What is an F-3 Visa?
An F-3 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that is issued to the married children of U.S. citizens. F-3 visa holders are allowed to enter the United States for an indefinite period of time, but they are not permitted to work in the United States. They may however study in the U.S.
The F-3 category is a subcategory of the F family visa. The F visa is for the immediate family members of U.S. citizens, including spouses, children, and parents. The F-3 category is for the married children of U.S. citizens.
The process of obtaining an F-3 visa involves the U.S. citizen parent filing a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their married child. Once the petition is approved, the child must then apply for the visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The visa application process will include an interview, fingerprinting, and a background check.
Please note that there are some restrictions on the F-3 category. There is a quota for F-3 visas, which means that there are a limited number of these visas available each year, and the processing times for this category of visa can be quite long.
Who Qualifies for F-3 Visa?
To qualify for an F-3 visa, an individual must be the married child of a U.S. citizen. This means that they must have been legally married and be able to provide proof of the marriage, such as a marriage certificate.
In addition to being married, the individual must also meet certain other criteria:
- They must be outside of the United States at the time of visa application
- They must not be inadmissible to the United States under U.S. immigration laws
- They must be able to demonstrate that they will not become a public charge in the United States
The U.S. citizen parent must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their married child. Once the petition is approved, the child can then apply for the F-3 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
F-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that it’s granted for a limited period of time and the holder of the visa is not authorized to work in the U.S. but they may study in the U.S.
How to Apply for F-3 Visa?
To apply for an F-3 visa, you will need to follow these steps:
- Gather all necessary documents, including a valid passport, two passport-style photos, a Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)), and any supporting documents required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- File the Form I-129F with the USCIS. You will also need to pay the appropriate fee.
- Once the Form I-129F is approved, the USCIS will forward it to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Complete the online visa application (DS-160) and pay the visa application fee.
- Schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to bring all original documents, including your Form I-129F, to the interview.
- Attend the interview and answer any questions the consular officer may have.
- Wait for a decision on your visa application. If approved, you will be issued an F-3 visa, which will allow you to enter the U.S. as the fiancé of a U.S. citizen.
What is the F-3 Visa Interview Process?
During the F-3 visa interview, the consular officer will ask you a series of questions to determine your eligibility for the visa and your intentions for coming to the United States. They will also verify the information provided on your visa application and supporting documents.
The consular officer will ask you about your relationship with your fiancé and your plans for the future, including your intentions for marriage and any plans for employment in the United States. They may also ask about your background, including your education and work experience.
You should be prepared to provide evidence of your relationship with your fiancé, such as photographs, emails, and phone records. It’s also important to have the original and copies of all of your documents, including your Form I-129F, passport, birth certificate, and police certificates.
The interview may also include a fingerprint and photograph taken for security reasons.
It’s important to be honest and candid during the interview, and to provide clear and detailed answers to the consular officer’s questions. If the consular officer determines that you are not eligible for the F-3 visa, they will inform you of the reasons and whether there is an opportunity to appeal or reapply.
What are the Required Documents for F-3 Visa?
The required documents for an F-3 visa include:
- A valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of entry into the United States.
- Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e): This form must be completed and signed by both you and your fiancé, and filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the visa can be issued.
- Two passport-style photos: The photos must meet the U.S. Department of State’s requirements for passport photos.
- DS-160, Online Visa Application: This form must be completed online and a confirmation page must be printed and brought to the visa interview.
- Visa application fee: You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee before your visa interview.
- Evidence of your relationship with your fiancé: This may include photographs, emails, phone records, or other documents that demonstrate the bona fides of your relationship.
- Additional Supporting documents: You may be required to submit additional documents, such as your birth certificate, police certificates, and proof of financial support.
- Proof of financial support: You will be required to demonstrate that you will have sufficient financial support during your stay in the United States.
What is the F-3 Visa Fee?
The fee for an F-3 visa application is currently $535. This fee is paid in two parts:
- The first part is the Form I-129F fee, which is $535 and is paid to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when you file the Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
- The second part is the visa application fee, which is $350 and is paid when you schedule your visa interview. It’s important to note that this fee is non-refundable and must be paid even if your visa application is denied.
What is the F-3 Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for an F-3 visa can vary depending on several factors, including the workload of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. Processing times can also fluctuate depending on how many people are applying for visas at the same time, and whether additional security checks are required.
Generally speaking, the processing time for an F-3 visa can take several months from start to finish. After the Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) is filed with the USCIS, it can take several weeks to several months for the petition to be approved. Once the Form I-129F is approved, it will be forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country, where the visa application process will continue. It can take several weeks to several months for the visa application to be processed and for a decision to be made on your application.
F-3 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible for an F-3 visa?
A: An F-3 visa is for the fiancé of a U.S. citizen, who is outside of the United States. The U.S. citizen sponsor needs to be a U.S. citizen and the foreign national fiancé needs to be outside of the United States.
- Can I work on an F-3 visa?
A: F-3 visa holders are not authorized to work in the United States. Once you enter the U.S. on an F-3 visa, you must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days and then apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
- Can I travel outside of the U.S. on an F-3 visa?
A: F-3 visa holders are not authorized to travel outside the U.S. Once admitted, you must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days and then apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
- Can I study on an F-3 visa?
A: F-3 visa holders are permitted to study in the United States, but they are not authorized to work.
- Can my dependents come with me to the U.S. on an F-3 visa?
A: Your dependents (spouse and/or children) are not eligible to accompany or follow to join you on an F-3 visa. They would have to apply for a separate visa category.
- What is the maximum duration of stay on an F-3 visa?
A: F-3 visa holder is admitted for 90 days, and it’s a single entry visa, after which the holder must either leave the U.S. or apply for a change of status.
- What happens if I don’t get married within 90 days of entering the U.S. on an F-3 visa?
A: If you don’t get married within 90 days of entering the U.S. on an F-3 visa, you will be out of status and may be subject to removal proceedings.