Family members of lawful permanent residents (V visas)

The purpose of the V visa is to allow families to live together during the sometimes lengthy green card process. If a person has permanent resident status (a green card), but not a U.S. citizenship, their spouse, unmarried children under 21 years old or similarly situated children of the spouse (step-children) may apply for a V visa. Family may be eligible if:


       A U.S. resident spouse filed Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on or before December 21, 2000. This includes any children named on the petition.

     The family member has been waiting for at least three years after the I-130 is filed, and;

     A green card is not yet available for the holder of an approved Form I-130, or if there has been an application to adjust status that is pending, or if there is a petition for a green card pending.


This sounds complicated. But simply put, it means that while the green cards for the spouses and children of the U.S. citizens are available immediately, the families of permanent residents may wait for some time for green cards to be issued to them. V visas allow them to remain in the United States with their resident spouses instead of waiting outside the country if the above-listed conditions apply.

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