in pdf format must be provided.
For foreigners: Copy of shareholder and director’s passports
There are three distinct steps involved in establishing a company in Bangladesh: a) Name Clearance; ii) Opening a bank account and depositing paid-up capital; and b) Company Registration. Step ii is applicable only if the proposed company has a foreign shareholder.
FIRST STEP: NAME CLEARANCE
To establish a company in Bangladesh, you must first obtain name approval for the proposed company name. You must first visit www.roc.gov.bd and generate a username. Then you can submit an application for name clearance. After submitting the name clearance application, you will receive a bank payment slip and be required to pay Taka 600 to the designated bank. After making the payment, you must log in to your account on the RJSC’s website to receive the name clearance.
The RJSC has prepared this guide for name clearance.
Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are recommended web browsers for use on the RJSC website. Other browsers may not function properly.
Improve your chances of name approval by ensuring that the name:
is not identical or too similar to any existing local business names; does not violate any trademarks; is not obscene or vulgar; and is not reserved. A name that has been approved will be reserved for six months after the date of clearance. You can extend the name by filing a request for extension just prior to the expiration date.
Second step: opening a bank account and depositing the initial capital.
This step is applicable only if the proposed company has foreign ownership.
Next, you must open a bank account in the proposed company name with any Bangladeshi scheduled bank. After opening the account, you will be required to deposit funds equal to the number of shares the foreign shareholder from outside Bangladesh will hold. The Bank will issue an Encashment Certificate, which RJSC will need in order to incorporate.
STEP 3: REGISTER BUSINESS
The final step is to submit all of the necessary information on the RJSC website. Additionally, you must upload Form IX and Subscriber Page. After completing all of the necessary steps, you will receive a bank payment slip for paying the registration fees and stamp duty.
You can review this RJSC-created guide for submitting all information to the RJSC website.
After completing the transaction at the bank, you are finished. You must now follow up with the RJSC in order to obtain the incorporation certificate. Officials from the RJSC will review the documents and information. If they are satisfied, they will issue the digitally signed Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, and Form XII. These documents will be sent to your RJSC account’s associated email address.
In extremely rare instances, the incorporation process may be delayed if the shareholders or directors are of a particular nationality. In such situations, authorities may request additional information.
DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY RJSC:
Certificate of Incorporation: The RJSC will issue the company’s Certificate of Incorporation. The certificate will include the company’s registration number, name, and incorporation date.
Form XII: Form XII includes the list of directors for a corporation.
Official copies of the MoA and AoA.
You will almost certainly also need the following items to register your Bangladeshi company:
Certificates of ownership for each shareholder.
Register investors, stocks, directors, etc.
Company seal for the organization
A rubber stamp for the organization APPLYING FOR TRADE LICENSE, TAX ID, AND OTHER LICENSES.
After incorporating, you should purchase or rent a commercial space in any commercial area.
The most common visa for students wishing to study in the United States is the F-1 student visa. It is a temporary visa for foreign students who wish to study at an accredited school or college in the United States. The United States issued approximately 486,000 new F-1 visas in 2012. This is more than double the amount distributed the previous year.
The steps for applying for an F-1 student visa may differ depending on which US embassy or consulate you choose to submit your application to. To confirm the requirements for your specific US embassy or consulate, go to USEmbassy.Gov.
To start the process of obtaining an F-1 student visa, you must first:
Fill out Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Bring this confirmation page from your application form to your F-1 student visa interview.
Upload a Photo –
Follow the photo requirements and submit your application online.
After submitting your online application, you can schedule an interview at any US Embassy or Consulate. It is best to schedule an interview in the area where you have permanent residency. Apply for your F-1 student visa as soon as possible because interview wait times vary depending on location and season.
Requirements for an F-1 Student Visa:
The chosen program must be an accredited academic program, a language training program, or a vocational program. The Student and Exchange Visitors Program, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, must accept the student’s school. Full-time enrollment is required for the student. The student must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency or be enrolled in courses to achieve that proficiency. To be financially independent during the course of study, the student must have adequate funds. The student must not give up his or her acquired residence in another country.
Student Visa Type F-1
There are a few documents that you must obtain prior to your F-1 student visa interview and bring with you on the day of the interview. Failure to provide these documents may jeopardize your F-1 student visa approval.
Passport Validity –
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the United States.
Confirmation page for Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
Receipt for application fee payment
Photo – If your photo did not upload while completing your online nonimmigrant visa application, you must bring a printed photo to the interview that meets the requirements.
Nonimmigrant Eligibility Certificate (F-1 or M-1) Form I-20, Student Status – Once your information has been entered into the SEVIS database, your school will send you a SEVIS-generated Form I-20. The Form I-20 must be signed by both you and a school official.
Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended are examples of evidence of your academic preparation. Your US school requires standardized test scores. Your intention to leave the United States once the course of study is completed. How you intend to pay for all educational, living, and travel expenses. Interview for F-1 Visa
Digital fingerprints will be collected and stored during the F-1 student visa interview. Consular officials will determine whether you are qualified for the requested visa category and have met all of the requirements. Following the interview, your visa may be subject to additional administrative processing, which is usually completed within 60 days of the interview.
After the F-1 student visa is approved, you can check the visa processing time to see how long it will be before the visa is ready for pick up or delivery.
Commuters from Canada and Mexico:
The F-3 Visa is intended for Canadian and Mexican citizens who wish to study in the United States while remaining in their home country. Students must attend an accredited community/junior college, vocational school, or university located 75 miles from the United States’ land border port of entry. Students are not permitted to live in the United States.
