Non-Immigrant: V Visa - Spouse or Children of Permanent Residents
The V nonimmigrant classification for certain spouses and children of lawful permanent resident aliens that was added by section 1102 of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) of 2000, Public Law 106-553, became effective on December 21, 2000. To be eligible for this new nonimmigrant category, the alien must be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition that has been pending with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) for at least 3 years, or that has been approved and 3 years have passed since the filing date. Eligible aliens may enter and work in the United States, and continue to reside here while they wait for the immigrant visa petition to be approved; their priority date to be reached for filing for adjustment of status or an application for an immigrant visa; and the adjudication of that application.
Who Is Eligible for V Nonimmigrant Status?
To be eligible for V nonimmigrant status, the alien must be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, that was filed by the LPR on or before December 21, 2000, under the F2A preference category of section 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(2)(A)). The child of a petitioned-for spouse or child beneficiary is also eligible for such status if he or she is accompanying or following to join such an alien. The alien is eligible for V status if the Form I-130 immigrant visa petition has been pending for 3 years or more. In addition, the alien is eligible for V status after the visa petition has been approved and 3 years have passed since the date of filing, in either of the following circumstances:
(1) An immigrant visa number is not yet available to the beneficiary; or
(2) If an immigrant visa number is available to the beneficiary, his or her application for an immigrant visa abroad or application for adjustment of status is still pending.
An eligible spouse of an LPR will be classified as V-1. An eligible child of an LPR will be classified as V-2. The child of either, if eligible to accompany or follow to join the principal alien under section 203(d) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(d)), will be classified as V-3. An alien eligible for V nonimmigrant status may apply for a V nonimmigrant visa at a consular office abroad or, if the alien is already in the United States, he or she may apply to the Service for classification as a V nonimmigrant. An alien in V nonimmigrant status in the United States may obtain employment authorization.
What Are the Terms and Conditions of V Nonimmigrant Status?
Aliens in V-1, V-2, or V-3 nonimmigrant status are authorized
to remain in the United States until their authorized period
of admission expires, or until one of the following is denied:
(1) the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by
the LPR on behalf of his or her spouse or child; (2) the alien's
application for an immigrant visa; or (3) the alien's application
for adjustment of status. If the V-1 or V-2 alien's status
is terminated for any of these reasons, the V-3 status of
any derivative child will simultaneously be terminated.
Aliens in the United States in V nonimmigrant status must abide by the terms and conditions of that status as set forth in section 214 of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1184). Since V nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States to await the availability of an immigrant visa number in the F2A preference category (spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents), in accordance with the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin, they must continue to be eligible for that preference category. An alien who is no longer eligible for the F2A preference category described in section 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(2)(A)) is no longer eligible for V nonimmigrant status. For example, an alien would no longer be eligible if the qualifying marriage that forms the basis for the Form I-130 is terminated or the child petitioned for on the Form I-130 reaches the age of 21. If the Form I-130 is withdrawn by the petitioner, or if it is revoked under section 205 of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1155), then the alien is no longer considered to be in valid V classification beginning 30 days after the withdrawal or event that causes the revocation (8 U.S.C. 1184(p)(3)). (However, the Service notes that a spouse or child of an abusive lawful permanent resident may be eligible in certain circumstances to file a self-petition for classification as a preference immigrant, as provided in 8 CFR 204.4,
even if the LPR has withdrawn the Form I-130 that was filed on his or her behalf.)
How Can an Eligible Alien Who Is Outside the United States Obtain a V Nonimmigrant Visa?
Eligible aliens who live abroad may obtain a V nonimmigrant visa from the Department of State by applying at a United States consular office. Eligible applicants must demonstrate that they meet the requirements of section 101(a)(15)(V) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(V)).
An applicant applying for V nonimmigrant status must submit, along with his or her application, the results of a medical examination by a civil surgeon. The alien must submit this information on Form I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status, completed by a civil surgeon. Each Service district office maintains a list of physicians in the area who have been designated as civil surgeons by the Service. An applicant for V nonimmigrant status is not required to submit the vaccination supplement to Form I-693.
After receiving the application and proper fees, the applicant will be scheduled for fingerprinting at an Application Support Center (ASC). An applicant who does not appear for fingerprinting without previously notifying the Service may have his or her application denied under 8 CFR 103.2(b)(13).
An alien applying for V nonimmigrant status should submit proof of filing of the immigrant petition that qualifies the alien for V status. Proof of filing may be in the form of Form I-797, Notice of Action, which serves as a receipt of the petition or as a notice of approval, or a receipt for the filed petition or notice of approval issued by a local district office. If the alien does not have such proof, the Service will review other forms of evidence, such as correspondence to or from the Service regarding a pending petition. If the alien does not have any of the above items, but believes he or she is a beneficiary of a qualifying petition and as such is eligible for V nonimmigrant status, he or she should provide information indicating where and when the petition was filed, the name and alien number of the petitioner, and the names of all the beneficiaries.
What Will Be the Period of Authorized Stay for V Nonimmigrants?
The Service will give aliens granted admission to the United States in the V nonimmigrant classification a maximum 2-year period of admission. Similarly, the Service will give aliens approved for a change of status to V nonimmigrant status a maximum 2-year period of admission. In either case, the period of V nonimmigrant status may be extended if the alien continues to remain eligible for V status.
Children in V-2 or V-3 Status Who Reach the Age of 21 or Get Married
If an alien is 19 years old or older and applies for admission to the United States in V-2 or V-3 status, or for change to V-2 or V-3 status in the United States, he or she will be granted a period of admission that will end on the day before the alien turns 21 years of age.
One of the eligibility requirements for V classification is that an alien must be the beneficiary of a petition for status filed under section 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act--the Form I-130 for spouses or children of an LPR. The term ``child'' is defined in section 101(b)(1) of the Act to mean, with certain qualifications, an unmarried person under 21 years of age. Since the eligibility criteria of section 1102(a) do not include section 203(a)(2)(B) of the Act (unmarried sons or daughters of an LPR), an alien 21 years of age or over who is the son or daughter of an LPR is not eligible for V-2 classification. Likewise, an alien who gets married is no longer eligible for V classification as a ``child.'' Therefore, if the child of an LPR is admitted to the United States as a V-2 nonimmigrant and subsequently turns 21 or gets married, he or she is no longer eligible for that nonimmigrant status. Since the law provides for V-3 status for a derivative child of a principal alien, an alien will no longer be eligible for that nonimmigrant status after turning 21 or getting married.
May an Alien Travel Abroad While in V Nonimmigrant Status?
An alien who obtained a V nonimmigrant visa from a consular office abroad may be inspected and admitted to the United States in V nonimmigrant status after traveling abroad as long as the alien possesses a valid, unexpired V visa and remains eligible for V nonimmigrant status.