A nonimmigrant visa is a temporary visa that is issued to foreign nationals seeking to visit the United States for a limited amount of time. An individual applying for nonimmigrant status must show that they do not intend to stay or live permanently in the United States.
There are certain factors that may preclude an applicant from receiving a nonimmigrant visa. These factors include a criminal felony record.
The number of nonimmigrant visas issued each year changes. The availability of a nonimmigrant visa may also depend on the applicant’s country of origin. The number of nonimmigrant visas that are issued from a certain country may be more or less in a given year depending on the amount that were issued in the previous year.
What is a V-1 Visa?
A V-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse of a legal permanent resident of the United States to enter the country so that the spouse can live in the U.S. while they are applying for an immigrant visa.
The purpose of the V-1 visa is to permit families to remain together while they wait for their immigration paperwork to be completed.
How do I Qualify for a V-1 Visa?
In order to qualify for a V-a visa, the applicant must be a spouse of a permanent United States resident. This individual may be a green card holder.
The spouse or green card holder must file a Form I-130, or Petition of Alien Relative. The visa applicant must have been waiting for at least 3 years from the time the Form I-130 was filed. If the spouse or green card holder withdraws the petition or becomes a United States citizen, then the applicant will no longer be eligible for a V-1 visa.
What Can I do on a V-1 Visa?
If an individual has a V-1 visa, they are permitted to work in the United States while they wait for their immigrant status to formalize. The V-1 visa does not have any travel restrictions.
So long as the individual’s visa remains valid, they may move freely throughout the United States. They may also leave and re-enter the country when they wish to do so.
What About the Children of a V-1 Visa Holder?
A V-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa. It allows the unmarried minor children who are under 21 years of age of a green card holder to enter the United States to live with their parents while they await a change in their immigration status.
Similar to the V-1 visa, the green card holder must file a Form I-130. The applicant must also have been waiting for at least 3 years from the time the I-130 was filed.
Also similar to the V-1 visa, if the green card holder becomes a United States citizen, the applicant no longer qualifies for the V-2 visa. This also applies if the green card holder withdraws the petition. However, if the applicant is in a situation that involves abuse, they may self-petition to become a preference immigrant even if the green card holder withdraws the petition.
The V-2 visa permits the holder to remain in the United States for 2 years. They can extend their visa for 2 year periods for a maximum duration of 10 years.
A V-2 visa holder may legally work in the United States. In addition, there are no travel restrictions. So long as the visa remains valid, the holder may move freely within the United States and leave and re-enter as they wish, also called a multiple entry visa.
What is a Multiple Entry Visa?
A multiple entry visa is a specific type of visa that permits the visa holder to enter the United States multiple times within a given time frame. For example, the holder of a multiple entry visa may be allowed to enter the United States, return to their home country, and then return back to the U.S., multiple times.
A multiple entry visa is usually valid for a specific period of time. This time period is known as the validity period. It may range anywhere from 6 to 12 months and typically has a maximum of 24 months. Within this validity period, the visa holder may enter and re-enter the United States, subject to various restrictions on travel.
What are the Differences Between a Multiple Entry Visa, a Re-Entry Visa, and a Single Entry Visa?
It is important to note that there are differences between multiple entry visas, re-entry permits, and single entry visas. As noted above, a multiple entry visa permits the holder to leave and re-enter the United States multiple times.
A re-entry visa, or re-entry permit may only be valid for one instance of re-entry, after the individual has left the United States for a short period of time. This is in contrast to multiple entry visas, which allow for several instances of re-entry and often allow the holder to remain outside the United States for longer periods of time.
A single entry visa is typically issued to travelers who plan to make one trip to a particular destination. This is in contrast to the applicant for a multiple entry visa, who typically plans to visit the same country multiple times over a specific period of time.
What are the Requirements for Obtaining a Multiple Entry Visa?
Every country establishes its own requirements that must be met by applicants who are requesting a multiple entry visa. Multiple entry visas are classified under the purpose for which the individual is visiting the United States temporarily.
For example, tourist visas and work-related visas, as well as other types of visas, can be issued as multiple-entry visas. The visa applicant would be required to fulfill the basic requirements for the specific temporary visa category in order to receive multiple entry status.
Multiple entry visas are subject to unique requirements and restrictions, which may include:
- Gaps between visits;
- A maximum time for each stay; and
- A good record.
The specific details and requirements for each multiple entry visa will depend on many different factors, including the applicant’s country of origin and their overall immigration record. The eligibility requirements may also change each year. In addition, the number of visas available may vary each year, also depending on the applicant’s country of origin.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a V-1 Visa?
It is essential to have the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer for any V-1 issues you may have. Your attorney can advise you on all of the requirements to obtain a V-1 visa as well as help you through every step of the process.
As noted above, the V-1 visa requires you to wait for 3 years. In the meantime, your lawyer can help you obtain other visas that will permit you to temporarily travel to the United States in order to visit your spouse while you wait for the V-1 visa to be approved.
Your lawyer can also help you obtain a V-2 visa for your minor children, if applicable. It is important to begin the visa process for everyone involved with your attorney as soon as possible, as it may take longer than expected to process, and, as noted above, there may be a limit to the number of visas available.