Work Permit for F-1 Student Visa:
In their first year, F1 visa students are not permitted to work off-campus. They can, however, work on campus under certain conditions. After their first year, students may engage in certain types of off-campus employment as long as it is related to their field of study:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) –
CPT can be done full-time or part-time. Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre- or post-graduation) – You may only work 20 hours per week while school is in session. Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT) F-1 Visa to Green Card in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Many people who come to the United States for work, family, or school want to make it their permanent home. However, converting from a nonimmigrant visa to an immigrant visa (green card) is not as simple as it sounds, particularly for certain visas. This is due to a feature known as “dual intent,” which allows the holder of a specific visa to pursue lawful permanent residence while in nonimmigrant status.
Some visas, such as the H-1B and L-1, have dual intent, while others do not. One of these unfortunate few is the F-1. Applying for a green card while in F-1 status may result not only in your green card being denied, but also in a violation of status and a temporary bar from re-entry into the United States.
So, if you entered the United States under F-1 status, can you get a green card?
The answer is yes, but it is not as simple as going from an F-1 to a green card. The first step would be for a student to change his or her status to a different nonimmigrant visa with dual intent, which is permitted under F-1 status. H-1B, E-1/E-2, L-1, and O-1 visas are some options to consider. If you meet the requirements for any of these visas, you must file (or have your employer file) an I-129 petition, along with the necessary fees and documentation. In the case of the H-1B, you will almost certainly have to contend with the annual lottery, which has specific requirements.
You will be able to apply for your green card immediately after receiving your dual intent visa. You must select the green card that best meets your qualifications. If you are a young student with little work experience, you should consider the EB-3. If you went to school later in life and have a master’s degree, the EB-2 may be a better option for you.
You or your employer must wait until your priority date is current before filing the green card petition. This is the day the USCIS receives your petition. You should keep an eye on the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin. When the final action date for your green card and country of origin matches or exceeds your priority date, your date becomes current, and a visa number becomes available.
You have two options at this point. Because you are already in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, you can simply file an I-485 to have your status changed. This typically takes six months and can be costly. You can, on the other hand, choose consular processing, which requires you to fill out a DS-260 application and submit it to the US Consulate or Embassy in your home country for an interview. This may appear inconvenient, but depending on your consulate’s caseload, it may be the faster option.
If your I-485 application is approved or your consular interview is successful, you will be granted lawful permanent residence and your green card will be mailed to you.
How Immigration Lawyers at VisaNation Law Group Can Assist
If the participant wishes to extend his or her stay in the United States, VisaNation Law Group’s immigration attorneys are ready to help you with the F-1 Visa renewal process. Attorneys at VisaNation Law Group will also provide advice in cases of CPT, OPT, STEM extensions, visa changes, and employment extensions using the Cap Gap Rule. If the applicant is granted F-1 status, the holder’s spouse and unmarried minor children may apply for an F-2 Visa. Our knowledgeable attorneys are standing by to assist you.
The lawyers at VisaNation Law Group will assist you in obtaining the F-1 Visa and will provide the best strategy possible based on their extensive experience. Immigration lawyers provide personalized attention in order to provide the best, most efficient service. Even if the client has previously failed, F-1 Visa lawyers will be involved in every step of the process.
Processing Time for F-1:
One of the best aspects of American immigration law is that it welcomes students from all over the world. Obtaining an F-1 visa can be extremely advantageous and serve as a great stepping stone to other immigration opportunities. But how long does it take to process an F-1 visa? The answer depends on a number of factors, so let’s take a look at how to get an F-1 visa and how long it will take.
Overview of the F-1 Visa
Before we can get a better idea of how long your F-1 processing time will be, let’s go over what you’ll need to see this through from beginning to end.
Because the United States has some of the best educational institutions in the world, students come from all over the world to live, study, and work here on the F-1 visa. This is one of two student visas available, the other being the M-1, which is intended for vocational schools and other non-academic institutions. The F-1 visa, on the other hand, is for anyone enrolling in a private elementary, high school, college, or university in the United States. It also includes less well-known schools such as conservatories and seminaries.
To obtain an F-1 visa, you must demonstrate to the USCIS the following:
That you have a permanent residence in your home country, which serves as an incentive to return once your studies are finished.
That you have a strong connection and a compelling reason to return to your home country in the form of a job offer; assets such as a home, land, or car; close family members, or a bank account.
That you will be able to support yourself during your stay in the United States.
That you are being sponsored for your F-1 visa by a qualifying educational institution.
When you have evidence of all four of the aforementioned criteria, you must have your school enter your information into the SEVIS database (Student and Exchange Visitor Program). Once this is completed, the school will be given an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which must be signed before it is given to you.
You must complete the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application online as soon as you receive your I-20. You can schedule an interview with the US Consulate or Embassy in your home country once you have completed it and paid the fee. You must bring the confirmation page and payment receipt for the DS-160, as well as your I-20, passport, and a portrait-style photo of yourself.
Keep in mind that not everyone will be asked to participate in an interview, as it primarily applies to those aged 14 to 79. However, the consular officer reserves the right to interview anyone applying for a visa to the United States.
Following your interview and presentation of all required documents, you will most likely be asked for biometrics (fingerprints), and your passport will be held and returned to you later with your visa inside. It’s a good idea to wait until your visa has been sent to you before making travel plans for any visa, because approval is not guaranteed and it can sometimes take a few weeks for the consulate to return your passport and visa.
How long does it take to process an F-1 visa?
Finally, the processing time for your F-1 visa is determined by your school or institution. Some schools advise you to allow a few weeks for I-20 processing, while others may take several months. To learn more about your petition, contact your school.
When it comes to your student visa interview, you should give yourself plenty of time. Many prospective F-1 students make the mistake of missing flights or school start dates due to consulate delays. It may take up to two months for the consulate to respond with an interview appointment time after you submit your DS-160 application. The appointment can then be scheduled for a week or two in the future, so leave plenty of time.
Overall, you should allow at least five to six weeks for your F-1 processing time between your I-20 and consular interview. To get a better idea of what to expect, contact your school, the US consulate, and your immigration attorney.
