What is the V visa?

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The V visa is a nonimmigrant visa that Congress created through the Life Act. Congress enacted the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (Life Act) on December 21, 2000.

The Life Act stated that certain people who had previously not been able to do Adjustment of Status would become eligible. This meant that certain people who entered the U.S. in an unlawful manner, who worked in the U.S. without proper authorization and did not maintain continuous lawful status would still be eligible for Adjustment of Status.

What is Adjustment of Status?

Immigration law allows eligible nonimmigrants to change their status to immigrant while remaining in the U.S. The difference between nonimmigrant status and immigrant status is that a nonimmigrant is only allowed to stay in the U.S. for a temporary period time while an immigrant is allowed to stay in the U.S. permanently.  Another name for immigrant status is U.S. permanent residency.

When a person is looking to become a permanent resident, the application process could either be done through Adjustment of Status or through Consular Processing. Adjustment of Status can be done in the U.S. and Consular Processing can only be done from outside the U.S. If a person is already in the U.S. but he is not eligible for Adjustment of Status, he must travel back to his country of citizenship and apply for U.S. permanent residency there.

V Visa Eligibility

The purpose of the V visa is to let eligible applicants avoid Consular Processing so that families can stay together in the U.S. while waiting on Green Card petitions. The V visa allows a person to do Adjustment of Status. The V visa has been usually reserved for the Spouses and Children of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent residents.

It must be noted that even though this visa is still available, it would be very difficult for anyone to be eligible, however. These are the eligibility requirements:

  • The U.S. Legal Permanent Resident spouse or parent must have filed a family-based Green Card Petition, Form I-130, on the behalf of foreign spouse or foreign child on or before December 21, 2000.
  • The Green Card petition’s priority date must be current and must be at least three years old.
  • The spouse or child of the Legal Permanent Resident must not have already had an interview or be scheduled for an interview.
  • The Green Card petition must not already be at a U.S. embassy or consulate

An eligible V visa applicant would have to file two forms:

  • Form I-539, the Application to Change Nonimmigrant Status, and Supplement A
  • Form I-693, the Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status form

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