In recent months, many of the more notable immigration developments have concerned the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The first rumblings occurred when the Department of State began implementing new guidelines vitiating the presumptive weight of an approvable I-864 affidavit of support. Even if a petitioner's income met or exceeded 125% of the federal poverty guideline, adjudicators were vested with greater authority to look beyond the affidavit and explore traditional factors in more detail. These traditional factors-health, age, education, income and resources-will undergo more scrutiny in determining whether an immigrant is likely to become a financial burden on the government.
Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important precedential decision that affects the ability of individuals entering the US on K-4 visas to apply for adjustment of status. The case is Cen v. Attorney General and is binding on all cases that arise within the Third Circuit, which fortunately includes New Jersey. The Court held that the regulations pertaining to K-4 visa holders conflict with a common sense reading of the plain language of the Immigration and Nationality Act and therefore ruled it invalid. As a result, K-4 visa holders currently in the country may now be eligible to apply for their green cards here even if they were over the age of eighteen at the time of their parents' marriage.
If immigration were not confusing enough, there are some visa categories that cover different classifications. The two that immediately come to mind are the H visa and the K visa. For example, there is an H-1B for professional workers, which is different than an H2B, which is for seasonal workers. For today's discussion, I want to focus on some key differences between the K-1 and K-3 visa because while they both involve loved ones, they are two very different visas. It is important to understand the terminology, as well as the benefits and limitations of each visa, because not everyone can file for a K-1, and not everyone can file for a K-3.