How long does it take to process an F-1 OPT for an EAD?
To be eligible for Optional Practical Training while studying on an F-1 visa, you must first complete the following steps:
Your DSO (designated school official) must recommend you for OPT on your I-20 and in SEVIS. An I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, also known as an EAD, must be filed. It could take up to ten days for the USCIS to notify you that your I-785 has been received. If your application is approved, it could take between one and two months for you to receive notification and be scheduled for a biometrics appointment.
You will be able to work under your OPT while studying on your F-1 visa once you receive your EAD.
How Long Does It Take to Reinstate My F-1 Visa?
If you lose your F-1 status and want to continue your studies, you may be able to apply for reinstatement. However, if your status was revoked because you worked illegally, you will be unable to reinstate your F-1 visa. In this case, you must leave the country as soon as possible or risk being considered “out of status.”
To be reinstated as an immigrant student, you must re-enroll in your school and have another I-20 issued to you. You will also need to file an I-539 form correctly. Because this form serves several purposes, it is best to have an immigration attorney assist you in filling it out.
A cover letter explaining why you lost your F-1 status is required. This should explain why your loss of status was unavoidable and why you should be reinstated.
Once this is completed, you may have to wait up to four months for your F-1 reinstatement to be processed.
Can I Make Use of Premium Processing?
Unfortunately, the premium processing service, which reduces processing time to 15 calendar days for a fee, is only available for certain visas that use the I-129 and I-140 petitions. The F-1 is not eligible for premium processing because it uses the I-20.
Can I Change My Status to Apply for a Green Card?
So, you’ve had a great time working and studying in the United States; what can you do to extend your stay? You can either switch to another temporary nonimmigrant visa or apply for a green card. Unfortunately, there is only one issue. The F-1 visa does not permit dual entry. As a result, you will almost certainly have to do both.
As evidenced by the F-1 requirements, you must maintain a strong indication that you intend to return home after completing your studies. Filing for your green card does the opposite and may result in future difficulties obtaining the green card.
To avoid complications and status violations, try changing your status first. By changing from F-1 to H-1B status, you put yourself in the position of dual intent, allowing you to apply for your green card without complications. However, you must still meet the requirements for the new visa.
The H-1B visa may appear to be the best option (especially if you are in the STEM OPT), but you must have a bachelor’s degree for a specialty position. Furthermore, unless your new employer is a non-profit, government, or educational institution, your petition will be entered into a lottery, and you will have to hope that your petition is chosen among thousands of others.
Another popular visa is the L-1, which requires you to be an executive, manager, or specialized employee of a multinational corporation with a presence in the United States. Keep in mind that “specialized employee” should not be confused with “specialty employee” who is H-1B eligible. A specialized employee has in-depth knowledge of the company’s operations or product and does not need to have any formal education in that field to be eligible for an L-1 visa.
However, for an L-1 visa, you must work for the employer overseas for at least one year in the three years preceding the petition’s filing, so you must factor that into your processing time.
You can learn more about the differences between H-1B and L-1 visas by reading this article.
Processing Time From F-1 Visa to Green Card
If you decide to use one of these visas to change your status before applying for an employment-based green card, you must find a sponsor and have that sponsor file an I-129 petition on your behalf. In the case of the H-1B visa, you must have your employer obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on your behalf.
The exact processing times for the H-1B and L-1 visas vary depending on your case, but the I-129 typically takes six months to complete. With the I-129 visas, however, you can use premium processing to reduce your processing time to just 15 calendar days.
Once you have your dual intent visa, you can immediately have your employer (either your current or new employer) file an I-140 petition on your behalf, which takes an average of six months to process. Premium processing may be available, but keep in mind that it is not available for EB-1C or EB-2 with a National Interest Waiver.
Summary: Difference Between F-1 and J-1 Visa
There are numerous distinctions between F-1 and J-1 visas. While both are appropriate for foreign students and professionals who want to study in the United States, some key differences are related to your ability to work during and after your studies. Your funding requirements will vary greatly depending on the type of visa you choose. A quick comparison summary is provided in the table below.
Your financial support must come primarily from sources other than your personal savings or the support of family and friends. Scholarships, grants, fellowships, assistantships, research funding, or funding from your home country’s government, corporate sector, or other organizations must account for more than 51% of your total funding.
Any funding source is regarded as acceptable. It can range from private or familial funds to government scholarships or business funding. There are no limitations on the kind of financing you need.
2 Year Home Residency Requirement
Yes, however, there are exceptions.
Not applicable to F-1 visa holders.
Allowed to work up to 20 hours per week (part-time). Must obtain work authorization. Only allowed to work at the educational institution and the job must be related to the field of study.
Allowed to work during studies if the position is part of a paid or unpaid academic internship. Also allowed to work after studies for up to 12 -24 months, depending on your field of study.
You will have 30 days to leave the U.S. after the completion of your studies.
You will have 60 days to leave the U.S. after the completion of your employment or studies.
Must have health insurance for the duration of your stay in the U.S.
Health insurance is not required, however, many educational institutions may require you to have one.
Depending on the type of green card you seek, filing an I-140 may necessitate the acquisition of a PERM Labor Certification by your employer. This means that your employer must post job ads and go through a recruitment process to ensure that no qualified U.S. workers are available for your position.
Under normal circumstances, the PERM process can take anywhere from six to nine months. However, if your employer is subjected to supervised recruitment or audited (either by chance or because the Department of Labor believes the recruitment report is fraudulent), your PERM processing time could be extended by a year and a half.
Dates of Priority
Once your I-140 is submitted, you must keep track of the date it is received by the USCIS. This will be your priority date, which must be compared to the final action dates listed in the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin. The final action dates vary depending on your country of origin and the type of green card you seek.
