V: Visa for Spouse and Children of Permanent Resident
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What Is a V Visa?
The V visa permits a spouse or children of a U.S. lawful permanent resident to live and work in the United States on a temporary basis until they are able to apply for lawful permanent resident status, or for another visa. This allows family members to live with the lawful permanent resident, instead of having to wait outside the United States.
Who Qualifies for a V Visa?
A person eligible to apply for a V visa must:
- be lawfully married to a lawful permanent resident; or
- an unmarried child under the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident; and
- it has been at least three years since an application was submitted for permanent residency, and the petition is pending or approved, but the visa is not available; or
- there is a pending application to adjust the status or application for another immigrant visa
How Do I Apply for a V Visa?
A person seeking a V visa can apply for it either inside or outside the United States. Generally, there is a fingerprint and medical examination requirement.
May a V Visa Holder Obtain Employment?
Yes. However, before a V visa holder can work, they must obtain an Employment Authorization Document which permits a temporary visitor to work in the United States.
Can a V Visa Holder Travel Outside the United States?
You may travel outside the United States if you have a V visa.
- If you obtained your V visa abroad, you may travel outside the United States as long as the visa is unexpired and you are still eligible for the V visa.
- If you obtained your V visa in the United States, you will need to visit a consular office abroad before returning the United States.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
There are so many different types of visas available and a V visa may not be the best available option. Consulting with an immigration attorney can help you determine which visa is most suitable for you and see if you qualify for a visa waiver. If you are a lawful permanent resident and want a family member to stay with you in the United States, an immigration attorney can help you bring them to the United States.
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Last Modified: 05-07-2012 02:37 PM PDT
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