The V-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the spouse of a legal permanent resident of the U.S. to enter the country so that the spouse can live in the U.S. while applying for an immigrant visa. The purpose of the visa to allow families to remain together while they wait for their immigration paperwork to go through

How Do I Qualify for a V-1 Visa?

In order to qualify for a V-1 visa, the applicant must be the spouse of a permanent U.S. resident, also known as green card holder. The green card holder must have filed a form I-130 (a petition of alien relative) and the applicant must have been waiting for at least three years from the time form I-130 was filed.

If the green card holder withdraws the petition or becomes a U.S. citizen, then the applicant will no longer be eligible for a V-1 visa.

What Can I Do on a V-1 Visa?

If you have a V-1 visa you are allowed to work in the United States while you wait for your immigrant status to formalize. There are no travel restrictions on a V-1 visa. As long as the visa remains valid, you can move freely throughout the United States, and you may leave and reenter the country when you wish.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you needs assistance with a visa application, you should contact an attorney. An immigration lawyer can walk you through all the requirements of a V-1 visa and explain the process of obtaining one. As a V-1 visa requires you to wait for three years, a lawyer will be able to help you obtain other visas that will allow you to temporarily travel to the U.S. in order to visit your spouse while you wait for your V-1 visa to be approved.

Note that a lawyer can also help you obtain a V-2 visa for your minor children if needed.