You can proceed to the next step once your priority date matches or exceeds the final action date in your category. However, the longest step in the F-1 to green card processing time is sometimes waiting for your priority date to be “current.” For example, if you are an Indian national seeking an EB-3 green card, you may be forced to wait nearly a decade.
If you are from Central America and applying for an EB-1, you may not have to wait at all. Because processing times vary greatly, it’s a good idea to ask your immigration attorney what you can expect.
Furthermore, if your priority date is not going to be current for some time, the USCIS may not process your I-140 until it is. So, if you have to wait four years for your priority date to become current, your petition may not be processed until those four years are nearly over. Unless you opt for premium processing. Even so, you’ll still have to wait the full four years.
Green Card Transfer
How about green card portability? Let us begin with an example. Assume you graduate with a STEM bachelor’s degree while on F-1 status, change to H-1B status, and apply for an EB-3 green card as a professional worker. Depending on your nationality, you could be waiting for your priority date to become current for several years.
If you obtain a master’s degree and a new job that requires your new degree during the waiting period, you may be able to have your employer (current or new) file a new petition for an EB-2 while retaining the original priority date from the first petition. In this case, you could shave years off the F-1 to green card processing time!
Remember that this is a delicate process that requires you to find a new job that requires your EB-2 qualifications. Consult with an immigration attorney to see if this is a viable option for you.
Changing Your Situation
Because you are already in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, you will have two options for completing the final step from F-1 to green card status:
Adjustment of Status – This option is available only to those who are already in the United States. It entails submitting an I-485 form to the USCIS in order to have your status changed from nonimmigrant to immigrant. This form takes about six months to process, and there is no premium processing available.
Consular Processing entails traveling to your home country to conduct a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. This may appear to be less advantageous than status adjustment, but depending on your circumstances, it may be both cheaper and faster to process.
Following that, you will be sent your green card, which will be added to your passport. You will have completed the entire process of moving from an F-1 visa to a green card and will be a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:
F-1 students may also be eligible to work off-campus on a case-by-case basis as a result of special situations such as severe economic hardship or special student relief. M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.
For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus training employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.
How VisaNation Law Group Immigration Lawyers Can Assist
Whatever visa you are applying for, the process is often filled with documents, forms, fees, and other minutiae that can easily cost you a significant amount of time and money if not completed properly. The best way to protect your immigration investment is to hire a professional to handle all of the tedious details so that you can concentrate on your studies in the United States.
At VisaNation, we have assisted countless students just like you in studying and working in the United States. We handle everything from the initial consultation to the time you receive your F-1 visa. Fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation with our office to find out how long your F-1 processing time will be.
A K-2 visa allows the children of a K-1 fiance visa holder to enter the United States until an immigrant visa becomes available. To be eligible for one of these nonimmigrant visas, the applicant must be under the age of 21 and the K-1 applicant’s unmarried child.
Children of a fiancé(e) may be granted a K-2 visa through their parent’s fiancé(e) petition. The petitioning US citizen is required to include the names of the children on the I-129F petition. After the fiancé(e) and American Citizen marry, the fiancé(echildren )’s must obtain a separate Application to Register Permanent Residence (Form I-485) or an Adjustment of Status.
Within one year of the visa’s issuance, the children have the option of accompanying or joining the K-1 parent. If the children choose either of the previously stated options, no additional petition is required. If the child(ren) exceeds the one-year limit, a separate immigrant visa petition will be required. Again, the child must be unmarried in order to qualify for the K-2 visa. Furthermore, the marriage between the fiancé(e) and a US citizen must take place before the child reaches the age of 21. The previous age limit was 18, but the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) raised it to 21.
The Advantages of the K-2 Visa
The K-2 visa provides a number of benefits. You can live in the United States with your parent on a K-2 visa until they marry. By completing and submitting Form I-765, you can apply for work documents, also known as an EAD. Once the K-1 visa holder marries a US citizen, you are permitted to study in the country and apply for permanent residence. It’s best to speak with a K-2 visa attorney to learn about other benefits available only to K-2 visa holders.
K-2 Visa Restrictions
This visa has a few disadvantages. If you have a previous immigration violation that has temporarily or permanently barred you from entering the United States, you may not change to another nonimmigrant status or enter the country. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a K-2 visa lawyer right away to discuss your options.
Requirements for a K-2 Visa
A K-2 visa application must include the following forms:
DS-160 Form (completed online) accompanied by a recent photograph
Passport (valid) (valid)
Birth certificate copy
Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and sponsor documents completed
Other documents may be required, depending on the circumstances. To find out what those are, contact a Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group K-2 visa lawyer.
Interview for K-2 Visa
The consulate or embassy in the United States that is processing the K-1 fiancé(evisa )’s will almost certainly require all K-2 children over the age of 14 to attend the consular interview with their parent. This may include asking the child questions to help verify the fiancé(erelationship )’s with the US citizen, so keep this in mind before showing up for your interview.
Here are some examples of possible questions:
What is the name of the person your parents are planning to marry?
Have you ever met the individual?
Can you tell me anything about this individual?
Honesty is the best policy in all consular interviews (and all immigration dealings). Answering a question with “I don’t know” is far preferable to making up an answer or exaggerating the truth, as this could jeopardize your ability to apply for additional visas or change your status to legal permanent resident.
Processing Time K-2
Processing times for any visa or green card are rarely fixed. These times are usually determined by the caseload of the service center that is handling your petition. The I-129F,
four to six months to process.
Despite the fact that premium processing (the optional service that reduces processing time to 15 calendar days) is available for many visas and green cards that use the I-129 and I-140 petitions, the K-2 uses the I-129F, which is not eligible for premium processing.
Because the two are linked, expect your K-2 visa processing time to be the same as the time it takes to adjudicate your fiancé(eK-1 )’s visa.
