The following is the procedure for processing a K-3 petition:
1. US citizen spouse files an I-130 to the Service Center for foreign spouse.
2. US citizen spouse receives a notice of action from the Service Center for this petition.
3. US citizen spouse then sends a copy of the notice of action (or proof of filing the I-130) with a completed I-129F form, other required documents, and $110.00 fee to the Chicago P.O. box INS address on the I-129F petition form.
4. The Chicago office checks the petition, deposits the $110.00 fee, and sends the petition on to the Missouri Service Center.
5. Missouri Service Center approves the petition and forwards it to the US consulate.
6. On the consulate side of things, the foreign spouse completes a process very similar to the K-1 process: receives a packet of forms/documents, gets a medical exam and police certificate, attends an interview, and gets the K3 visa.
7. The foreign spouse enters the US as a K3 to await the final processing of the I-130 petition. The foreign spouse is allowed to work but must have a work authorization card in order to do so. A separate request is filed with the INS to obtain work authorization.
8. The I-130 petitioner informs the INS (the regional center where the I-130 was filed) that the I-130 beneficiary is already in the U.S. and will not be applying for permanent residency at the Consulate abroad as originally indicated on the I-130.
9. After I-130 is approved, go through I-485 processing to obtain conditional permanent residency.
The following is a checklist of documents/forms required for filing the I-129F, in order to obtain the K3 visa:
1. Completed Form I-129F.
2. Biographic information G325A for petitioner (US Citizen).
3. Biographic information G325A for beneficiary (Spouse).
4. INS residency-type photo - one each for petitioner & spouse.
5. Copy of marriage certificate.
6. Proof of Petitioner's US Citizenship, such as birth certificate, copy of US passport, or naturalization certificate.
7. Proof of filing I-130 petition.
8. Filing fee of $110.00 payable to INS.
Of course, other documents regarding name change, previous marriage, etc., may be required based on the facts of each case.