V-1 and V-2 visas are regulated under the terms of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act).
A V visa is a nonimmigrant visa created to allow families to stay together while waiting for the processing of immigrant visas.
A V visa allows a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a Lawful Permanent Resident to access, live and work in the United States as non-immigrants until they become lawful permanent residents.
The spouse receives a V-1 visa and the children are given a V-2 or V-3 visa.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states you can apply for a V visa if you filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member on or before December 21, 2000. This includes unmarried children under 21 listed on the petition.
Alternatively, a family member may have been waiting three years since filing the Form I-130 or the immigrant visa is not available on an approved Form I-130 petition, the application to adjust status is pending or the petition for an immigrant visa is pending.
To be eligible for a V-1 visa, an immigrant must demonstrate either:
- Proof of legal marriage to a permanent resident/green card holder.
- The permanent resident/green card holder must have filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on the behalf as his or her spouse as the principal beneficiary before December 21, 2000, and
- Either an immigrant visa is not currently available, the spouse of the green card holder has a pending application for adjustment of his or her status, or a spouse has a pending application for an immigrant visa.
To demonstrate eligibility for a V-2 visa, an immigrant must show:
- The child applicant is unmarried,
- The child is under the age of 21 at the time of the application.
- The child is an offspring of a permanent resident/green card holder,
- The green card holder parent filed form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the child, identifying the child as the principal beneficiary before December 21, 2000, and
- Either an immigrant visa is not currently available, the minor has a pending application for adjustment of his or her status, or the child has an application being processed or pending for an immigrant visa.
V-1 and V-2 visas have been one of the most significant vehicles to immigration in the United States in recent years, allowing families to remain together pending applications for green cards. However, family-based immigration is currently being questioned by the White House.
Every year, there are about 480,000 family-based visas available every year, states the American Immigration Council.
The Trump administration is seeking a move toward a more “merit-based” immigration system. Read more about V visas on our website.
For help on any family immigration matter please call our Austin immigration attorneys at (512) 474-4445.