What Is the Cost of a K-2 Visa?
The K-2 comes with several costs, including:
The $535 I-129F filing fee A $85 biometrics fee is possible. The embassy may charge a fee of $265. Other expenses may include travel expenses and attorney fees. Visit our fees page to see our flat K-2 rates.
Green Card to K-2 Visa
Obtaining legal permanent residence through the K fiancé(e) visa is a relatively simple process. When you marry a US citizen, you become an immediate relative of that citizen, which has certain advantages. Unlike other family-based green cards (such as the F1 or F2), which require you to wait until your priority date is considered current before filing to adjust your status, the USCIS states that “immigrant visas for U.S. citizens’ immediate relatives are always immediately available.”
This means that if you and your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) marry within 90 days of your arrival in the United States, an immigrant visa number will be available immediately without having to deal with priority dates. You must file an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status in order to apply. This can take up to six months to complete, and no premium processing is available. You must submit an application for yourself as well as each of your K-2 children.
Once your I-485 is approved, you will become a legal permanent resident, and your marriage-based green card, as well as green cards for your K-2 children, will be mailed to you within six months.
You will no longer be considered an immediate family member if you are over the age of 21 and unmarried. Instead, you will be eligible for the F1 green card. However, depending on your country of origin, this visa is subject to priority date waiting times that can last several years.
K-2 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some frequently asked K-2 visa questions. For more information, please contact a Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group K-2 visa lawyer.
Q. How long can I stay on a K-2 visa?
A K-2 visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to 90 days, beginning on the day you enter.
Q. What if my parent (a K-1 visa holder) does not marry their fiancé?
If the K-1 parent visa holder does not marry within 90 days, the K-2 visa holder must leave the United States within 30 days.
Q. Is it possible to extend your stay on a K-2 visa?
If your K-1 visa holder parent does not marry, you may not apply for an extension of stay on a K-2 visa.
Q. Is it possible to study or work on a K-2 visa?
A K-2 visa allows you to study and work in the United States. To be able to work, you must first file the necessary documents in order to obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Children do not require separate Petition for Alien Relative, I-130 petitions; however, the petitioner must ensure that all of his or her children are named on the Petition for Alien Fiance, I-129F petition.
Before his or her children can be granted permanent residence, the petitioner must file separate I-130 immigrant visa petitions. They must file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status with the USCIS Office that serves the petitioner’s area when they adjust status in the United States. According to immigration law, children must be unmarried and under the age of 21.
How Tahmidur Remura Immigration Law Group Immigration Lawyers Can Assist
The process of obtaining a K-2 visa and adjusting your status to green card is lengthy and complicated. A simple mistake on a petition or filing the wrong fee to the wrong place can cause your immigration to be delayed, costing you both time and money. Hiring an immigration attorney to assist you with your case is the best way to avoid these pitfalls.
For years, Tahmidur Remura Law Group’s experienced team of family-based immigration lawyers has assisted people like you in making the transition to the United States through marriage. We will be with you every step of the way, from filing the petition to dealing with any obstacles that may arise.
You can contact one of our attorneys by completing this simple contact form and scheduling your consultation with our office today. If you are an immigrant fiance looking to bring your children to the United States, the K-2 visa is the way to go.
The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is intended for the foreign-citizen spouse of a US citizen. This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between foreign-citizen and US citizen spouses by allowing them to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the US while their immigrant visa petition is being processed.
Following petition approval, K-3 visa holders apply to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust status to permanent resident (LPR).
Because the spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa must have an immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf by his or her U.S. citizen spouse, a K-3 applicant must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa while the petition is pending approval.
It should be noted that under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen who marries a U.S. citizen outside the United States must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage occurred.
K-4 visas are issued to eligible children of K-3 visa applicants. Both the K-3 and K-4 visas allow their holders to remain in the United States while their immigrant visa petitions are being processed by USCIS.
How is a spouse defined in US immigration law?
A spouse is a legally married man or woman. Marriage does not qualify for immigration simply because the couple lives together. Depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs, common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes. Only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration in cases of polygamy. Immigration law now recognizes same-sex marriages for the purpose of immigrating to the United States. K-3 Visa Eligibility Requirements
The visa holder must be the legal spouse of an American citizen. (Please keep in mind that spouses of permanent residents are not eligible for a K-3 visa.) The visa holder must currently reside outside of the United States. Certain income requirements must be met by the US citizen. The current adjusted HHS poverty guidelines will be used to determine this. The US citizen must have filed an I-130 petition to sponsor the foreign spouse, which must be pending with USCIS. In other words, the petitioner (the US citizen) must have received a receipt notice from USCIS, but the petition must not yet be approved. If the foreign spouse has biological or adopted children who will also enter the United States on a K-1 visa, the children must be under the age of 21 and unmarried. K-3 Visa
How to Apply for a K-3 Visa
Obtaining a K-3 visa involves three major steps. The process will begin with the filing of an I-130 form by the US citizen. While that is being processed, he or she will file an I-129F petition. Once the I-129F form has been approved, the foreign spouse will complete the process at a U.S. embassy or consulate in his or her home country. Each of these stages is described further below:
The U.S. citizen sponsor must first file an I-130 form, also known as a Petition for Alien Relative, with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the U.S. citizen’s area.
The I-130 form is used to prove that a valid marriage exists between a U.S. citizen and a foreign spouse for the purpose of applying for a permanent immigrant visa. Due to the common fraudulent methods associated with marriage-based green card sponsorship, the USCIS will require the petitioner to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that their marriage is genuine and was not entered into fraudulently for the purpose of obtaining a green card.
In the application form, you will be asked to answer several personal questions. As proof of a genuine marriage, there must also be relevant strong supporting documents. Check out the I-130 document checklist.
Following the submission of the I-130, the USCIS will send a receipt number indicating that the application has been received. However, because immigrant visas can take a long time to process and it’s often not ideal to be separated from family for the entire processing period, the K-3 nonimmigrant visa allows applicants to live in the United States while their application is pending.
After fulfilling the aforementioned requirements, the U.S. citizen spouse must file an I-129F. Though known as the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), this form is also used for K-3 spousal visas.
While the I-129F is used to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, it shares many similarities with the I-130 form in that they are both used to establish a genuine marriage relationship. As a result, the US citizen must submit the form along with supporting documents similar to those required for the I-130 form. These are their names:
Proof of citizenship for a US citizen (e.g. passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate). If either the foreign spouse or the US citizen has been previously married, proof of the previous marriage’s dissolution must be submitted. A copy of the divorce decree, marriage annulment, or death certificate could be used. The passport of the foreign spouse Marriage license. If it was issued in a language other than English, a certified English translation must be submitted. I-979 Form, Notice of Receipt for I-130 Petition Passport-sized photos of both the US citizen and the foreign spouse Departure/Arrival Record (I-94 form) if the foreign spouse has ever visited the US The average time to receive a notice is around 30 days. The I-129F form processing time ranges between six and nine months, depending on the workload at the USCIS service center in charge of the petition. Following USCIS approval, the petitions will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. The beneficiary (foreign spouse) will also receive notification that the I-129F form was approved. After being notified, he or she must proceed with the consular processing, as explained below.
How Consular Processing for K-3 Visa Works
If the NVC receives the approved I-129F petition before the I-130 petition, the I-129F petition will be processed. The I-129F petition will then be sent to the US embassy or consulate in the country where the marriage took place by NVC.
If the marriage takes place in the United States, the NVC will send the petition to the US embassy or consulate in the foreign-citizen spouse’s country of nationality that issues visas. If the marriage occurred in a country without a U.S. embassy or consulate, or if the embassy or consulate does not issue visas, the NVC will forward the petition to the U.S. embassy or consulate that normally processes visas for citizens of that country. The foreign-citizen spouse will be given specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination, by the US embassy or consulate where he or she will apply. The foreign citizen spouse will then be invited to an interview at the US embassy or consulate to determine eligibility for the K-3 visa.
Procedures for Consular Processing
Fill out the DS-160 Application
The foreign spouse must first create an account on the website of the US embassy or consulate that is processing the visa. After that, he or she will download the DS-160 application form, fill it out, and electronically submit it to the Department of State.
When the application form is completed, the web portal will generate a confirmation page with a barcode. The barcode on this confirmation page will be required later to book and attend the visa interview at the embassy.
Pay the Visa Processing Fee and Make Appointments
To pay the K-3 visa processing fee, the foreign spouse must use one of the payment options available on the website. The DS-160 application also requires a pre-arranged one-on-one interview at your home country’s embassy or consulate. An immigration medical exam will also be required. The medical examination is performed by one of the civil physicians authorized by the embassy or consulate and must be completed prior to the visa interview date.
Documents for Consular Processing K-3
Documents required for K-3 consular processing may differ depending on the embassy or consulate. The following are the most common items required to complete the application:
Confirmation of original birth certificate DS-160 form submission
The visa applicant’s foreign passport
Immigration medical certificate outcomes
two (2) passport-sized colored photographs (must meet these requirements)
If necessary, an affidavit of support (I-134 form).
Evidence of previous marriage(s) annulment, if applicable
Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-156 and Supplement DS-156k
Biographical DS-230 Form Completed
clearance from a background check
Participate in the Visa Interview
The embassy will notify the foreign spouse of the interview appointment once the above steps have been completed correctly. The notification will include the date, location, and time of the interview, as well as the items that must be brought with you. If everything goes well and the foreign spouse is granted a K-3 visa after the interview, he or she may travel to the United States.
Application for a Green Card
Now that the foreign spouse has arrived in the United States, the application can be completed by submitting an I-485 form, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The form can be submitted alongside forms I-795 and I-131. These two forms are used to request an employment authorization document (EAD) and, separately, a travel permit.
While the green card petition may still be pending, the I-795 and I-131 forms are processed within nine months. These will serve as the immigrant’s work permit and travel permit, allowing them to work legally in the United States as well as travel and reenter the country while the green card application is being processed.
Obtaining a Social Security Card
K-3/K-4 visa holders must first obtain employment authorization documents (EADs) in order to receive their social security number. Fill out Form I-765 and an I-485 Adjustment of Status petition to receive this authorization.
Take your marriage certificate to the social security office when you’re ready to receive your card with the correct last name. A K-3 visa attorney can guide you through the process step by step.
The Advantages of the K-3 Visa
Securing a K-3 visa has three distinct advantages over other visa petitions. The first advantage is that the waiting period is usually shorter than for other marriage petitions. The second advantage is that you can apply for a work permit, which is important for many immigrants. You can also bring children under the age of 21 to the United States on a K-4 dependent visa.
K-3 Visa Questions and Answers
Take a look at some of the most frequently asked K-3 visa lawyer questions.
Q. What are the primary requirements for obtaining a K-3 visa?
To be eligible for a K-3 visa, you must be legally married to a citizen, have an I-130 petition filed on your behalf by your spouse (a US citizen), and be seeking to enter the country while your green card petition is being processed. Contact a qualified K-3 visa lawyer or attorney if you believe you meet these three criteria.
Q. How long does it take to process a K-3 visa?
The processing time for a K-3 visa varies by case, but on average, USCIS takes 3-5 months to process, plus an additional 2-3 months at the consulate.
Q. What is the maximum length of stay on a K-3 visa?
K-3 spouses can stay for up to two years, or until their I-130 is approved and they can apply for green cards. If USCIS has not yet approved the I-130 for whatever reason, you may file extensions.
Q. Is it possible to study or work on a K-3 visa?
You can study and work on a K-3 visa by submitting Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
How a K-3 Visa Attorney Can Assist
Tahmidur Remura Immigration Law Group’s K-3 visa attorneys will gladly assist you in navigating the process of obtaining a K-3 visa for your foreign citizen fiancé (e). They will prepare and file all necessary forms with supporting documentation, as well as guide you through the entire process. To get in touch, fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation.
K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visas
If you are a U.S. citizen and you filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for your foreign spouse who is abroad, you can also file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This is the first step for your spouse and his or her children to obtain a visa to come to the United States while you wait for USCIS to make a decision on the Form I-130. Historically, you and your family members might have been separated for some time while waiting for a decision on your Form I-130. Congress sought to resolve this problem by creating K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas to shorten the time your family would need to spend apart. However, because USCIS now takes less time to adjudicate the Form I-130, the current need for K-3 and K-4 visas is rare.
The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant category of marriage-based visa intended for foreign-born fiancé(e)s of US citizens. It allows those foreign fiancé(e)s to come to the United States with the intention of marrying their US citizen fiancé(e)s who are sponsoring their visas.
The K-1 visa allows for 90 days for the wedding to take place. Following that, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply to the USCIS for an adjustment of status in order to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and receive a green card. Any dependents of the foreign fiancé(e) may also enter the United States under K-2 visa status.
Due to the primary purpose of this visa class being eventual permanent immigration, applicants must meet some requirements typically associated with an immigrant visa.
Fiancé(e)K-1 Visa Definition
According to the regulations established by United States immigration law, a fiancé(e) is anyone who receives an approved I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This individual should also be coming to the United States to marry the United States citizen who has sponsored him or her and filed the petition on his or her behalf.
Both partners in the relationship must be free of any legally binding marital obligations. This means that any previous marriages must have ended in divorce, annulment, or death, allowing each fiancé(e) to marry in the United States on the date the I-129F petition is filed with the USCIS. The marriage must also follow the laws of the state where the ceremony will take place.
The K-1 Visa Application Process:
The following are the main steps in the K-1 process:
The U.S. citizen who is sponsoring the foreign fiancé(e) must file an I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with the USCIS field office nearest to the U.S. citizen’s residence. It is important to note that the I-129F form cannot be submitted to a US embassy, consulate, or USCIS office overseas. After the USCIS approves the petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing, and the NVC forwards it to the appropriate US consulate or embassy after assigning it a case number. Once the petition from NVC is received by the US embassy or consulate where the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will be given specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will then be summoned to the consulate for an interview in order to obtain a K-3 visa.
Documentation Required for Fiancé Visa:
The K-1 fiancé(e) and all eligible dependents applying for the K-2 visa must bring the following items to the K-1 visa interview:
DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Online Each K visa applicant should submit one completed application.
A valid passport with a validity period of at least six months beyond the intended duration of stay in the United States. Please keep in mind that each country may have its own set of exceptions; consult with your immigration attorney for more information.
The birth certificate of the foreign fiancé(e).
Divorce and/or death certificates from any prior marriages for both the foreign citizen fiancé(e) and the U.S. citizen sponsoring the foreign citizen.
The police certificate issued by the country where the foreign-born fiancé(e) currently resides. Police certificates will also be required from any country where the foreign fiancé(e) has lived for more than six months since the age of sixteen.
Evidence of a medical examination that has been approved
Proof of long-term financial support to demonstrate that the fiancé(e) will not be financially dependent on the US economy. (Affidavit of Support Form I-134 may be requested.)
Two (2) passport-style photographs Check out the Department of State’s photo requirements.
Proof of a genuine and non-fraudulent relationship between the US citizen sponsor and the foreign fiancée (e).
All accompanying visa fees must be paid.
It is always advisable to retain a qualified fiancé(e) visa lawyer to help ensure that all of your documents are completely filled out and to avoid any unnecessary setbacks.
What Is the Cost of a K-1 Visa?
When applying for a K-1 fiance visa, there are several costs to consider. The first is the filing fee for the I-129F, which is $535. When the fiance who is sponsoring the beneficiary files the petition, he or she pays this fee. Fortunately, there is no fee for filing K-3 petitions if the same U.S. citizen sponsor has also filed an I-130 Petition of Alien Relative with the USCIS.
The cost of traveling to and from the US Consulate or Embassy for your interview is the second fiance visa cost to consider. Obviously, this will be determined by your mode of transportation and the distance between you and the consulate.
The third consideration is the cost of your attorney, which can vary greatly. On our Tahmidur Rahman Remura attorney fees page, you can see the flat fee that we charge.
What Can I Expect During the Interview?
The K-1 visa interview is intended to give immigration officers the opportunity to determine whether your relationship is a sham designed to allow you to enter the United States illegally. While this may appear to be a serious issue for those who have a legitimate relationship with their foreign fiancé, it should not be (e).
The officer will conduct the interview by asking you simple questions about your fiancé(e) and your relationship (for example, where he/she works, how long you’ve known him/her, and so on). Overall, the interview should be brief, and you should be on your way to obtaining a green card in no time.
Going over the specifics of your situation and relationship with an experienced fiance visa lawyer is a great way to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for the K-1 visa interview.
What Happens After Divorce?
Once married, your new spouse can apply for Adjustment of Status in order to work and live permanently in the country, effectively completing the K-1 visa process.
K-1 and K-2 visa holders may apply for employment authorization (EAD). It’s important to note that if you file the application before the Adjustment of Status, your EAD will expire within the 90-day period (when K-1 expires). As a result, applying afterward is recommended.
Obtaining a Social Security Card
Most people are curious about when they will receive a social security number after marriage. After providing an unexpired I-94, you can obtain an SSN. You must also have an EAD before applying for an SSN.
Tip: Applying for your SSN too soon may result in delays. Wait about two weeks after you arrive in the country. Otherwise, manual verification from the USCIS may be required because your arrival records may not yet be saved in the system.
Here’s how it works:
Bring your marriage certificate to the Social Security office to prove your new married name. If you want to change your name after your marriage is finalized, go to the Social Security office and present your marriage certificate.
What If I Am Denied a K-1 Visa?
Your K-1 visa may be denied for a variety of reasons. One of the more common and mundane reasons is that the I-129F contained incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent information. In this case, simply correct the error and resubmit the petition with a new fee. The best way to avoid this delay is to have your petition reviewed by an immigration attorney before filing.
Another reason your visa may be denied is if the immigration officer at the US Consulate or Embassy is not convinced of your engagement’s legitimacy. Unfortunately, if there has been a high number of fraudulent applicants from your country, this can easily happen.
From a K-1 Visa to a Green Card
The process of transitioning from a K class visa to a green card differs from that of other immigrant visa categories. Nonimmigrants on all four K visas can apply to have their status adjusted to green card status under the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act (or LIFE Act).
The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is no longer required for K-1 and K-2 holders, which differs from the standard green card process. This was done to reduce the amount of time families would be separated while waiting for the petition’s priority date to be current. Instead, the USCIS states that if you meet the following criteria, all you need to do is file an I-485 application to transition from a K visa to a marriage-based green card.
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
be a K-1 visa holder have married your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within the 90-day window be eligible to adjust your status have an available immigrant visa number be able to enter the U.S. The timeframe for adjustment of status differs depending on the type of K visa you have:
Holders of K-1 visas (foreign fiancé(e)s) should update their statuses as soon as they marry their U.S. citizen fiancée (e). K-2 holders (children of foreign fiancé(e)s) should adjust their statuses concurrently with their K-1 parent. K-3 holders (foreign spouses) can change their status as soon as they enter the United States. K-4 holders (children of foreign spouses) should update their immigration status at the same time as their K-3 parent. As a K-1 applicant, you must consider how long it will take to get married and receive your marriage certificate before filing the I-485 to change your status from K-1 to green card.
Supporting Evidence Required
To make the change, you must submit the following documentation with your I-485:
Two passport photos that follow the Department of State’s guidelines. G-325A form with your biographical information. a photocopy of an official ID a certified copy of your birth certificate a photocopy of your passport with your K class visa I-94 arrival and departure form If you have a K-1 visa, your marriage certificate. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support A copy of any form or application you submitted in connection with your K class visa. If you are a K-3 or K-4 holder, you must provide a copy of your pending I-130 petition. The proper filing fees Fiancé(e) Visa K-1 Questions and Answers
Q. What constitutes acceptable proof of a fiancé? (e) relationship?
Photographs of family and relationships, phone records, letters, cards, and so on. You will be asked questions during your interview to help the officer verify your relationship. Consult a K-1 Visa attorney to determine which other documents may be required.
Q. Can a K-1 Visa holder leave the United States?
When a K-1 visa holder arrives in the United States, he or she is not permitted to leave and re-enter on the same visa. If you plan to leave the country and then return, you should apply for a travel document with Form I-131 or change your status to legal permanent resident.
Q. Can a K-1 Visa holder work in the country?
You certainly can. They can, as previously stated, if they file Form I-765 for employment authorization and meet the other eligibility requirements.
Q. How long does it take to process a K-1 visa?
There is no exact answer because the time period varies greatly depending on the specifics of the case. The time it takes to process your I-129F petition, for example, is heavily dependent on how busy the USCIS service center is. When it comes to the interview, the same can be said for the US consulate or embassy.
However, the processing time for your green card is unlikely to be lengthy. Most green card applicants must wait until their priority date (the date their immigrant petition was received by the USCIS) is current with the final action dates posted in the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin.
Those with K-1 and K-2 visa status, on the other hand, are not required to have an I-130 petition filed on their behalf and must instead wait until the I-485 is processed, which can take up to six months depending on the service center’s caseload.
It is best to consult a K-1 visa lawyer for more information on the total amount of time it will take to complete the K-1 process.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of petitions that can be filed?
If you have filed two or more K-1 visa applications in the past, you may be required to apply for a waiver. The same is true if you have had an approved K-1 petition within the last two years.
Q. Do I need a medical exam to change my status?
According to the USCIS, you will not be required to obtain a medical examination if:
You’ve already gotten one for your K-1 visa. The I-485 was submitted within a year of the exam. You were examined without a Class A condition, or you obtained a waiver of inadmissibility for your Class A condition.
Q. What are the ramifications of marriage fraud?
Those who commit marriage fraud face harsh penalties, including five years in prison, large fines, or both. At the very least, you will have marks on your immigration record that may make it difficult for you to apply for a visa or green card in the future. The bottom line is that you must ensure that your case is legitimate.
Financial Requirements for the K-1 Visa
To bring a fiancé(e) to the U.S., you must demonstrate that you can support your fiancé(e) at 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can find the specifics on Form I-865P. If you cannot meet these criteria, your other option is to have a relative or friend agree to be the joint sponsor. This is essentially an agreement to share the K-1 beneficiary’s financial support responsibility.
Both K-1 and K-2 visa holders can file for employment authorization documents. Still, if they file the application before filing the Adjustment of Status, then the EAD will expire concurrently with the K-1 visa. For that reason, you should apply afterward.
Sponsoring a foreign fiancé(e) can be a stressful process. A Tahmidur Remura immigration Group K-1 fiancé(e) visa attorney can guide you every step of the way and relieve you of the burden of preparing and filing the necessary forms with supporting documentation. Fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation today if you want to take advantage of our expertise and our flat K-1 visa lawyer fees.